photo by Michael Lorenzo
Bramble Berry is growing (rapidly!). We’ve hired six people in the last two weeks. One of those people was an assistant to our Chief Marketing Officer (though for a small business, having the title ‘Chief Marketing Officer’ might be reaching but hey, aspirational titles are good too, right?). We put the ad out on Craigslist for $9.75/hour. Since the job was for an assistant who would help with graphic design, we proudly gave the URL of our website so applicants could see the quality of work we currently put out and would expect of them. Within 4 hours, the first tweet came: “$9.75/hour? Doesn’t that seem low to you?”
Minimum wage in Washington state is $8.57/hour. Federally, it’s $7.25/hour. Paying $2.50 over federal minimum wage for an entry level, part-time position doesn’t seem low to me. That’s the going rate for an assistant. So, I tweeted back and said something to the effect of “No, it doesn’t seem low. And everyone at BB, even our COO starts low.” That’s true. We don’t hire people who have money as their number one motivation. For one thing, we’ll never be able to keep them. Our company, though profitable and growing, does put the “Small” in “Small Business.” Unless you advance in the company with responsibilities and job title, your position pays the going market rate. And advancement does happen – our Chief Operating Officer started at $7/hour pulling orders and our Chief Marketing Officer started as my part-time assistant and took a $5/hour pay cut to come work for us.
The Tweets got progressively meaner:
And, as local Tweeple started RT’ing (re-tweeting) our job (because yes, yes we are a rockin’ place to work with very low turnover for our core team), one person on Twitter started harrassing the people who RT’ed the job: