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First, we want say thank you. To anyone who has engaged with our ads on social media, the conversations that have been taking place are what we wanted, but they have far surpassed our expectations. 

It’s funny. The entire point of our ad series is to let workers know that, with the shift in the labor market, workers today have opportunities they didn’t have just a year ago and that they should take advantage of them, whether it’s with Onin or not. Of course we know our opportunities aren’t an upgrade for everyone (Let’s be honest, our specialty is in light industrial and clerical work… if you’re a dentist looking for an upgrade, Onin probably isn’t going to be for you), so we tailored our message to the people in the foodservice, retail, hospitality and customer service industries. And yes, we oversimplified the message to drive home the point, which is: if you’re not happy with your pay at your current job, there’s never been a better time to make your move. 

And so “Stop making minimum wage” was born, with clear direction that if you’re not happy with your current job where you’re underpaid and unappreciated, it’s time to move, and we’d love to talk with you. 

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And we hit a nerve with those four simple words, in more ways than one. 

Over the last 6 months, we’ve had more than 11,000 likes and, more importantly, 2,800 comments. Those conversations those comments sparked have been enlightening, to say the least. And we’ve enjoyed engaging with your comments, good, bad or indifferent. 

There was a lot of discussion about whether or not to hide the negative comments and/or block people. But in the end we decided that, so long as no one got nasty with personal attacks, we wanted even the negative comments to stand because we wanted to have real conversations, even if they were uncomfortable. 

Because if anything, this ad series showed us just how charged emotions are around work, and pay in particular. And those emotions move in all directions. There is clearly hurt, anger and mistrust among the workforce caused by mistreatment at the hands of bad bosses. People have gotten heated around opposing ideas, all based on how they interpreted those four words. Here are a few categories of the most common comments we’ve received, along with the ways we decided to respond to those comments:

Some common themes we’re seeing in comments on these ads:  

  • stop paying minimum wage 
  • you can’t tell me what to do 
  • Staffing sucks 
  • Stop shaming workers 
  • That’s all some people are worth
  • Not all jobs are meant to support a person 
  • Why should you get paid as much as _______ 
  • Minimum wage isn’t doing what it was designed to do 
  • Strive for/achieve more 

“Stop Shaming Workers” 

No, no. Please don’t misunderstand… There’s no shame in making minimum wage, we just don’t think you can justify paying it anymore. When you look at what workers are actually asking for, it’s not unreasonable at all… sure, it’s easier to blame people than it is to actually try to solve a problem. But solving the problem is SO worth the effort.

 “Stop making minimum wage” isn’t an attack on workers. It’s an invitation to something better. 

“Stop Paying Minimum Wage”

We couldn’t agree more. 

Every conversation with every Onin client begins with (a) what it actually costs you to live in your community, (b) what competitors are paying and (c) what they need to pay in order to attract top talent to their jobs. We advocate for our Teammates from the outset.

“Staffing Sucks”

It’s true. The industry has a terrible track record. We’re trying to be different. 

We actually advocate for higher wages with all of our clients. Every conversation with every Onin client begins with (a) what it actually costs you to live in your community, (b) what competitors are paying and (c) what they need to pay in order to attract top talent to their jobs.

Then we offer the best benefits in the industry, designed to provide the tools you need to protect your health, your money and the people and things you care about. 

Like Affordable Healthcare You Can Use

  • Zero Deductible
  • $5 Copay on Dr. Visits
  • $5 Prescriptions
  • Vision & Dental Coverage included
  • Free Telemedicine and Telecounseling
  • Cost: $17.82 per paycheck
  • Scholarship and training opportunities
  • A 401(k) with a 3% company match (even for part-time workers)
  • Access to free and discount legal services.

 

“Not All Jobs Are Meant To Support A Person “

Sure. And not all companies deserve to stay in business. You can’t champion the Free Market when it works for you and then complain when market forces shift in the employee’s favor. You adapt. Or you don’t, and watch someone else take all your employees. 

 

“That’s All Some People Are Worth”

😢

-OR-

 

That hasn’t been our experience. Turns out when you pay people fairly for the work done, treat them like actual human beings, and provide them real benefits they can actually afford to use, they (surprise) show up for work, have great attitudes and feel like they are actually contributing to something. 

 

“There Are No Jobs”

In more areas than not, the labor market has undergone a massive shift. With 11.5 million open jobs in the U.S. and only 5.6 million unemployed people looking for work, even if we employed them all today, there would be nearly 6 million open jobs. There are more jobs than people to fill them, which means the workers have the leverage. 

In more places than not, jobs that were out of reach just a year ago present real opportunities today. We just think everyone should seize those opportunities where they can, whether they’re with us or not. 

“You Can’t Tell Me What To Do” 

No, we can’t. 

You have choices

You have the leverage

You’re in control

How many other employers are willing to admit that?

Everyone wants you to work for them. We want you to WANT to work for us. 

We need you more than you need us, and we both know it.

 

“Strive For/Achieve More”

We believe workers should strive for more. We also believe that every worker deserves access to the tools that can help them create the solid foundation they need to start building the life they want. 

 

As you can see, there has been a widely varied and deeply emotional reaction to this ad series. And it would have been all to easy to simply hide, delete or block some of these conversations. But we think that’s one of the big problems many employers have. They want to sweep the pain and the anger and the sadness under the rug, ignoring the remifications of they way they’ve been treating their people– or rather, their Human Resources. 

 

Here’s the thing: workers deserve to be heard. They deserve to have their concerns understood and their pain acknowledged… and taken seriously. 

 

So, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond to our ads and engage with us around the ideas found there. We look forward to more interesting and enlightening conversations to come!