Competitive Pay and Flexibility
A Q&A with Nationwide’s Vinita Clements
With unemployment levels at historic lows and competition for world-class talent at a peak, companies large and small are pulling out all the stops to fill open roles.
Recently, Nationwide announced that it was raising its minimum wage to $21 for entry-level roles, effective in April 2022. The move makes the company one of the leading employers in the United States regarding compensation and benefits.
As of March 1, the company has more than 1,200 open roles across the country, most of which are eligible for remote work. Roles include early-career technology, underwriting, claims, call center and finance roles.
Nationwide’s Chief of Human Resources, Vinita Clements, recently sat down to discuss the reasons behind Nationwide’s move to $21 an hour, workplace flexibility and unique ways the company is recruiting top talent.
What follows is a transcription of that interview.
Nationwide has been a leader on competitive wages for many years. Can you talk about the company’s recent move to $21 an hour for entry-level roles?
Clements: People are always our top priority, and we continue to invest in competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits. It's vital to our strategy to attract and retain top talent. We've always been ahead of the market in terms of minimum wage, especially the last several years. Back in 2016, we raised our minimum pay to $15 an hour. Then we moved to $16 an hour. In 2021, we moved to $18 an hour and certainly with the announcement our record-breaking 2021 earnings, it made total sense for Nationwide to make an investment in our people. So, we are now raising our minimum wage to $21 an hour effective April 4th, 2022.
As the company raises the floor for minimum pay, can you talk about competitiveness for pay at higher levels in the company
Clements: I would say Nationwide is very competitive in our compensation packages and as we raise the floor for minimum wage, we're very competitive in our salary offers for higher level positions such as our technology executives. We also have competitive wages for underwriting, claims and so forth. So, in raising the floor, we actually look at all of our jobs continually as we look at trends, how the market is changing, and we adjust as necessary. Offering competitive pay has been a longstanding commitment for Nationwide.
Flexibility is also important to recruit. Can you talk about Nationwide’s commitment to flexibility?
Clements: People want to be able to create a work life balance specific for them and Nationwide has been very innovative. We are certainly market-leading in terms of our flexible work models so associates have the opportunity to determine “Do I want to work one day in the office? Two days in the office? 3 days?” We have really leaned into flexibility because we know it's important to look at the entire associate experience and not just their work experience. Allowing associates to choose what is best for them gives a better overall life experience versus just the work experience.
Finally, can you talk about “out of the box” ways Nationwide is finding success in recruiting top talent?
Clements: We’ve found new innovative creative ways to recruit. We've done something recently with a LinkedIn Live where we take our Chief Technology Officer for example some of our C-Suite members to actually go on live and talk to recruits about openings. In doing that, people have a better sense of our culture. Certainly, pay gets them in the door. But then when they come and they understand our culture and experience all of the array of benefits that we offer, it makes us an employer of choice.