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There's a saying that you don't have a business until your staff is making you money, Here we look at pay rates, benefits and expectations.

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62. How much do you expect a sales associate in your store to be able to sell in a normal year?

Up to $200,000
38%
$200,000-$300,000
21%
$300,001-$400,000
13%
$400,001-$500,000
10%
$500,001-$750,000
11%
$750,001-$1 million
6%
Over $1 million
1%

63. What do you think should be the minimum wage?
The Big Survey 2021: Management

Note: Most jewelers are clearly on board with a basic wage that is higher than the federal minimum ($7.25 per hour). Twenty-five states raised their minimum in 2021, led by New York and Oregon, which mandated the highest basic wages of $15.00 and $14.00 (Portland Metro Area). At the other end of the spectrum, the lowest minimum wage rates of $5.15 are paid in Georgia and Wyoming (although most employers are still subject to that federal minimum of $7.25 per hour).

65. None of us are truly rational thinkers. What bias or logical fallacy most often trips you up as a business owner/manager?

The Big Survey 2021: Management

66. How many of your staff do you think would leave for a 15 percent pay increase from another store?

None
54%
One or a few
34%
About half
7%
Most
4%
All
1%
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67.How do you pay your sales staff?

Hourly
37%
Salary
16%
Hourly plus commission
35%
Salary plus commission
10%
100% commission
1%

68. On average, what percentage of the total on your sales associates’ W-2 is commissions or bonus?

0%
26%
1-10%
35%
11-20%
17%
21-30%
9%
31-40%
6%
41-50%
4%
More than 50%
4%
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69. Salaries by State

The Big Survey 2021: Management

70. Salaries By Region

The Big Survey 2021: Management

71. Check off the benefits you provide to staff:

The Big Survey 2021: Management

72. Salaries by Market Type

The Big Survey 2021: Management

73. If you’ve ever asked a job candidate to tell you their biggest weakness, what was the most surprising answer?

Our jewelers provided scores of great examples of unguarded comments. Among the best:

  • “I need multiple smoke breaks.”
  • “I’m not good with people.”
  • “I don’t like jewelry. It’s a waste of money.”
  • “Talking on the phone.”
  • “Getting up on time.”
  • “I’m late to everything.”
  • “Mental health.”
  • “I lose stuff.”
  • “I’m lazy.”
  • “I don’t really like to work.”
  • “Alcoholism.”
  • My last interview ended with them telling me they were a child-sex crime felon. I haven’t interviewed anyone since.
  • I have never asked that. I ask, “If you could be a tree, what would you be?”

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