By Alex FraderaThe tech industry is in the midst of a crisis.
With an epidemic sweeping through the United States, a shortage of qualified staff and an inability to quickly get to the bottom of the problem, tech companies are facing an enormous challenge.
With the potential for massive disruption and financial losses, the companies are scrambling to find new ways to pay the people they employ.
As tech companies scramble to pay staffs and find other ways to support their employees, one of the most pressing questions facing the tech industry will be: How can we pay our staffs adequately and effectively?
This story was produced by Fortune’s Money Matters team.
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For now, the answer is: It’s difficult to know how.
Many of the companies that have made big investments in the tech sector have never paid their employees in full, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The numbers are staggering.
Of the $1.2 trillion in revenue that companies generate in the United Kingdom and Europe each year, about half comes from employees who earn wages above the minimum wage.
In the United STATES, about 15 percent of that revenue comes from employee wages, but only about 2 percent is due to overtime.
The rest comes from profit, stock options, deferred compensation and other forms of compensation.
A recent report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that the average hourly wage for a tech worker in the U.S. is $11.75, or $23.11 for full-time employees.
The average hourly wages for those in Europe are about $14.30, or more than $33.60.
A lack of paid leaveThe shortage of staff, in turn, has had ripple effects.
Companies that employ fewer than 5,000 people are often left with less than $100,000 in cash, according the NAHB report.
These companies are forced to find other employment, including some that offer less than full-timers.
In some cases, they might have to close or shutter operations because they can’t find workers who can take their place.
For others, they’re forced to lay off employees, and for others, there’s even a risk that employees will be fired and replaced by cheaper and more flexible employees who will do the same job.
While companies like Apple and Facebook have a long history of paying their staff members in full and providing benefits, other tech giants have faced similar challenges.
For example, when Google hired former Google execs last year, it didn’t pay them overtime.
Instead, it used a software program called “hiring cycles” that allows companies to set an arbitrary time frame to determine when they must pay their employees.
The system has been in place for years and has helped to keep Google at the top of the global tech rankings.
But in recent months, Google has begun using it to pay part-time staff as part of its effort to fill up its hiring cycle.
In an interview with Business Insider, Google senior vice president of human resources, Jason Calacanis, said the company was using hiring cycles to increase its overall payroll.
Calacanis said Google has been hiring part-timer employees to fill part-year vacancies for the past three months, in addition to hiring full-year employees.
But the company still needs to find more employees to cover those positions, he said.
“We’re finding that we can get a lot of part- time work, and a lot fewer full- time workers, but we can’t get as many full- and part-times,” he said in an interview.
“So we’re seeing a lot more full-term hires, and we’re doing that at a slower rate than we normally do.”
Google’s hiring cycle is one example of how it’s challenging to manage the rapid changes in the work force as the epidemic sweeps through the country.
The company says it’s also finding that many of its hires are underpaid because they are overqualified.
While there is some evidence that part- and full-timer employees can earn more than their full- or part-timer counterparts, the average wage for the part- or full-times that Google hires is $17.74, compared with $27.23 for full and part timers, according a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“You’re not hiring more of them because you think they’re more talented,” said James McQuillan, a senior vice-president with the non-profit group Employment Policy Institute.
“You’re hiring them because they’ve already been trained.
They’re getting a lot out of the program.
They know how to handle it.”
A recent PricewaterHouseCoopers report shows that some of the tech companies that employ the most part-Timers in the country have a higher average salary than their peers, with companies like Uber and Airbnb paying more than those