These executive compensation figures apparently do not include health insurance or housing allowances. With all benefits included, these seem to be very hefty compensation packages. The Board believes these levels are necessary to attract “top talent.” An alternative HR process might (1) compare Esalen top earners’ total compensation and benefits package with that of other similarly-sized non-profits and/or hospitality services. With this knowledge, we could then (2) advertise positions with a salary range that tops out somewhere slightly below standard levels, and see who bites. If the positions are intrinsically attractive, qualified candidates might bid the compensation cost down.
The executive team may claim they have already more or less used this approach, but it is highly questionable whether there has been enough transparency for those outside the cabal to verify the effectiveness of Esalen’s hiring practices.
[The placement of Tricia McEntee in the CEO role without conducting a public talent search, or even interviewing qualified candidates put forward by the community, exemplifies administration's preference for opaque hiring practices and favoritism. —Ed.]