What would you technically call a company that, as a strategy, mostly recruits people who will accept low pay?

Background to understand the strategy:
Typically High pay = high skills, but the company wants substandard staff to do the work for a low pay. The company suffers the consequences of low pay = low quality output.

This may happen for different reasons: countries' bad economic policies, local market forces etc. However, one of the main reasons is that management gets enough budget for recruiting high pay staff, but they under-utilize the budget by hiring low salaried workers, manipulate and take all the excess budget for themselves in the form of bonuses.

The company may eventually get low skilled staff and make them do all that is expected of skilled workers by adopting decisive management tactics.

The point is that I am unable to get online Google research material/articles required for a report on effects of such companies. A hint by a colleague to try for "Low paymasters" did not yield any result.

  • I'm familiar with the private equity leveraged buyout where a new management team takes out debt to pay a dividend (thus at least breaking even) and operations eventually cuts headcount or sells off parts of the business (recently, Toys R Us, previously Sears/K-mart, somewhat the career of "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap). I am unaware of the strategy described here as a common strategy. Is there an example or two to reference?
    – user662852
    Jan 30, 2020 at 13:14
  • "Bottom scraper" is a possible pejorative term.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 30, 2020 at 19:23
  • bottom feeders describe the bad companies.
    – Lambie
    Jan 30, 2020 at 19:39

3 Answers 3


That sounds like two bad things in one company policy.

Poor paymaster:
Tightwad employer settling for hands that come cheap.

Hard Taskmaster:
Tries to get the best/ most out of the employee, not necessarily by paying more, but mostly by coersion.

Nick DePaul, … (Michael Bamberger on golf.com, Jan. 5, 2019)

And he was a tightwad — a hard taskmaster, and a poor paymaster.

Paymaster is a term of the armed services. Tightwad is a term of working men of a certain age in Broomall, Pa.

Squeezer Boss:
Deadly combo. Pays less, squeezes max.

10 Different Types Of Bosses And How To Work With Them (freelancer, Sept. 29, 2017)

6. The Squeezer Boss
If you are looking at career growth prospects, these bosses tend to be the best to work with. The squeezer boss knows what each employee is capable of, and they “squeeze” every last ounce of talent from the employee

I myself would choose Squeezer boss in a context like the OP's.


This sounds like wage fraud. It’s surprisingly common.

This article in the Wikipedia is as good a starting place as any https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_theft


It might seem simplistic, but what about "Cheapskate" combined with employer/business/whatever terminology you're using? At least if you're trying to express the idea to others, I think that combination would be instantly recognizable to almost any English-speaking audience, especially if they're working class people.

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