We have come a long way from the days when the money you received for doing your job was described as pay.
Even remuneration is out of the window, with 'total reward' - reflecting a holistic approach - now the term of choice.
'Organisations are realising that people have different priorities at different points in their careers,' he says. 'Younger people are more likely to be motivated by salaries and career development opportunities, while older people will be more concerned with family friendly working policies and flexible hours.'
Total reward has also become part of the emerging trend of 'employer branding', where companies fashion an image they hope will appeal to the type of people they want to recruit.
Local government is perceived by the private sector to be way ahead of the game, with flexible working policies and diversity strategies long ingrained in the small print of its employment contracts.
'Whether it's actually true or not is open to debate,' muses Mr Cotton. 'The public sector is also believed to have very good line management.'