How easy is it to truly review a salary in our sector?

Published on: 30 May 2013

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How easy is it to truly review a salary in our sector?

A lot of clients ask if we can help them benchmark on salaries but in today’s market is it actually viable to do so, as so many companies are operating at completely different ends of the salary scale.

The sector is still very much a candidate short market and unless you are proactive, as a recruiter or HR Manager, to source the more dormant job seekers it can feel like you are continually searching and looking at the same irrelevant applicants.  A number of businesses have lost some very strong individuals to competitors and in a desperate attempt to keep them, have offered higher salaries but during the last few years I have started to see a common trend of businesses paying higher salaries to members of staff that aren’t so effective in their team, just to avoid the competition gaining any inside information. This is dangerous and not cost effective in the long run.

There is an argument that if a member of staff is looking for a new role seriously enough to have attended several interviews and got to the point of offer do you actually want them within your team anyway??

We are now seeing a massive increase in salary demands from candidates and businesses are not able to provide the budget to pay the increases when recruiting. The effects of this can mean a much longer recruitment process and can also result in businesses becoming desperate and making wrong decisions when recruiting.  A lot of the time salaries are not reflective of the job role the individual actually does and ironically it tends to be the more senior individuals who are affected the most. They are taking on more and more responsibility due to the staff shortages and although then saving costs within their business they are then not rewarded for the extra work they are doing.

The two main motivators for candidates are progression and salary and let’s face it usually with progression comes extra salary so we can probably bring it down to just the one motivator. If you were phoned by a head-hunter offering you a substantial increase on your salary to move to a competitor I don’t know many people loyal enough to their existing employer to not at least ask to hear more information. Would you be willing to lose your best Commercial Manager or Technical Manager tomorrow? Could you afford to lose them? Would your customer be happy about losing them? If the answer is no then I suggest you re- evaluate things – talk to your staff, manage expectation, reward them for their hard work and don’t over promise. Your staff should be treated in the same way you would expect them to treat your best customer. They are your ambassadors!!

“If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”