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What part does salary play in your employer and recruiter branding?

As a business, you will have some great people working in your organisation. Some you will have invested time and effort in developing internally and some external hires. Either way, a significant investment of your time and money. You will have had to recruit with a designated budget in mind, often agreed through an internal banding structure or dictated by the role and what it currently pays which is often outdated, particularly if the previous incumbent had not moved for some time.

The salary aspect of an internal move/promotion can be quite straight forward however hiring externally often needs further research to understand the current market and competitor reward schemes that you are up against.

Assuming that you offer competitive pay and a leading benefits packages is a common mistake you may have made based on ‘low staff turnover/recruitment activity. Discussing salaries with your recruitment partners will give you a perspective based on similar hires they have made recently. They will also be able to demonstrate a range of candidates with the skill-set and experience you are seeking who are currently on the market and be able to give you an idea of their salary expectations.

Ask your peers within your network, at breakfast meetings or industry events what they pay for an equivalent level and skill set. We often find that annual salary benchmarking reports by their very nature are not as up to date as they could be. To be seen to pay the best salaries can be a good PR exercise when it comes to retaining and attracting the best talent. Most people will work harder and stay longer within a business if they believe they are being compensated fairly or more than they would be elsewhere if they were to leave. We need to bear in mind wider benefits too, as we often state, salary isn’t enough to keep people in their role.

Perception is down to interpretation, but doing the groundwork and regularly reviewing your pay grades and reward packages internally with HR and then comparing with external reports and through your professional networks will certainly go a long way to helping you achieve market-leading salaries to attract the best talent. In turn, improve your company perception when it comes to pay. Often the small to medium-sized businesses can demonstrate more flexibility with basic salaries as they don’t have to stick rigidly within a certain banding. It is important to factor in the life span of the role and ensure expectations are managed with regards to incremental pay rises. Bringing someone in at the top of the banding can be short-lived and cause retention issues which can have a negative impact on your employer and recruiter brand.

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