Discussing salary – when is the right time?

Discussing salary

When it comes to recruitment, one of the most important things to consider as an employer is how to manage salary expectations.

It is often a balancing act, weighing up what you can afford to pay against market conditions, and the knowledge and skills of each candidate. So how do you know when it’s the right time during the recruitment process to disclose salary? And what should you consider in ensuring you attract the best candidates? Here are our top tips to help get you started.

Determine salary before you actively recruit

Should be certain about the salary range before you go out to market. If you are reviewing a position brief and/or job description, then make remuneration a part of that. If the salary is dependent on skills and experience, make sure you know the lower and upper limit of the salary range and what a candidate must bring to the table to qualify. Understanding what skills and experience will be likely throughout the salary range will enable you to adjust your expectations if needed – especially in the current tight candidate market.

Disclose salary early in the process

There’s nothing worse than getting to the final stage of the recruitment process and making an offer to your ideal candidate only to discover you can’t meet their salary expectations. That’s why it pays to cover this off early in the process, preferably during pre-interview screening in advance of the first interview. Being up front about the remuneration package will help you filter out candidates who want more than you can offer and ensure that neither party is wasting valuable time.

Be transparent

Whether you’re using a recruitment agency or handling recruitment in house, transparency around salary range is a must. Consider including the salary range in your advertising and in your job descriptions. Job seekers want to know what salary a position attracts before they commit to the application process.

Know the market

Whether it’s a newly established position or one that’s about to become vacant, researching current market rates will give you a good idea of what candidates can reasonably expect to be paid. Offering a competitive salary is key to attracting the right candidates so if you’re unsure, it pays to talk to a recruitment agency who will be able to advise on market rates across multiple job types.

Think laterally

If you want to be more competitive with your remuneration, it’s worth thinking laterally. Whilst you may not be able to offer the top salary, there are other ways to sweeten the deal. For example, the pandemic has changed the way we work as well as how and from where, and as more employers embrace remote working and other flexible working arrangements, employees are also weighing up their options. It may be that a potential employee would like to relocate and work remotely. That, in combination with lower living costs, may mean they’re happy to accept a slightly lower salary.

Disclose the whole package

Make sure you consider and disclose the full remuneration package when you’re recruiting. That package may include bonuses, benefits, and perks such as additional holidays and professional membership fees. If you’re offering a salary that’s a little below the market rate, these add-ons could make all the difference to a candidate who may be undecided so remember to include these as part of the package from the outset.

Whilst compensation is still near the top of the list for jobseekers, it pays to remember that it’s not the only thing that counts. An article written by Glassdoor for the Harvard Business Review revealed that across all income levels, the top predictor of workplace satisfaction wasn’t pay. It was “the culture and values of the organisation, followed closely by the quality of senior leadership and the career opportunities at the company.”

To find out how we can help you recruit the best people, talk to one of our recruitment consultants today.

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