Pay rates | “I'll see your five and raise you ten” - the salary battle for talent

“I'll see your five and raise you ten” - the salary battle for talent

The talent market is tight so becoming an employer of choice is ‘so hot right now’.

How can you become an employer of choice and eradicate the need to go into a salary battle for a candidate or retain your best staff?

In this insight, we look at rising salaries as candidates are often receiving multiple offers at once, the pay ceiling and how some sectors can’t compete in this way. We also look at how the flexibility of conditions can be a big win over salary alone.

A recurring theme

A survey Reed shared in May 2021 saw several sectors increase average salary vs the previous year. For example, Hospitality & Catering and Social Care both saw an increase in salaries from 2020 to 2021 and this year, the jump in salaries is even greater.

When pay rates skyrocket, it is far from a simple solution to offer a candidate more to take the role. Why? Because a salary structure should be aligned across the board, just as gender and ethnicity pay should be and not offered to individuals in a time of desperation. What you don’t want is a widening pay gap between the existing workforce and a new candidate you are trying to win over.

Salary structures should be explainable and structured and relative to the role and market rates, including how this reflects against other colleagues in that or a similar role. Can the company deliver if bringing existing employee salaries in line?

Balancing salary and other benefits

Deciding on what salary is right to be attractive can be balanced with other benefits. Of course, many are motivated by salary, but other benefits are often highly regarded. Here are some alternatives to a purely monetary incentive to help secure and retain talent:

1. Know your EVP and regularly communicate it. Does it flow through all communications and reflect the culture of the organisation. Company culture is a big attractor for the Gen Z candidate who wants to know what they are signing up to be part of.

2. Do you have clear learning & development opportunities aligned to ambitions and company strategy? Development paths will help retain existing people and develop them in a beneficial way to all.

3. What flexibility can you offer? Whether working hours and location, autonomy given in a role, even the tech you have in place, flexibility is a huge driver for candidates. It is quite achievable to put an approach in place that positively impacts working lives and is practical to meet the business need.

4. Benefits package – What can you offer as additional benefits such as healthcare, life assurance and wellness support? Fostering employee wellbeing makes sense from an employee and organisational point of view.

Salary benchmarking is an excellent place to start to understand the market and remain competitive. By understanding your offering as a whole will go a long way to getting the candidates you need in a measured way. Sell the long-term benefits rather than just the immediate reward.

Understand recruitment for your sector – free report

To help you on your way, the Candidate Attraction Report 2021/22 reports back on challenges, trends and behaviours across the recruitment landscape, with the primary aim to identify the effectiveness of candidate sourcing channels. In addition, the report serves as groundwork for recruiters to benchmark themselves across the industry and presents data by industry and company size.

You can pre-order your copy of the report here and be ready to align your recruitment strategy for the best success.

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