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Is Your Potential Hire Worth The Cost?

Is Your Potential Hire Worth The Cost?

By Leanne Bull


In today’s job market, compensation remains one of the most top-of-mind factors for any new employee brought on board.

Hiring managers may spend weeks – or longer – narrowing down a pool of applicants to a shortlist before selecting a frontrunner. But if the company isn’t able to match salary expectations, then that time might be for naught, as the ideal hire may pursue an offer elsewhere that can deliver their desired compensation.

On the other hand, as much as it’s important to land on a compensation package that is appealing to the potential hire, employers must also evaluate whether the candidate’s experience and skillset align with their requested salary, and if adding them to the team will ultimately help to achieve business objectives.  

Here are some considerations to keep in mind that can help to ensure companies are adopting a win-win strategy that will not only benefit their company, but that will keep their new hires motivated and confident that they made the right choice to join the team.


Staying up-to-date on industry expectations


Before embarking on a salary negotiation, and ideally before a job posting is made public, an organization should have a clear idea of what level of compensation might be available. While companies may look to similar internal roles to establish a framework to determine compensation, hiring managers should always keep up with shifting industry standards and what competitors are offering. This may seem obvious, but it can be easy for an organization to slip into complacency and fall behind. Having this background is essential to help determine the potential value of a candidate.


Evaluating worth in the modern workplace


Your company should look at a variety of factors in order to determine an appropriate pay level. To help determine compensation, think about evaluating each candidate’s specific mix of skills and experience – but rather than focusing solely on traditional factors, such as qualifications, seniority, and education, consider what each candidate offers in the context of the modern workplace.


You might want to ask the following questions:


  • To what degree is the candidate a specialist or a generalist? How does this align with the objectives for the role, and your company overall? Many organizations have experienced a shift in resources and push for efficiency – and as a result, may derive more value from a generalist who can wear many hats and can shepherd a variety of projects and initiatives to completion. If the need is for a specialist with particular skills, the compensation should be appropriate to the level of specialization, particularly involving technical skills that are less common.


  • Does the candidate bring a mix of skills that will remain relevant in the long-term? Or, are they well on their way to building those skills? This is important to consider in response to the artificial intelligence transformation that is on its way. Organizations should be taking steps to prepare their workforces for this transformation and as part of that process, should be enabling skills diversification. So if the frontrunner for the role brings a skillset that you can envision being valuable for the long haul, ensure your compensation offer is competitive.


  • Does the candidate demonstrate a high degree of emotional intelligence? This is particularly important if you’re hiring for a managerial or executive position, but this is a quality that can determine if a candidate at any level has the capacity to complement your team. Emotionally intelligent people are able to effectively manage their emotions in both good and bad times and are empathetic, honest and open. These traits can enable productivity and be a guiding force for others. However, it can be tricky to gauge emotional intelligence in a formal interview setting, so if possible, pursue a lunch or coffee meeting as part of the interview process.


  • Does the candidate express a commitment to ongoing learning and development? In order to remain competitive, continuous improvement should remain top-of-mind for any company. This is something to which each employee can contribute, and while your organization can implement formal programs, you can also benefit from a clear employee commitment to professional development.


Considering the candidate experience


If your job posting didn’t specify a salary range, don’t assume the candidate hasn’t done their research. Many candidates have consulted their networks or online resources and may be able to pinpoint if they’re receiving a lowball offer. If they are pressured into accepting an offer they feel isn’t reflective of their worth, this can lead to an unmotivated, unhappy employee that is unlikely to stick around.

If the position for which you’re looking to hire has a strictly-defined salary range, and you aren’t listing it in your job posting, you might want to be up front about this during the application process, or at the very least, in the interview stage. Disclosing potential compensation earlier can lead to a more respectful interaction and positive candidate experience.


Knowing when to move on


As the workplace continues to evolve, companies must not only modernize how they recruit, but should think about different approaches to consider when evaluating a candidate’s worth and determining an offer that is both appropriate and competitive.

Ultimately, if a candidate has indicated a rigid compensation expectation and efforts to find a solution don’t pull through, or if it becomes clear that the candidate’s skillset doesn’t align with the salary they’re asking for, it may be time to focus your efforts on another strong candidate that is amenable to what you can offer.


For more recruitment tips, or for the latest hiring trends, visit hiring.monster.ca.