(As published in the Sunday Star Times, December 7, 2014)
It’s amazing how many employers I talk to think that shelling out a huge pay packet is what will keep their best talent in the business. Sure, some will find it hard to say no to a lucrative salary. But for most, money is not the biggest motivator – and it’s no guarantee that it will keep them in your business or keep them engaged in your business.
I got the inside tips on how to recruit the best staff from one of my clients, Mark Fisher from Eighty4 Recruitment (they specialise in recruiting for the engineering and construction industry), for today’s article.
When the economy is thriving, the competition to secure staff becomes challenging, time-consuming and, at times, desperate. Many companies pay well over the odds for average performers, simply to get bums on seats. While this can work short term, you have to ask yourself: are you attracting the right people into your business for long-term success? And how will you cope with these high salaries when the market tightens? The biggest question would be: are your new hires pulling in the same direction and completely committed to your vision, or are they with you simply because you pay well?
Here’s the real danger in using money to attract the best candidates: in one year’s time, they’re offered an extra $2000 elsewhere. If someone is primarily motivated by money, do you think they’ll be loyal to you and stay? No. These are the people whose CVs show they’ve had three jobs in the past four years.
When Mark asks candidates he’s headhunting what would get them to move jobs (location, opportunity or money), 90% tell him they’re looking for more opportunity and job satisfaction.
Opportunity is often sold to a candidate in the interview process – companies often talk about future growth plans, promotion after three months, pay rises… But the issue is that most of these promises aren’t delivered on. It’s no wonder candidates become wary of this being a genuine selling point of a position. You need to go beyond this.
Improve their job satisfaction by making them more accountable, pushing them outside their comfort zone and teaching them genuinely new skills. Mark says to give them new challenges – let them work on larger or more complex projects or challenges; learn new systems and software; learn new ways of working or develop their management/leadership skills. For real job satisfaction, be thoughtful about aligning the individual to a role that excites them. Ask candidates what they love doing – and then give them more of those duties and responsibilities.
Recently Mark met a candidate who had been offered two different roles. The first role offered a $7000 higher salary and a review in 12 months, but no performance bonus or mention of any further training or career path. The second role had a less attractive salary, but the employer demonstrated a career path to reach management level within 3 years, giving tangible examples of other individuals moving forward in the business. They also offered a course to learn their software system, a performance-related bonus and flexible working hours, plus they’d just moved into a brand new office with outstanding facilities.
The candidate took the latter role. Although an extra $583/month would have been nice, they knew that with management experience their value in the market would far exceed the initial $7000 difference in salary. They were excited about working in a brand new office, their bonus would be about $5000, and the flexible working hours meant more time with the family. #Winning!
While you should pay good candidates market rate or just above, remember that money is not the be-all and end-all for most people. Instead, sharing your vision, direction and unique selling points will secure the best candidates for your business. If the candidate doesn’t buy into you and your business then they’re not the right fit.