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Show me the money: paying staff what they’re worth

Written by Kimberley Startup | September 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

‘Good people need to be paid market value now’: this is the latest announcement from serial entrepreneur and webrecruit Chairman, James Caan, who is calling employers to pay their top staff their worth.

It would seem that in the interest of keeping ahead of the competition in terms of what employees are looking for today, it may be useful to look back at what may well be the oldest employee motivator – money.

It’s a mistake to think that if the markets are difficult then your top people will stay with you. Whilst pay is expected, needed and required, talented people need premium pay.

We are currently in the tightest economic market; the competition among companies for high performing workers has never been more intense. Organisations are raiding each other for talented employees; recruiters are fighting to fill positions. And a key component in the battle for workforce retention is the ability to attract and keep top talent by paying them competitively.

Setting salaries for staff is always a tricky thing to do. When it comes to the exact amounts you should pay: you never want to pay more than the job is worth to you. That’s just good business. The best way to determine this is to ask yourself: how much more valuable will this person make my company?

When paying your top talent, their expectations will be based on their past experiences and awareness of market rates. If you really want them working for you, you’ll have to be flexible.

Use salary checkers such as the following:

…to discover market rates by position and geography. These set candidates’ expectations and are useful in finding what’s high, low and average for your county and town.

Finally, realise you have the flexibility to expand your thinking beyond money. You may be able to offer a non financial reward that draws people in such as flexible hours, more time off or training and professional development.

Here’s a quick summary to help you determine a premium salary to get top people:

1. Set your upper salary limit by what a particular job is worth to you
2. Know the market to determine the least you’ll pay
3. Sometimes you can complement salaries with incentives or services

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