<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://px.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=5163340&amp;fmt=gif">

Hiring Thought Leadership

Top 5 Considerations for Employee Compensation When Hiring for New Openings

March 8, 2024

At the heart of any successful business lies its employees. When it comes to hiring for new openings, compensation is a pivotal factor that not only attracts top talent but also retains them. But how can you ensure you've hit the sweet spot with your employee compensation package? This blog post, co-authored by IQTalent’s Chief Sourcing Officer and Head of Sales & Growth, Chris Murdock, and Scott Baker, Founder and CEO of Stage 3 Leadership, dives into the top 5 considerations you should be keenly aware of when it comes to pay during your hiring process.

1. Leverage the Best Compensation Data — Your Candidates

When setting employee compensation, you might be inclined to turn to industry benchmark surveys However, IQTalent and Caldwell suggest that the most precise and current data can be obtained directly from the applicants themselves. The compensation expectations they provide during the interview process can be more relevant and accurate than standard survey data for several reasons:

  • Current candidates represent real-time compensation expectations and are specific to your industry, job role, and geographical area. They are not averages or medians that can sometimes skew high or low, but instead, they offer a snapshot of what professionals are currently seeking in their pay packages.
  • The prevailing assumption is that candidates will typically aim for compensation around the 50th percentile unless your firm is known for being a top payer. This is a golden opportunity to leverage their figures to align with the market without overcommitting to high salaries that can bloat your budget for all new hires.

It's important to remember that employees are likely to share information within their networks. If they feel they're underpaid compared to their peers or the market standard, it can lead to disengagement and even prompt them to look elsewhere, eroding the talent base over time.

Are you leveraging your best compensation data - your candidates? Discover why their expectations might be the key to your success in @IQTalent’s newest blog: #TalentAcquisition #PayTransparency

2. Navigate Pay Transparency Laws

In recent years, there has been a significant push toward pay transparency legislation globally. In many jurisdictions, such laws require companies to disclose salary ranges for open positions. Employees in this environment are increasingly informed about the competitive rates for their roles.

But pay transparency isn't just about compliance; it's a strategic move. When your team knows what their peers are earning, it fosters trust and a sense of fairness. It's crucial when hiring to ensure that both the lower and upper ends of the salary range are competitive, such that good talent is not deterred while budget constraints are respected.

3. Sell More Than Just a Salary

Compensation isn't just the base salary. It's crucial to articulate the full compensation package, which includes bonuses, benefits, and a supportive company culture—elements that both IQTalent and Caldwell emphasize in their recruitment strategies. For example, an hourly wage becomes significantly more attractive when coupled with a substantial annual or quarterly bonus structure that breeds a culture of performance and reward. The tangible numbers should be complemented by the intangibles, such as a robust health and wellness program, professional development opportunities, and a work-life balance that reflects a supportive company culture.

Our data suggests that a positive and engaging company culture can lead to a reduction in the compensation expectations of new hires. Employees are often willing to trade a higher salary for the benefits of working in a cohesive and nurturing work environment.

More than just a salary: How can a strong company culture reduce compensation expectations? Explore the “Culture Premium” in @IQTalent’s blog and learn to sell your company's culture, not just the paycheck:

4. The Culture Premium in Compensation

Culture sets the tone for a company's shared values and behaviors, and it significantly influences how employees perceive their compensation. Imagine entering a workplace where employees feel their voices are heard, and their work aligns with the company's vision. In such a positive culture, employees often report higher job satisfaction, leading to them being more engaged and, in turn, more productive.

When hiring, the quality of your company culture can yield dividends, allowing you to attract and retain top talent at competitive compensation rates. Conversely, a less favorable culture might require higher salaries to attract and retain employees who seek additional monetary rewards to offset their less pleasant daily work experiences.

5. Recognize Perceived Value in Benefits

Employee benefits are often a major factor in their overall compensation assessment. These can range from traditional medical insurance plans to less conventional perks such as gym memberships or volunteer time off. It's important to recognize that employees may attribute different values to these benefits than what they actually cost the company.

IQTalent and Caldwell recommend offering benefits that cater to a wide range of employee needs and preferences. This is more than just diversifying the benefits; it's about making a deliberate effort to understand and provide what is truly valued. It calls for regular communication to ensure that the benefits packages evolve with changing employee demographics and preferences.

Ultimately, the aim is to offer a compensation package that not only attracts the right talent but also incentivizes them to give their best. Remember, compensation is never a one-size-fits-all solution. It's an ongoing process of understanding your labor market, evaluating your company's unique position, and making informed, intentional choices to stand out and succeed in hiring and retaining the talent that will drive your business forward.

Employee compensation is a powerful tool in attracting and retaining top-tier talent. By leveraging candidate data, understanding pay transparency laws, selling more than just a salary, recognizing the value of company culture, and offering meaningful benefits, companies can create compelling compensation packages that set them apart from the competition.

Ready to revolutionize your talent acquisition strategy? Partner with IQTalent and Caldwell, the leading on-demand recruiting service. Book a consultation today and unlock the full potential of your recruitment efforts.