You Have to Pay to Play – Are Your Pay Rates High Enough?

5% unemployment?

It may signal a healthier economy, but it also creates intense recruiting pressure. As good people become tougher to source and hire, you have to pay (sometimes a little more than the competition) to play – or you may find yourself unable to build your company’s “dream team.”

How can you be certain you’re paying enough to attract and retain great people? Here are a few tips from PrideStaff:

Think like an “A player.” As you look toward your next round of recruiting or performance reviews, adopt an employee’s or job seeker’s mindset. The best people are confident in their skills, know their worth and have bright employment prospects. Bear these facts in mind as you set pay rates and award raises.

Remember that, while money isn’t everything, it IS important:

  • Including pay in a job posting indicates level of experience you want – and impacts the level of candidates who apply.
  • If you don’t provide compensation details up front (and offer a below-market pay rate later in the recruiting process), you could lose great candidates in whom you’ve invested a lot of time and effort.
  • Paying market rate (or a little higher) shows candidates and employees how much you value them and their work. In the long run, this strategy will help you to attract and retain better talent – and build a stronger employment brand.

Be careful – and comprehensive – when determining the “right” pay rate.

Setting a fair wage can be tricky. On the one hand, you obviously want the best people to work for your organization. On the other hand, your financial resources are limited – and you can’t afford to pay someone more than they’re truly worth to your organization.

To determine the “right” pay level:

  • Use online tools. Use relevant, recent salary calculators and survey data to help you determine acceptable pay ranges.
  • Get specific with your research. Make sure that the salary surveys you use are accurate for your sector and geographical location, as well as the current employment market and time of year. 
  • Conduct your own competitive research. If you’re losing more than 50 percent of your candidates to competitors, they may be paying well above market rate. Do some investigating on your own to find out what other employers are paying for similar positions. 
  • Consider factors like: how much revenue the individual could bring in; how much money the person could save your company; and the “vacancy cost” of the unfilled position (i.e., missed deadlines, delays, lost business, upset customers, stress on existing employees).


Are you paying enough? Get your free compensation analysis from PrideStaff

Losing good candidates to competitors is extremely frustrating, but finding current, specific pay information can be expensive and time consuming. PrideStaff makes it easier! If you need to find the right salary for a specialized position or emerging job title, get your free salary analysis through our compensation portal. Simply contact your local PrideStaff office and they will prepare a salary analysis for your business and open jobs.