If you are not clear about what you will pay, or what you want to be paid, here is a risk of wasting everybody’s time, writes Pri Chauhan
In the automotive aftermarket, the majority of declined job offers are a result of something salary-related.
Of course, there can be other factors that force a candidate to decline an offer; job title, location, benefits package or so much more. In the automotive industry in particular, the choice of company car is so emotive that I have witnessed candidates turn down great jobs on the basis of the brand of car, which isn’t very sensible. The way that some people react, you might think that only four German brands are able to build a car!
However, it has been my experience that salary is the number one reason. As salary plays such a major role in a successful hire, it is important that both the candidate and employer are on the same page about it. If there is a significant gap between the two sides, chances are the offer process will be bumpier than the ride on the run-flat tyres on your shiny new German marque.
Unfortunately, most conversations surrounding salary are viewed as difficult and therefore uncomfortable. As a society we have established that talking about salary feels as taboo as openly discussing politics or religion. As a recruiter, it is important to separate what it’s like to have a discussion at the dinner table with a friend versus gathering information that leads to a successful appointment. The sooner you take away the stigma that goes with ‘what do you make?’, the sooner you will be able to have an effective conversation and understand where everyone stands on the matter.
Salary information is so crucial to a successful hire; the conversation needs to be had sooner rather than later. A candidate does not want to go through several rounds of interviews taking multiple days off of work and spending hours preparing for tough questions, only to find out the business cannot afford to hire them.
Likewise, recruiters don’t want to spend time prepping and facilitating candidates to interview only to find out the person they are representing has outlandish, unobtainable expectations. The same can be said for hiring managers; no party wants their time wasted for no reason.
For recruiters, it is important to be on top of this, the whole way through the process. Keeping all this in mind, I like to have the salary conversation with my candidates immediately. That means on the first call. I always ensure the candidate that I am NOT trying to lock them down on a salary amount, rather that I would like to know what it would take for them to accept a new role.
It’s important the candidate knows that having this conversation is actually in their very best interests. I always do my best to relay this to the individual. Also, remind them that private health care, holiday allowance and other package factors will impact this number too, so it’s not the be-all and end-all right then and there.
I like to prompt the subject by asking: “in order for me to get you the best offer, what would you be looking for in total first year earnings?” It allows the candidate to realise that I am going to work for them to get the best offer I can.
There is no point encouraging a candidate through the interview process that is too much of a reach for them, or not going to fulfill their monetary goals. If their expectations are unrealistic, it’s better to confront the situation head on at the start. Likewise, if our client can’t pay them what they want and deserve, we like them to be upfront about it. Asking them what an unbelievable, excellent, good, okay, unsatisfactory and outright terrible offer would be is also a good way to understand their priorities, appreciate how important salary is to them and recognise how much selling you’ll have to do come offer stage, depending on the amount.
As soon as you realise that you are asking this information for the benefit of the candidate, salary talks no longer becomes an awkward or difficult conversation. It is important to gather all of the information that will impact the acceptance of an offer ahead of time so there are no surprises throughout the process.
Enough can go wrong in the recruiting process, so the more you can limit issues, the easier it will be to hire successfully!