A guide for Employers – Employee Salaries – Are you paying the right amount?

moneyIf you are a growing small business and are choosing to move forward with new employees, what should you pay them?

The general rule of thumb is to pay a salary based on experience, location and the available talent pool. But how do you bring all these factors together and come up with a number that potential candidates will find attractive (and you can afford)?

Here are some useful tips for helping find a solid pay range to advertise your job and attract strong candidate pools.

Have a clear job description
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s going to be really hard to find it. In particular, when you’re looking at pricing a job there is often a wide range of jobs that have the same title. So you need to be really specific about the range of duties and responsibilities of the job.
The problem for many small businesses, is that they are often piecing together jobs based on the work that needs to be done in the organisation, which means that these job descriptions are often for jobs that don’t exist in the real world – which makes it hard to figure out what that job is worth. Try to build a job description that aligns as closely as possible with what other organisations advertise (search online for job description templates). This will make it easier to price the job.
A recruitment consultant can support you with producing a job description.

Search the market – What is the industry paying for that job?
Do an online search for the job you’re looking to create to try and assess how the market is pricing that job. What you are looking for are local guides or salary surveys that can help you better understand the market for this job in your area.
Next, search trade magazines or sites potential candidates might visit. These often publish their own salary surveys.
Ask others – talk to other business owners what they pay for jobs like the one you’re trying to hire for.
Talk to an experienced Recruitment Consultant who will have direct knowledge of salaries in the market for relevant jobs.

Check the salary against cost of living
You can use online tools to ascertain the right salary levels for locations. Check that the comparable job descriptions and salaries are also right for the location. This will further narrow the salary range that you had earlier.

Advertise the job with a salary range
Try not to advertise a fixed salary for the job, open it up to a range and detail that this is ‘dependent on experience’. This will then open it up to a wider range of applicants. You could then consider if you would be able to pay the higher amount for the applicant with greater skill or experience. If this is not as important, then you can consider the lesser skilled applicants at the lower end of the advertised salary.
The key is to remember that having a salary range gives you the flexibility to bring in a solid pool of talent; then assess individually where they are against the market.