When it comes to negotiating salaries, we need to find a happy medium between our clients and candidates. Understandably, clients want to recruit the best talent they can with their budget, and candidates are right to expect a salary that matches their skills, knowledge and qualities whilst keeping market averages in mind.
Supply chain recruitment is much the same as other sectors – our main aim is to provide high quality candidates that have the skills and experience required for the role whilst being a cultural fit, this ensures we keep fall out rates to a minimum, something that’s important to both parties. But we also want to get the best package possible for our candidates.
Fortunately, every business wants the best candidates, and every candidate wants to work for the best employers, so neither side is completely resistant to negotiation.
Read on as we explore how we manage the balancing act described above.
The salary landscape
According to the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 report, salaries have increased by an average of 1.8% over the last year. However, figures suggest that isn’t keeping some employees content, with 57% of individuals questioned still dissatisfied with their salaries.
The picture is much the same for the procurement and supply chain sector. An average salary increase of 2.1% is met by 56% of employees who are not satisfied with their current salary. Clearly, there’s a lingering gap between employee expectations and what employers want to pay.
Failure to bridge this gap can have a negative impact on both employee morale and staff retention rates, hitting productivity as a result. With 95% of employers questioned by Hayes expecting their organisation’s activity levels to stay the same or rise, it’s essential that these businesses continue to attract and retain the skills needed to deal with that demand
Working on the salary gap
Salary negotiations can be nerve-wracking for both our candidates and our recruitment consultants. We pride ourselves on being able to support each candidate through their recruitment process, coaching them through each interview and taking time to better understanding their career aspirations – it’s also our job to negotiate the best salary possible for them. Research shows that most managers tend to leave some room for negotiation in their offer, and many believe that the process of negotiation improves relationship building from the outset.
In our experience, we have found that some organisations have very specific hiring policies, set titles or salary bands which limit how open they are to negotiation. However, we will always ensure that our candidates are in the best position possible, by making sure we are aware of the following factors:
Knowing the competition is key when negotiating salary. We ensure we’re fully aware of how many candidates are in the running for a role, how many get second interviews and even where our candidate sits in pecking order as the process continues – this keeps our candidates motivated whilst managing their expectations at the same time. By gaining a good understanding of the entire playing field, we can better understand the negotiation process, this gives us a platformto sell our candidates as assets rather than expenses.
2. Market research
Our recruitment consultants are experts in their field, and strive to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry. This intelligence provides us with an understanding of jobs being advertised, any areas facing a shortage of high calibre candidates and updates on any shifting trends in salaries. We make sure we are aware of the average salaries of each role – and how this changes from location to location – so we can advise our clients on what they need to pay to get the best candidate for the job, and candidates on the skills they need to improve in order to earn the salary they desire and to manage their expectations.
3. Staying objective
Objectivity is one of the most important qualities of a good recruiter. By ensuring a realistic view of the market, we can give an honest opinion to both candidates and clients. By adequately defining the requirements of the role, and ensuring an open and transparent process, client and candidate remain happy and a realistic offer can be made to suit both parties.
4. Look at the whole package
We always aim to gain a full picture from the get go when it comes to salary expectations, to prevent any miscommunication along the way. To ensure we understand the future aspirations of our candidates, we delve into all package expectations, including benefits, that they may expect to receive from their next role. We know that when an employee appreciates the perks of their work, salary can sometimes become less of a deal breaker.
With two parties wanting the best outcome, sometimes negotiations take time, so it is important for us to remain persistent in reaching an end-game that both parties are happy with. Preparation and perseverance are the keys to success, and by taking time to ensure that our clients are fully aware of the expected salary and extensive candidate experience, and our candidates are aware of the most a client will pay (wherever we can), we try to reduce lengthy negotiations at the end of the process.
Helping both sides succeed
In most cases, there will be barriers to negotiation, but a well-informed recruiter can always work around these to get the best for their candidate and leave a client happy with their new recruit and agreed investment. As part of Bis Henderson’s recruitment process, we can complete market research exercises to aid our clients’ understanding of the current market, what skills are available and the salary averages in their area. This also helps us support our candidates to understanding their worth and pushing their career in the right direction.
If you would like to talk more about our award-winning search and selection services, please contact us today.