As a rookie recruiter back in my early years, I recall interviewing a guy for an interesting role in a high profile company that was undergoing expansion. Through all of our eyes (client, myself and the candidate) it offered growth, recognition and most importantly the culture he was looking for. He was excited, was offered $150k for the role which was fair for what it was, and accepted it. 2 weeks prior to starting he pulled out – the company he was working for and really hated, offered him an extra $50,000 and promised a new office locally, which he took.
What’s More Important – The Opportunity or The Starting Salary?
An extra $50,000 per year is nothing to sneeze at for most people – I don’t blame the guy for taking it – family came first for him and he had to do what’s right at the time. The problem was, when I followed him up not too long after, he was working away in a new company – he had left anyway. When I met up with him he had worked up a smile saying that he was happy in the new role and that the other guys hadn’t really come through for him – he got the extra money (7 months’ worth), the office had been delayed, but in the end, he was still working with the same people. On the other hand, the person we placed in our role was kicking goals and she really enjoyed the team and the interesting projects she was working on. One took the opportunity and the other took the money and left anyway.
It’s the burning question that an employer would love to know about the candidate in front of them. Are they in front of me because it’s a great opportunity or are they just after the money? A large number of candidates just apply for a job which is fine – as a recruiter we often hear things like “It was just an admin job. I’ve applied for heaps – which one’s this again?”
Some people desperately need the work, others apply for the role as it may improve their financial situation and some are just focused on escaping the madhouse that is their current job. Then there are others who look at the role on offer, see that it aligns with what they are looking for and actually research the company to see if it has the possibility of offering a career and learning new skills – they have a longer term, bigger picture strategy. I had a candidate that I placed as a CEO recently that took close to a $100k pay cut as the opportunity and huge expansion of their network was too good to refuse. When they finish their tenure, they will be well known in their region and have a heap of opportunity before them, just as their predecessor has right now.
What do you do?
As a candidate, it is a good idea to work out what’s important – work culture, career growth and the monetary rewards that go with it or just the chance to get more money? It’s a personal thing as we are all at different stages of our wants and needs. You also have to sell that story or vision when you are attending interviews and the best way to sell it is to be convinced yourself.
For yourself as an employer, you have to work out that what you are offering is attractive – is your company attractive, do you have a good work culture, do you pay fairly, do you offer further training or room to grow and also the ability for a person to earn more? How do you package that up to appeal to potential employees in the market? We all have to sell something compelling but it also has to be true so that people take the offer and stay with you. These are things that we focus on to help you attract the right person. When you need the help or would like to have a chat about how we do this, feel free to call us on 1300 558 979.