Recruitment can be a tricky process for any business - and trying to decide what salary bracket should be offered can make the process even more delicate.
I have helped many small business owners recruit new staff and in my experience, when they have used identical job descriptions but only altered the salary bracket, they usually receive more applications (of equal quality) for the job with a LOWER salary.
This is because many job seekers have developed a sense of low self-worth.
Some employers have become skilled at crushing the self-esteem of their employees, and many have not been rewarding their staff with the pay grade they deserve.
When they see a job with a similar pay bracket to what they had, they believe they can get the job. When they see a higher bracket, they instinctively shy away, afraid they are not good enough for the position.
These candidates have come to believe they are ugly ducklings. In truth, they need to rise up and realise that they are, in fact, swans.
So how do you, as an employer, scoop up these ugly ducklings and collect a team of powerful, confident swans?
Step 1: Lower your asking salary in a second job ad
Post two job ads – identical in every way except that one is in the lower salary bracket, the other in the higher bracket.
This way you end up collecting candidates in both camps.
Step 2: Compare your swans
Compare the good candidates from both job ads.
Conduct your interviews, choose the ones who could be right, and then make sure you test them and find out who among them is truly the swan you require.
Step 3: Awaken the swan with appropriate pay
Now here is the absolutely critical part; your ugly duckling has applied for a lower salary – so you could technically pay them that.
But if you want your ugly duckling to realise its swan nature, then you need to increase their pay. Once you’re confident that this is the person for the job – they have proven their worth and expertise – it’s time to value them at what they are worth.
Raise your swan's pay to more than the market offering, then money will never be a reason for them to leave you. This is a win-win for your candidate and you. Not only do they get a higher pay, but they also receive direct praise and encouragement from this. Actions speak louder than words, and the action of raising their pay above what they think they are worth says to them that they matter to you and to the company.
As a direct result, they work harder, are more loyal and more confident in doing their work. They get job satisfaction, you get a superstar team member.
Step 4: Effectively manage your swans
To keep your swans, you need to have an effective team management system so that their job continues to stay clear and their value obvious – both to you and to themselves. You can download this PDF, which contains a simple, but highly effective (and free) system for smaller teams, or you can choose to use a dedicated task management application such as Asana or Trello.
If you still see your swans taking flight, then this most likely due to your company culture: if you’re aiming to nurture swans, then make sure your company is the kind of place that a swan wants to nest in. Align your team with your company culture, and you will have productive, loyal workers who truly believe in their work.
Combine those three things – recruitment, team management and company culture – and you have the formula for creating your own flock of superstars.
By Shweta Jhajharia, founder of The London Coaching Group