A Guide To Salaries & Benefits
4th October 2017
Themes which run through our latest guide to reward and remuneration are caution and curiosity. An improvement in business confidence is reflected in a cautious, considered approach to hiring, with an emphasis on temporary recruitment. The increase in enquiries and placement activity may also reflect the latitude over-extended HR teams now have to work with their preferred, trusted service provider. This encouraging development allows us to re-engage on an advisory basis, helping our clients to de-risk their recruitment process, facilitating cost effective permanent hiring solutions.
From the candidate perspective there is caution too, but also curiosity. Sensing a shift in the job market people are interested to understand how the dramatic changes of the last few years have impacted opportunities for career progression; their own employability and, of course, the monetary value of their CV, skills and experience.
Specialists have had it particularly tough, with the intrinsic value of their niche skills diminished because their roles have been absorbed by capable, but often over-stretched, generalists. The preference for "hands on" generalists in a cost constrained market is understandable. Organisations not afraid to hire over-qualified generalists have benefited from extensive knowledge and experience while having to expend little on training and development. But in the longer term this will lead to skills erosion if highly competent professionals remain confined in positions which do not offer development.
Succession planning is back on the agenda with an aging workforce, lack of suitable internal candidates and no defined strategy for talent management driving discussions. Sourcing talent who can advise on innovation and technology adoption is also front of mind. Fundamental to future business success, these strategic decisions require specialist knowledge which is already in short supply.
As market conditions continue to improve employers will need to take a measured approach to reward and remuneration strategies. Care should be taken when reinstating benefits to avoid false economies. Benefits are only effective recruitment and retention devices if they are appealing and relevant, particularly in today's multi-generational workforce where the personal drivers for productive working vary widely across the age ranges.
Uncertainty makes it hard to look forward and plan for the future but there are many ways to de-risk recruitment including:
- Reduce reactive hiring by identifying existing and future skills needs.
- Consider how fit for purpose employee development programmes are for filling those needs and the alternative options available to you, such as apprentice hiring or interim placements.
- Assess your approach to determining baseline salary, taking into account the new market conditions we are working in and the individual's experience in relation to the role they perform.
- Review which benefits are relevant to your workforce and the type of candidate profiles your business seeks to attract.
This copy was also published in the October edition of Business Now magazine.