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Landing Top Candidates in SC’s Tight Talent Market: How to choose the right salary

March 20th, 2014

How do you put a price tag on an open job?

Factors like the level of experience required, the availability of good candidates and even the economy play into your calculations – and can make setting the “right” salary feel more like a guessing game than a business process.

When you’re hiring, it’s important to strike an appropriate balance with compensation levels. You need to attract the best talent – especially in a tight market. You want to pay your people fairly. But you can’t pay them more than their jobs are worth to your organization. What’s the best way to satisfy these seemingly competitive agendas?

At TRUE Group, experience has taught us that setting the right salary range is part science and part art. The next time you need to hire, consider the following questions to determine an acceptable salary:

How much more valuable will this person make my company?

Quantifying a job’s value to your organization will help you determine the top end of your salary range.

For sales and business development positions, determining value is fairly straightforward. Individuals in these jobs generate revenue, and you can easily ascertain if the sales they’re likely to generate will cover their salaries.

But what about internal and support positions that don’t generate bottom-line revenue, such as receptionists or IT help desk technicians? Undeniably, people in these jobs are extremely valuable to your organization. The challenge is determining exactly how much they’re worth.  To estimate their value, consider:

  • how much money they can save your company;
  • how much it costs to not have them on board (i.e., vacancy costs);
  • how much their support frees other professionals to accomplish their most important tasks.

What does the market dictate?

This is where doing your homework will pay off:

  • Consult relevant salary surveys. With a little searching, you can easily find up-to-date salary information relevant to your available position and geographic area. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has South Carolina wage and employment data online; you can use this as a starting point.
  • Know what other businesses are paying. Ask non-competing business colleagues to share their market rate experiences. Contact your local chamber of commerce or business networking group to garner additional salary range data.
  • Consider talent market conditions. How plentiful are qualified candidates? Obviously, the tighter the market, the higher you’ll need to pay to attract good people.

Use a combination of what the job is worth to you and what the market dictates to set an acceptable salary range.

Need help with the process?

Call the employment experts at TRUE Group. When you use our direct placement services, we assist you with every step of the placement process – from sourcing South Carolina’s top talent through salary negotiations. We’ll help ensure you find the right person, offer the right salary and ultimately make a great hire.

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