The phrase “We can’t afford that!” is used far too frequently when it comes to hiring. And with it comes the expectation that the candidate will give in and accept a lower offer. It’s a job after all.
But let’s not forget that it’s a candidate’s market and has been for a while. There are more vacancies than qualified candidates to fill them. And that, changes everything.
What do companies need most?
Companies are under pressure to deliver on projects and financial targets and to do this they need the right people. Yet too often they hire according to what they can afford rather than what they really need.
Hiring a mid-level candidate and expecting them to magically become a top performer is not realistic. It’s also not fair to the candidate as it places unrealistic expectations on them. Rather than setting them up for success, they start out at a disadvantage. And as soon as the shine has rubbed off the new job opportunity, they’ll be out the door.
At this point companies are back to the drawing board. If employers don’t change their hiring strategies, they’ll be stuck on this hamster wheel without making any progress as the costs continue to add up.
What can companies do?
The simplest and most cost-effective solution is to invest in employees. From the first point of contact, through interviews to start, candidates need to know that they valued. Equally for existing employees, if companies want to avoid losing their best people, they need to look after them.
This means paying market related salaries so that they don’t go looking for other opportunities. Recognising their efforts and applauding their successes. And investing in their career progression by supporting learning and development.
None of these are new strategies. They work because they’re simple and effective. So why do so many companies not implement them? It’s the same excuse that keeps popping up: “We can’t afford that.” It seems employees are still viewed as a cost centre rather than an asset. And that is what makes all the difference.
When companies change that viewpoint, things have a way of turning around on their own. Employees become more productive and deliver more value which positively impacts the bottom line. If it is a stronger balance sheet companies seek, it’s not cost cutting that’ll get them there, it’s investing in the right people.