Wages may be classed as an operating expense, but like any good investment, strong staff salaries can deliver healthy returns.
Your business may have a great product or service but the true strength of the firm lies with your people – and top talent deserves to be well remunerated.
Salary levels are still a crucial element when it comes to attracting and retaining the best people.
Quite simply, companies that do not offer competitive pay packets can put themselves out of contention when it comes to sourcing top talent.
The hidden cost of paying less
In the skilled and professional jobs arena, an employee’s departure can often cost their company more than double their annual salary, without taking into account the intangible cost of lost productivity.
Other sunk costs associated with losing an employee include the expense of hiring and training a replacement, or having to spend resources for onboarding programs.
These are financial repercussions that companies can avoid simply by instituting a competitive salary policy. A high turnover rate also reflects poorly on a company, impacting the collective knowledge base, and damaging staff morale.
Let’s take a look at three ways that a smart salary policy towards paying a competitive salary can support your business.
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1. A competitive salary shows you care
Let’s approach the issue at a positive angle – a competitive salary package incentivises employees to do their best for the organisation, promoting employee engagement and encourages loyalty.
Having proper salary policies in place is a tangible way for a company to show its commitment in taking care of their people, and this is likely to be reciprocated if and when the business finds itself in tough times.
A carefully constructed salary policy shows you are committed to your team, and this in itself can be a tremendous incentive for staff.
Your concern for the wellbeing of your employees filters through to office morale and productivity, and will hopefully be reciprocated if the business finds itself facing tough times.
2. Low salaries are false economy
Successful employee retention should always be a core business goal. Higher remuneration however is still a key reason for leaving a job. In order to attract and keep top talent on the payroll, proactive companies should adjust their remuneration policies to ensure their offers match or exceed averages in their location and industry.
When employees leave your company the impact on your organisation can be significant. Project timelines may suffer – costing the company additional time and resources to resolve.
Re-staffing comes with an additional cost burden. Because the recruitment process takes many resources like developing and publishing a job ad, time for screening applications, invitations to interviews, rejection letters, time spent for the interview, onboarding and training costs etc., the financial resources can easily escalate if companies need to find a new hire.
As well, not having the right person on board may mean the company isn’t able to reach its growth targets. The specific consequences of a bad hire however are not limited to an additional expense for recruiting again. It can also affect office morale. These financial repercussions can be avoided simply by developing a competitive salary policy.
3. See your people as an asset – not an expense
It can help to view your employees as appreciating assets of the business. Sure, you’ll outlay costs initially but over time your team will bring knowledge, experience and loyalty to their acumen – qualities that will add value to your firm. The challenge for business leaders is to stay up to speed with current salaries, so do some research such as using an industry benchmark or a salary guide
Top talent are frequently courted and poached by hiring managers and head-hunters – a process made easier these days with professional job networks such as LinkedIn. Even if your top people love what they do, they may have no qualms flitting off to the next best offer if they aren’t being rewarded with a competitive salary.
Whenever key appointment-holders leave an organisation, project timelines tend to suffer, costing the company additional time and resources to resolve.
Take advantage of paying a competitive salary
As the employment market is constantly in flux, hiring managers should constantly evaluate and adjust compensation policies in order to be seen as a desirable firm to work for – one that pays competitive salaries.
A good perspective is to see employees as an appreciating asset. Sure, they may start off as a cost to the company, but satisfied employees who enjoy what they do become more valuable over time as they accrue new skills, knowledge and experience.
Credit : Robert Half Australia
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About the Authors
Giles Pearson FCA was a PwC Partner for 18 years before jointly setting up Accountests.
Steve Evans has a whole career dedicated to enabling employers to attract, recruit, develop and retain talented individuals and teams, with particular expertise in candidate testing and assessment before setting up Accountests.
Accountests deliver the world’s only online suite of annually updated and country-specific technical knowledge tests designed by accountants for accountants and bookkeepers. www.au.accountests.com