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5 Tips to Compete for Top Talent When You Can't Pay Top Dollar

By Glassdoor – Apr 24, 2019 at 6:01PM

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Emphasize your company's other strengths when recruiting employees.

A recent survey by Glassdoor shows that 67% of job seekers and workers pay attention to salary when scanning job ads, more so than any other piece of information on a position. But what about organizations that can't compete with high compensation?

Here are just a few ways to think outside the paycheck.

Three smiling people sit across the table from another person, as if holding a job interview.

Image source: Getty Images.

Conduct a pay analysis

How do you know if you're paying market value? There are many tools out there to assess if you are paying fairly for roles at your organization, so make sure that you're utilizing a source outside your own company to understand your compensation structure. Even a simple search using Glassdoor's Know Your Worth tool can help you determine fair market rate for certain roles. You can also check out salary reports for your competitors, especially those in key markets where you want to hire.

Compare to others in your market

Now that you've determined you're paying fairly, find out how you rank compared to other companies you're competing with for talent. If they are paying above or below market value, that will be a point of discussion for candidates with multiple offers. Be prepared to openly discuss and answer questions on why you pay what you do, including how pay raises are determined within your company.

Don't forget about perception

If you find that you're paying fairly and are aligned with your competitors, it's important to ensure your employees know about it. What's your compensation and benefits rating on Glassdoor? How do employees feel about their salaries? This is important, because employees rank among the most trusted influences when communicating about their company's engagement and integrity. You might be doing compensation right, but if employees disagree, this could affect your employer brand.

Think big picture

If your company can't afford to pay at the top of the market for talent, look at your total compensation package. Can you offer more or perhaps unlimited vacation time? Do you have incredible benefits or unique perks that make life easier like dogs at work, flexible schedules, or commuter subsidies? Offerings like these carry monetary value that candidates take into consideration.

Celebrate your strengths

Remember that money isn't everything, and most people are looking for more than just a paycheck. A recent study by Glassdoor Economic Research found that when it comes to overall job and company satisfaction, salary is not among the leading contributing factors. Workplace factors that contribute more to overall satisfaction include culture and values, career opportunities, and trust in senior leadership. If you have higher ratings for these factors, celebrate those strengths with employees and candidates to highlight how fulfilled people are at your organization. These factors matter in the long run and are key to helping retain the talent you've worked so hard to effectively recruit.

Remember, no two candidates are created equal, and we all want to be paid fairly, but there are many attributes that make your organization unique  -- and it's a matter of determining what speaks to the individual candidate in order to sell them on your organization.

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