Published On: January 21, 2024Categories: OpinionTags: Last Updated: March 14, 2024

Robert Half Gets It Half Right

By Jennifer Graham

Where They Got it Right:

According to a recent article on the Robert Half website, the number one suggestion for attracting top talent is offering is–

“1. Don’t skimp on salaries…you get what you pay for… Do your homework on current salary trends before you post a job ad. This helps you offer competitive wages and gives you a fighting chance to attract the cream of the crop.”

This is right… and is backed up by our decades of recruiting experience. When our clients know the accurate salary range for A+ candidates in their given market and offer compensation at the appropriate level, they attract more and better-quality candidates.

Where They Got it Wrong:

In that same article, Robert Half posts their Salary Guide: Salary Guide From Robert Half.  In my 30+ years of experience, I have never seen a salary survey that accurately described the salary range for the type candidates we at Cambridge represent- top performers with specific, market-focused education, experience and excellent interpersonal/presentation skills.

Surveys, by their design, include all types of candidates, including those who don’t get results, who have character/integrity issues or terrible communication skills.  It would be great if those poor performers would self-identify in a survey: “I earn $80K, and by the way, I am frequently fired for stealing office supplies and harassing my co-workers.” Instead, their responses are mixed in with those of the best in the field, muddying the results.

Additionally, salary surveys often offer a range for an entire industry without distinguishing between sub-segments. They also don’t distinguish between functions that share the same title. Does a respondent who clicks “Account Manager” sell shower curtain rings or sophisticated software?

The Solution:

If you want to know the actual salary range for the best candidates for your current search, do your own research among top performers you know, or ask a recruiter who specializes in your industry and has helped you hire excellent candidates in the past.

Now, some employers think that recruiters will drive up the salary range to increase their fee. I don’t know, maybe some do! But, if you are working with a trusted talent source who has delivered strong performers for you and who cares about both their reputation and yours, ask them. They can arm you with the correct information about what you need to pay to hire that rock star you have your eye on.

We’d love to hear any comments or questions! If you’re a candidate looking for a new role, browse all of our current open positions and please reach out to us with any inquiries! Follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram for news, announcements, and updates.

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