Low Salaries Hinder Hiring: Ask HR Guy
I am a recruiter at a software/engineering company with roughly 150 employees. Management is interested in adding a couple of positions in the marketing department, however the salaries the company is looking to pay are not competitive with the market, nor commiserate for the skill level and amount of travel required for these positions. We have received a number of resumes, and I have interviewed several qualified people. But we have not been able to convert any of the qualified applicants to new hires once they learn what we're offering. How can I convince management that we need to offer better salaries if we want to attract the skilled talent we require?
Dear Stymied Recruiter:
Considering that the economy is somewhat iffy these days, it seems it would be a cinch for your company to acquire some top-notch talent at bargain-basement rates. But apparently, the applicants you're hearing from want to be paid what they're truly worth. That leaves you in a sticky situation with few options.
Your best course of action is to have an honest talk with the person to whom the new hires will be reporting. I'm presuming there must already be a VP of marketing in place since you say the company is looking to expand the department. Go to talk with this person. Take a few of the resumes that you received--include both the qualified and unqualified applicants--with you, and briefly go over them with him or her. Explain that the company is missing out on these highly skilled people because of what the company is willing to pay. Let this person know that you understand there are budget restraints, but that you also know the company needs to hire the best people available for these openings.
As I see it, there are a variety of things the company can do. It can increase the salaries to market rate and hire the qualified people; it can increase one salary, while while eliminating the other position; or it can hire people who don't meet the standards outlined in its own job descriptions to avoid spending more money. Finally, if the company really can't pay the going rate, the positions should be redesigned so that the duties are more on par with entry-level jobs.
Whether the marketing manager agrees with you or not, you should reiterate the importance of hiring the more highly skilled people, and ask him or her how you two can work together to make this happen. Suggest going together to meet with the CEO or CFO to discuss the situation. If the marketing manager agrees, you should follow up by e-mailing all the parties involved to explain why you want a meeting and to set up the time.
But if the manager still doesn't agree with you, send him or her a follow-up e-mail after the meeting to reiterate your concerns. Either way, you've now voiced your objections and covered yourself in writing. If the responsibility of screening the applicants and making an offer was yours, make sure that the final hiring decision is now placed in marketing manager's hands. For the sake of your personal ethics and your career, the last thing you want to do is hire someone you know isn't right for the job. When/if something goes wrong, everyone will point the finger at you.
Best of luck,