Pathfinder – Business update – Business question of the month (November)

Published by Tim Levey on 27 November 2018

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Tim Levey, Partner and Head of Business Advisory, runs two groups of Business Leaders in Kent. One of the members recently posed the following question:

“We advertised for a trainee role and the best candidate was a more experienced graduate who, while still needing training in all but one area, demanded well above the trainee market salary. Is it worth paying the extra or should we say “no thanks”?”

Advice included:

  1. Get them to justify why they are worth more than the trainee market salary when there is still a lot of training to undertake. There is probably a compromise that can be reached once they accept that further investment is needed.
  2. Produce a performance target document to make sure you are going to get value. The candidate will be fine with this if they are good and industrious. If they don’t like the document then it’s “no thanks”.
  3. Generally if you pay top money for someone in the hope of exceptional performance, they are rarely better than the other members of the team. That then causes issues with the other team members. It’s less of a problem if they are standalone, but it’s best to hire at the advertised rate and then award pay rises as they demonstrate how good they are. It’s easier to give pay rises than to take pay away.
  4. One member had been in the same position when an applicant was looking at taking a pay cut of £6k to get the job that they wanted but they were sure that they would get the professional qualification quickly. The company didn’t want to bend the salary model out of shape so offered a solution based on a loan. The company would top up his salary to his minimum acceptable level each month and then when he passed his exam he could start repaying it each month from his increased salary. This worked out well all round although there did need to be time spent drawing up the agreement.

If you would like to join one of the Intelligo Business Leader groups that discuss these types of issues then please contact Tim Levey here or on +44 (0)330 124 1399.

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