It’s not just about the money

By Arthur Venter

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A key driver of the success of your business is your ability to attract talent. And, while the remuneration on offer is an important factor here, it’s not the only one. A salary range provides a useful starting point, particularly when  advertising a post or interviewing a candidate. It also allows you to budget effectively for the new hire and ensures no-one’s time is wasted. Be sure  to abide by related labour laws and  other regulations throughout the hiring process.

Factors such as industry trends, the city where your business is located, what a particular person earns at their current employer, and the unique skill set that they bring to the table, will all impact the salary range. You will probably need to do some research before settling on the final figures, and a good job spec is crucial at this point. Be prepared to pay a salary at the top end of your range if you want to attract the very best talent you can afford; people who will enhance the effectiveness of your organisation and who can be trusted with the operational aspects of the job.

“There’s far more to a remuneration package than just the money. It should be viewed holistically within the context of the employee’s quality of life.”

Take a holistic view
There’s far more to a remuneration package than just the money. It should be viewed holistically within the context of the employee’s quality of life. While salary may initially
attract a person to your firm; how long they stay will depend on how happy and fulfilled they are in the job. And a person’s priorities vary according to their life stage. While
a 25-year-old might be motivated by rands and cents; a 40-year-old with a family would look for medical aid, retirement benefits, perhaps the opportunity to work flexitime, as well as a competitive salary. Use the interview process to negotiate working conditions, as well as salary. Profit-sharing or equity are draw cards, as is the leave on offer.

Cultural fit is important too. As you have their CV, the candidate’s qualifications should not be at issue. But, cultural fit is a more intangible concept and can really only be judged face-to-face. Once it is clear that the person is a good fit, the remuneration may be just a formality.

Salaries should also be based on a person’s actual worth to the company. You can work this out by estimating their value or through direct mechanisms such as a commission
for sales staff, or other incentives. Why are incentives necessary? Sales staff bring revenue into the business and compensating them for how much they bring in, not
only makes them feel valued, but also makes them hungry for more – and this benefits the entire business. When it comes to administrative staff, salaries can be based on how
much time they save you (if you were doing it all yourself) and any other values they bring to the table. After all, your time is better spent on running the business and making deals than on admin.

KPIs (key performance indicators) are crucial and go hand in hand with an accurate job spec. They assist in finding the right person for the job, and make it clear what is expected of the employee. They can also be used to evaluate performance. There are creative ways to link performance to remuneration in the KPIs for other roles. This is an
underused form of remuneration. If a staff member sees an opportunity to earn a significant dividend like a 13th cheque for excelling, this can really inspire them.

The real clincher
A fun, rewarding work environment is also a good selling point. People spend a large portion of their life at the office, and no one wants to work in a negative environment. Your reputation in this regard can have a material effect on your ability to attract
the best talent.

The real clincher when it comes to attracting talent is a holistic package that considers factors like medical aid, pension, leave, paternity and maternity benefits, as well as job fulfilment. It’s not all about the money. Career development and personal growth are
fundamental here. Ambitious prospects will look to join firms that offer opportunities to grow their skills and rise through the ranks. These candidates will add to the company as time goes by. And, employees who are looking for growth opportunities are far
more likely to stay on and build their careers, while job hoppers can be lured by higher salaries.Besides money to take care of their physical needs, your employees are looking for quality of life, and personal fulfilment. If you consider all these needs, you will be well-positioned to attract the best people and build long, mutually beneficial relationships with them.


Arthur Venter is Audit Supervisor at BDO Pretoria

This article first appeared in the Oct/Nov issue of Your Business Magazine. Read the rest of the issue here, or download to enjoy later!


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