Attractive compensation plans: There’s more to it than the dollars

by Paul Slezak
Candidates, Employer branding, Leading People, Top Talent - 9 years ago

Having a candidate decline a job offer because he or she believes that (base salary aside) the compensation plan you are offering them is not attractive enough is a situation in which many employers are finding themselves in today’s market.

With the war for talent as fierce as it is, the best candidates are definitely not just looking for an increase in their base salaries.

Business owners and hiring managers must put a far greater effort into formulating compensation plans that will not only ensure that the candidate realises just how serious you are about wanting them on board, but will also reinforce to the employment market that you are clearly positioning your business as a true employer of choice.

Candidates are often put off by terms such as discretionary bonus or profit sharing when salary packages are broken down or outlined in their offer letters, since for the most part the chance or likelihood of achieving these additional benefits is beyond their control. Candidates today would much rather be measured (and ultimately rewarded and compensated) on their own individual performance and contribution to their team as well as to the business as a whole.

Nowadays the majority of candidates (at least those really serious about finding the right next step in their career) will be totally prepared when it comes to assessing and ultimately negotiating their salary, benefits and total remuneration package. They will have conducted their own comparative research into salary packages, and they will have a fairly accurate idea of their value for their level and profession in their market. It is also important to realise that more than ever before candidates are not simply jumping at the first offer made available to them.

If a candidate is going to accept a job offer based purely on a higher base salary, then their existing employer is very likely going to put forward a counter offer – and then the bidding war begins and this is something you really should try to avoid.

Offering and negotiating employment terms is a time fraught with risks and it is ideally all about creating a win/win situation for both you the employer and the candidate you have selected to join your team.

Job offers, salary packages, compensation and benefit plans are a daily occurrence in today’s market. However attractive compensation plans, attractive incentive schemes and offers tailored towards both the financial as well as developmental needs of the highly sought-after candidates are extremely rare.

Employers should find out during the initial interview what the candidate is really looking for. What would drive them to really perform well? How would they measure their own success in the role you are offering them? What motivates them beyond their base salary? Once this information is ascertained it is then possible to tailor the compensation plan around the candidate.

The ball is in your court …