Is “A” Talent Worth the Extra Money?

For the first time in nearly a decade, the issues of talent attraction and engagement have become leading organizational priorities around the world. The top two people issues facing today’s HR departments have been identified as leadership and retention. In this dynamic, once again growing economy, it’s more important than ever to land the best possible talent when you have the opportunity.

Do the Math

You may find it hard to swallow higher salaries once you’ve narrowed down your hiring prospects, but paying more for “A”-level talent is worth your investment many times over. Consider this scenario:

  • You have two finalists for a business-critical position. You know without doubt that Candidate A would make a huge, immediate impact on results. There’s a clear cultural match and the applicant is enthusiastic and ready to hit the ground running. But their salary demand is $125,000.
  • Candidate B also appears competent and would add value to your organization. They have all the desired “check-the-box” credentials. And their salary would be just $100,000.
  • The true bottom line: If Candidate B delivers $100,000 worth of work, you’re cost neutral. But if Candidate A delivers 50 times that, then you’ve gained $5 million on an investment of just $25,000 more per year. While it’s easy to tally up your “savings” by settling for Candidate B, the upside provided by Candidate A far exceeds your short-term frugality – and the “risk” of paying more for the best and brightest really isn’t a risk at all.

Along with the more obvious financial advantages come the less tangible upswings of hiring high-potential talent:

  • You don’t have to hold their hand. They tend to be self-directed and naturally motivated. They’re continuous learners who are willing to take calculated risks and be held personally accountable for
  • They attract and rally other top performers. This creates a culture of accountability and serves to enhance staff morale and company reputation.
  • Your competition doesn’t get them! They’re going to go to work somewhere. Wouldn’t you rather have them on your side?

The Global Picture

If you’re not already convinced, consider the new global marketplace as you formulate your strategy. Chances are, it will seal your decision to invest in the best talent possible.

  • For the first time in more than five years, candidates are in charge. Experts have gone so far as to comment that “the talent war is over, and the talent won.” High-performing professionals with key skills are in short supply.
  • Hiring mistakes are more costly than ever. The wrong hire can cost your company up to five times the person’s annual salary, according to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). The higher up the position and the longer a person stays in it, the more it will cost to replace them. While there’s no foolproof way to avoid a bad hire, one method for significantly reducing the chance of it happening is to invest in top talent.

Consider partnering with a specialized recruitment firm as you fine-tune your strategy for competitive success in today’s candidate-driven talent marketplace. Read our related posts or contact Employment Professionals Canada to learn more.