Money isn’t everything – attracting the best candidates to your workforce

Money isn’t everything – attracting the best candidates and to your workforce

Money isn’t everything – attracting the best candidates and to your workforceIt’s an old saying but it’s true, money isn’t everything. In fact, in terms of recruiting the right IT team, not only is it not everything but it’s quite a long way down the list of things that will sway a wavering candidate, or even attract them in the first place. This is true for people actively seeking work, and even more so for those who are passively considering options.

It is a mistake to see salary as the biggest part of any offer.

Of course, it is an important part, and it needs to be considered and assessed in relation to the overall attractiveness of the position, but it is not the be all and end all. Money is the bricks and mortar that holds the whole thing together, but just as we don’t only consider the bricks when we buy a house, the salary isn’t the reason candidates ‘buy’ a potential job.

At the risk of stretching the house analogy, much like the housing market, the recruitment arena finds its own balance on local price. The informed candidate is well aware of their value and so, as long as you are in the right area with your salary offer, clearly it will not be a deciding factor in the final decision. At any given point, unless the person you are seeking to recruit is one of a select group that can demand an unusually high salary or perhaps they are jumping up in seniority, there will be a competitive salary range that you must offer. A few pounds extra a month will not usually be enough to compensate someone for the change in circumstances and the upheaval of a new job. Plus, there is a further question to perhaps ask yourself as an employer and a candidate: If a someone is prepared to jump ship for a relatively small salary change, would you be confident in their loyalty?

So, if it isn’t money, then what do candidates look for?

According to the research, and with many years of recruitment experience to back that up in real world situations, the answer to this question is relatively simple. It is the likelihood of gaining or increased job satisfaction and quality of life. A quick look at the reasons why people leave their current position will tell you exactly what they are looking for.

Advancement and continued development feature very highly on most technical and development based candidate’s menu of choice. They work in a fast-paced and ever-changing world, so it’s vital that they stay ahead of the curve. Building development opportunities into your offer is therefore important.

Faith in management is a very strong motivator, so it’s good for the leadership team to be seen to be involved and open about the way the company is going. Most research will emphasise that a team that feels involved and part of the development of the wider business will perform better.

Regular meaningful reviews

Which leads nicely to one often missed but vital element which is regular, meaningful reviews. There is a big move among many companies towards joint reflection reviewing, for example, where the employee and their line manager will effectively review each other by a discussion of performance as a whole rather than emphasising one individual’s shortcomings.

Don’t forget the little things

Finally, don’t forget the little things. Car parking in the city, gym membership, subsidised or free healthy lunches, semi or totally flexible working times and other similar seemingly small offerings can make a huge difference to the individual. I heard of one company recently that allowed all employees, no matter the level or how long they had been there, to take their birthday as an extra holiday day. The rule was simple, it had to be taken on their birthday or the next day to it and couldn’t be swapped or moved because it was a birthday gift. Small but very effective in attracting and keeping staff.


There is enough to discuss on this topic for fifty blogs, and as always seems to be the case, there isn’t the room in one small article to discuss all possibilities. The offer is vital so we work with our clients to help refine and develop a competitive one because, if money isn’t everything, then something else must be.

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