With there being so much competition these days for a limited number of contracts and a selective group of customers, some businesses are finding that they have to cut compensation in order to lower overall costs. This is especially true in the federal marketplace where labor rates are one of the only budget items with any true flexibility. And while this strategy might be effective, it creates an issue with no easy resolution – how do you attract the specialized talent you need while offering them below market compensation? It’s not easy to do, but it’s not impossible either.
Offer Benefits and Perks Instead
Savvy employees know that a free lunch is no substitute for a fair salary, but you may be able to offer other perks that will entice specialized employees. Maybe the position will offer lots of opportunities for travel. Perhaps there will be a bonus structure in place to reward the most effective employees with extra compensation. You can also highlight the flexibility of your workplace/schedule to attract employees that have families, or simply prefer more freedom.
Offer the Possibility of Advancement
Employees may be willing to defer parts of their compensation if they feel like there is the real possibility for advancement down the road. You face stiff competition, but many specialized employees face the same pressures in the job market. An opportunity to gain valuable experience and add new titles to a resume might attract a certain category of specialized employees looking to advance their careers as quickly as possible.
Emphasize Your Company Culture
It’s just a fact that some companies are great to work for and some are not. You may not be able to pay as much, but if you can demonstrate to recruits that they will actually like coming to work and being in your office, they might be willing to trade some compensation for personal satisfaction. Just make sure you don’t make false claims or misrepresent yourself. That only promotes bitterness.
Rethink Your Budget
Cutting labor rates is sometimes a viable way to reduce costs, but it can also be reactionary and short sighted. Instead of immediately cutting pay, go over the budget with a fine tooth comb and look for other areas where you could save money. Recruiting employees for less than market compensation is never easy, and the quickest solution is simply to offer market compensation. It might not be as unfeasible as you think.
This is just another example of how difficult recruiting has become in recent years. If you need help finding specialized talent that is eager to get to work, regardless of compensation, work with the staffing experts at The Squires Group.