Sometimes money becomes the centrepiece in the final stages of recruitment. We can get caught up with ensuring the financial offer presented is lucrative enough to get a highly sought candidate across the line. However, I would suggest that money, while important, should be a secondary consideration. While much time is spent looking through and understanding the background of the prospective candidate to determine their suitability for the role, what about determining the suitability of the role for the candidate? It is just as important to consider how the role will look on the candidate’s resume in five years’ time. Will people say, “that was a good move”?

To help determine whether the prospective role will be the right step for the candidate, it’s important to understand their motivation. What was it that originally prompted the candidate to come and see you in the first place? What was it that drove an interest in changing? What desires and aspirations are not being met by their current employment situation? Ensure these are aligned to what your company can offer, and money should then become a secondary consideration.

Equally, if money is becoming too much of a key determinant in a move and the person is less interested in the career opportunities that come with the role, this may pose as a red flag, or at least as something to take into consideration and manage. You will have to ask, is the person too driven by money? What did the Psychometric Test say? Can this role cope, can the organisation cope, with someone who is very money and status driven? Historically, people motivated by money are less likely to stick around for the longer-term. They are more likely to leave after a shorter tenure with your business when the next offer comes along with more money. If the candidate walks in and wants to discuss money upfront, you need to ask yourself how engaged they really are with the role and whether they are culture-fit for your business.

I have recently been working on filling a role for a CFO. The candidate spent considerable time to ensure this was the right role for him over the next five years and how much growth there would be in the role. He wanted to know if there would be options to further his career with the organisation. This reinforces the importance of the longer-term scenario, and the responsibility we have as recruitment consultants and hiring companies to ensure the offer we put out to the market is more than just financially rewarding. In this case, the candidate took the role, which was paying 10 per cent less than their previous role. The difference was, his previous role lacked career development opportunities that matched his career aspirations. Job satisfaction, a positive culture, autonomy, growth, flexibility and personal impact are all important issues for consideration. It is critical you are clear on the whole picture before you start talking to people, not just clear on how much you can pay them.

I’m not suggesting future candidates will not be interested in lucrative financial offers. I think most people would be happy to say yes to more money or willing to be swayed by an attractive package. What I am saying is the employment market is much more complex if you think money is all candidates are interested in. It’s not just about beating a current employers’ salary. It’s about putting together a compelling and exciting narrative about your business and presenting a position that matches the strengths, interests and aspirations of the candidate so they find themselves in a role they are proud to list on their resume.

Happy recruiting!

Ian Hamilton


Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash