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Money. It’s not a dirty word!

Money. It’s not a dirty word!

Posted on 18/10/2015 by Rebecca Ramsden

job hunting

If your upbringing was anything like mine, you were taught at a young age to never talk about money. In my mother’s eyes it was pretty much the rudest thing you could discuss (yes, she probably is a little sheltered!). We were discouraged to ever talk about money, the new car, family holiday or even how much was in our wallets.

Meeting with a client this week I came to realise that while money is a private and often confidential subject, when it comes to recruiting new staff it is an essential factor that needs discussing in an open and honest way. Just like you would talk about reasons for wanting to leave a job and aspirations for the future, money (and in this case salary) should be right up there.

The client had advertised for a role and found that ‘gem’ that on paper ticked all of the boxes. Right qualifications, stability of employment and even industry experience almost too good to be true. As soon as this candidate walked through the door, the client knew that they were the one. They fitted in with the team, had the same values and were just perfect! Their name was pretty much already on the company website and they had a table setting locked in at the Christmas work party before the interview was even over!  So what went wrong?

The role was offered to the candidate without salary being discussed prior and it turned out that they weren’t on the same page. Not even the same book!  While the client felt the salary was competitive, they also thought they had built such a great relationship in interview that the love must have been felt from both parties, no matter the dollars. But, while money isn’t always a motivator, it is a fact of life. Try paying your mortgage with ‘job satisfaction’. It won’t get you far!

While confidentiality around salary in the workplace is imperative, companies take the risk in investing hours of wasted time screening, reference checking and interviewing candidates that aren’t going to accept a job offer if money isn’t discussed up front. I’m not suggesting every advert on SEEK needs to have a salary listed, but a verbal discussion around salary expectations, even a salary range, is essential to any successful recruitment campaign. Encouraging applicants to make phone contact prior to applying may seem like more work at the time, but in the long run it will assist in getting a better match to your business and budget.  

Money isn’t a dirty word. It’s a fact of life. And by discussing money openly with candidates early in the recruitment process, you will ultimately experience a more transparent, painless and efficient recruitment experience.