One of the biggest issues I have in my job is making clients understand that if they want the best talent, they need to pay for it.
In recruitment we have a duty of care to two sets of people; our clients who naturally want us to find them the best talent, and our fantastic candidates who are eager and excited for their next job. However, more and more frequently there is a discrepancy with what companies want to pay vs what the actual market rate is.
I can think of several examples recently where I have had candidates being interviewed by clients who were aware of salary expectations up front (not inflated salary expectations either, but fair based on experience and market rate) who then asked candidates to justify their salary requirements. The candidates felt pretty insulted and deflated afterwards. In one particular case, the candidate was willing to take a pay-cut based on the brand but was still asked for justification as to why they should pay more than they had originally wanted to.
I appreciate that companies have salary bandings and that budgets have to be adhered to, but in a market where good talent is hard to find, there has to be some flexibility. If you use a specialist consultant who has a solid grounding in their market, please use their expertise to help you. They should also be consulting with their candidates to ensure that they do have the experience they say they have and that salary expectations are realistic.
We are more than happy to advise on this and blueskies also release an annual salary survey using real candidate data across all marketing and creative salaries; in-house and agency. So please get in touch if you are interested in discussing further.