The Compensation Wars

The Compensation Wars:
Recruiting – and Retaining – Excellent Employees is Tougher Than Ever

If you’re involved with recruiting today, you know how competitive this environment is. You know that many candidates are looking for a complete, innovative compensation package, and a job that will enable them to reach their personal goals & objectives.

By today’s standards, a complete comp program can include everything from base salary to bonus, commissions (perhaps guaranteed), equity, golden parachutes, concierge service, in-office massage, child care, deferred comp programs, executive medical programs, trips & travel, and more.

If you can offer this kind of package, terrific. If you can’t — or you are concerned about overpaying for talent — what are your options? And equally important, how do you ensure that you achieve a respectable return on your investment? There is no certainty, after all, that a large compensation package creates commitment and loyalty to the new employer — the significance of “just in case” backend options makes this clear.

An alternative to trying to recruit expensive employees in this market is to make modest — and potentially more important — investments in your current in-house talent pool. If you have clear “holes” in your talent pool, you will, of course, need to fill those with new employees. But before you go that route, it may make sense to fully explore the talent and skills you already have on the payroll.

This strategy will require you to ask these questions: How do we determine what kind of talent we have, and how do we cultivate it most effectively over time?

The first step in answering these questions is identifying the attributes and traits that make people successful in their roles, and the second step is cultivating that talent through individualized, targeted training.

Each employee has their own style and approach, and each can be successful in a role that is right for them. If an employee doesn’t seem to “fit” in their role, identify what characteristics are missing, and work with the employee to develop those skills or attributes. Factor in what your firm needs from each role, and what the requirements are for achieving success.

A clear alternative to venturing into the current employment market is the option of cultivating your in-house talent. Start by analyzing the gaps between where your people are today and where they need to be to achieve excellent results – and create a plan for moving them forward.