51 Shades of Grey: Setting Salary Ranges for your Employees
Over the past 2 decades, DyNexus Recruiting has recruited, placed and hired hundreds of ERP and CRM (IT) consultants for VARs, ISVs and ERP & CRM end-user companies. Having gone through this process as many times as we have, when it comes to determining the perfect salary for your employees, I can say with confidence….. absolutely nothing.
The unfortunate fact is that there are NO absolute and universal truths in “salary administration”. There are trends, gut feelings, averages, means and medians, but the whole topic is, unfortunately, fifty-one shades of grey.
You’ve taken a swan dive (or belly flop) into this greyish process. Allow us, in this short blog article, to share with you the upside and downside of three popular ways hiring managers look at salaries:
Way #1: You get what you pay for.
Common knowledge tells us that the very best people are levels of magnitude more productive than everyone else. So is it worth it to pay 2X, to get the production of 10X? This is one of those interesting situations where common knowledge and reality actually agree with each other. That’s not the problem. The problem is correctly identifying such superstars, and distinguishing them from your everyday intimidating geek, with whom they often share a disconcerting likeness.
Way #2: Top-dollar buys big ego’s.
When you buy a superstar, you get a superstar. Be careful what you wish for! Do the words ego and prima donna come to mind? Such people can introduce and spread lack of teamsmanship, and all the attendant social diseases that kill the synergy you’ve worked so hard to foster. A great argument can be made that your organization might be better served with a staff of A- or B+ teammates, than a staff of A+ individuals who are mostly focused on their own self-glorification. Is there a proper balance? Let me know if you run across it.
Way #3: Follow the stats.
The idea is to treat human capital like any other capital, and apply responsible statistical standards to salary administration. Shave off the highs and lows, and play the averages in the middle. In this model, pay close attention to the better salary data in your field, base your salary ranges on this data, and stick to it. For real salary data in the ERP/CRM industry, download the DyNexus Recruiting 2017 Microsoft Dynamics and Sage ERP & CRM Salary Survey.
If it was easy, children would be doing it.
PS –We have a confession: We feel we might have been a bit disingenuous in our previous blog post. In that post, encouraging the respectful treatment of candidates as a way to try to mitigate the effect of NOT paying top dollar, I said: “Aside from salary, their feeling that they are respected and cared about by the hiring company and leadership team is the most determinative factor in candidates’ acceptances of job offers.”
“Aside from salary” is kind of like “Aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” We may have just stumbled upon the one absolute and universal truth: While other things matter, salary is king.