Is It All About The Dollars When Recruiting?



There have been many surveys conducted telling us that money is not the number one driver for a candidate when considering a new job opportunity. If that’s the case, why do enquiries about advertised jobs often start with the question, what is the salary on offer? And, why do the negotiations with your preferred candidate more often than not come down to salary?

Does money talk? Absolutely….

But, in my opinion, money is just one element of the offer; as employers we often forget to talk about and promote the other benefits we offer which leaves the focus on the dollars.

Typically, when a candidate makes contact with us at Inspire HQ the reason they are looking to leave their job is not about the dollars. For the odd few, it is solely the dollars but in most cases, I’d say more often than not there are other reasons given such as culture, career progression, leadership, the team, new challenges and the opportunity to increase in salary is a consideration but not the main motivator.

All too often I see employers miss opportunities to promote what they have to offer to potential employees in addition to the salary. These added benefits have probably changed a bit over the last 12 months as pre COVID, flexible working arrangements like working from home were considered very much a benefit; today working from home is no longer a benefit, for many it is the norm.

In a candidate short market, these added benefits become more important than ever and will hopefully position you well to secure your preferred candidate when they are considering multiple job offers or if they are counter offered.

Additional benefits don’t have to cost your business an arm and a leg. When considering what else you can offer, compare yourself with your competitors. Which businesses will be vying for the same talent and what can you offer that will stand you out from the crowd? Sometimes it can be the little things like a clean manufacturing environment, flexible start and finish times to be able to drop children to school, their birthday day off (gifted leave), discounts on your products or services, allowing team members to use the workshop and tools out of hours, supplying breakfast etc.

Defining what you have to offer as an employer is equally as important as determining what salary you are going to offer but sometimes we tend to overlook what we have to offer and simply focus on the salary. Being really clear on what you have to offer will help you articulate it when advertising the vacancy, promote it during the screening and interview stages of the recruitment process and re-iterate it at the offer stage. For example, what flexible working hours looks like in one business will be completely different to the next business. What career progression looks like for one business will look different to another. Hence, being really clear on what you can offer when it comes to things like career progression, professional development, working hours, culture, leadership etc is critically important to consider before you start your recruitment campaign.

It’s also really important to understand what is important to the candidates you are considering for the role and what is motivating them to change jobs. Asking this at every step of the recruitment process is very important to help you determine if there is alignment and if you can meet their expectations. You are much better knowing early on in the process that your preferred candidate values a particular benefit rather than getting to the stage where you are making an offer and it is declined, only to leave you to go back to the drawing board because you can’t meet their expectations.

Offering great additional benefits doesn’t give you the flexibility to offer a below market rate salary. It’s critically important that the dollars match with market rates otherwise it’s going to be a battle for you to attract the right talent, engage the right talent and retain that talent. Salary benchmarking your role and then factoring in your benefits will give you a really good indication of where you sit in comparison to similar jobs on offer.

With wage growth predicted to slow as a result of COVID, now more than ever is the time to consider what you can offer in additional benefits to attract the best talent to your team. Stuck for ideas? The best place to start is with your current employees. Ask them. What do they value about working for you? What benefits would they value? What benefits do you offer that don’t have much significance to them? It won’t be a one size fits all, but it will give you a good starting point to gather some valuable info.

If you’re an employee reading our blog this week, we’d love to know what you value. Or if you are an employer, let us know what you currently offer your employees. Leave us a comment so we can share your thoughts with our Inspire HQ community.


Angela Connor is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource and career coaching companies. She understands the significance of having the right team of people in a business and is passionate about helping business to attract, recruit and engage the right people so those people can inject their talents into the business; creating an environment where they can do great work and love what they do. Find more useful information and advice at or by following Angela on LinkedIn.


Disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. If you wish to act based on the content of this publication, we recommend that you seek professional advice.



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