Cast your mind back to 2010, we are finally exiting the recession; there were roles a-plenty and so many keen candidates looking for a new opportunity too. The recruitment process was so beautifully simple with vacancies being filled and positive career moves made relatively swiftly and easily! Since this time there has certainly been many trends and changes in the world of Marketing recruitment, both in relation to the recruitment process and general market. But recently I have observed one particular trend that is complicating the process.

So, what is the trend I speak about? Well, it’s a pretty big deal, as this could see client’s losing great candidates, and subsequently, candidates missing out on amazing opportunities! It encompasses, for many, the most important part of a job move or hire….That’s right, it’s the money!


The Lowdown…

Over the last 12 months I have noticed a distinct rise in the number of candidates increasing their salary expectations, sometimes drastically, just at the point where they are offered a role from the client. Even if the offer made by the client has met their initial expectations, and the process and expectations have been re-agreed following each stage of the interview process, candidates are still stretching for more money at offer stage. So it begs the question – why?

Did outgoings or travel cost double overnight? Is the role much more senior than initially thought? Did the candidate receive a pay rise from their present employer? I appreciate salary is not always the most important part of a job move or hire, of course, the role responsibilities, company culture and career aspiration play a big part, but recently it’s become increasingly difficult to manage candidates around their asking price and here’s why I believe this could be….

  • Niche skill set – It’s no secret that for some niche roles, particularly those in commercial marketing, there can be a distinct lack of candidates, active or passive, with the relevant skill set. Perhaps candidates are becoming aware of this and adding a premium for their niche set of skills?
  • More direct approaches – it’s true many of the candidates we work with are passive and not actually looking to leave their present role. We engage these candidates via LinkedIn for the most part. I am aware there has been an increase in the amount of InMail’s received by candidates making them aware they are in demand giving them a wider choice of roles in the market.
  • External bench marketing – I.e. my colleague/ friend is on more money in a similar role, therefore, I should be on this salary too


My Advice for Candidates…

Changing your salary expectations at offer stage, even if the reasoning is genuine, can reflect negatively and even result in offers being retracted. Here is a little advice if you are entering a recruitment process:

  • Work out your motivations for leaving – Why are you looking to leave? There is so much more to moving roles than salary including reaching career aspirations and improved work/life balance!
  • Work out a final figure you would need to incorporate a healthy increase without out pricing yourself out of the role – OK, we all want a 20k pay rise but we must be reasonable (bear in mind the average pay increase for an external move would be 10 -15{a990e605127f06bac58d8f530ec8d3ddc1721ced564bd12be3752b381e1e9f7f}, anything more than this needs to be justified with good reason). Is salary the most important thing to you or can you be flexible if this is your dream role, if so, how flexible?
  • Find that figure and stick to it – For the most part at the start of the process you will be aware of the skills needed for the role, the level, the location etc, and, as long as these stay the same, don’t change your expectations without good reasoning, clients will only stretch so far as they are all working with strict budgets

Written by Francesca Lambert, Head of Marketing Recruitment

LinkedIn: Francesca Lambert / RedCat Digital

Twitter: @Franny_RedCat RedCat Digital

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