How to Fill Competitive Roles Without Breaking Pay Guidelines | Gartner

Talent Acquisition

You can also view this article and many others in Issue 212 (12/3) of my Talent Edge Weekly newsletter. 

In a competitive job market, offering higher salaries is a common strategy to attract top talent, particularly for critical positions. However, this practice may result in disparities in pay equity between new recruits and existing employees and could swiftly exhaust compensation budgets. This challenge intensifies when hiring managers aim to exceed the organization’s pay guidelines, often due to urgent role vacancies and pressure to fill them quickly. This article explores approaches for hiring managers to fill competitive roles without surpassing pay guidelines. It emphasizes utilizing a wider spectrum of benefits beyond just increased salaries, such as emphasizing work-life balance, career progression, and flexibility. According to Figure 2, more than half of surveyed job candidates prioritize non-monetary aspects of the employee value proposition (EVP) over a 10% pay increase, presenting an opportunity for managers to use these EVP attributes as part of a compelling job offer. Another tactic discussed is how recruiting leaders in one organization proactively work with total rewards leaders and HR business partners to identify “hot jobs.” This list of jobs is vetted with business leaders for accuracy, and then they proactively prioritize the retention and attraction of those critical roles. As organizations continue to identify and plan for their critical positions, I am sharing my editable critical role identification template, offering an example of how organizations might identify such roles.