People are every company’s most critical asset. While this has always been true, as the demand for talent increases, never has it been more challenging to secure people who have so many options in front of them.

We recently conducted a poll asking the question “what is the main barrier preventing top talent from accepting job offers?” The number one, identified by no fewer than 50% of respondents, was an inability to meet salary expectations.

It’s not necessarily that employers are being unrealistic with salary budgets, balancing what the internal team are currently being paid and what they need to pay to hire externally. This is simply a matter of market dynamics driving the cost of top talent and skills in demand up and that same talent becoming aware of its value, confident to shop around for the best job offer.

Where does that leave the employer to secure top talent who has a budget below the asking price of talent in the current market? Where does it leave the job seeker whose preferred job offer is not paying enough?

8 ways to secure top talent

Intrigued by the results of the first poll, we decided to conduct a second. This time we asked top talent a simple question: "if you were offered a job that couldn’t meet your salary expectations, which of the options below would make you most likely to accept the role?"

The answers were quite revealing:

  1. Offering full pay for part-time hours (47%): The most popular choice is to be given the option to work fewer hours. This is a great middle ground, as it allows the talent’s pay expectations to be met, while also allowing the employer to stick to their budget and agree all outcomes to be delivered.
  2. Long-term incentive/equity (20%): One in five candidates are motivated by long-term skin in the game. A popular option in scale-up businesses, offering equity or company options to drive performance and retention. 
  3. Performance-based bonus (19%): If a new employee can achieve targets, could you afford to pay them more? Performance-based bonuses can be a factor to join a new business and is a win for both parties.
  4. Additional annual leave (15%): Offering additional annual leave can have an outsized effect on the decision of a top candidate, as they value time over money.

To ensure that remuneration is not the only deciding factor, we know that focusing and bringing to life the following are sure ways to attract and retain top talent:

5. A clear Employee Value Proposition

6. A culture driven by values, vision, and purpose

7. Personal growth opportunities and development plans

8. Fully flexible work arrangements

At FutureYou we are a team who connect talent with culture. If you would like to discuss your talent plans and strategies, then please don’t hesitate to reach out.