It’s easy to find some great people to fill nearly any position, especially in tough economic times. (A couple exceptions might be RF Engineers, RN’s, and similar ‘never enough’ jobs.) It’s especially easy when money is no object. Yes, I know, things are tough right now, but I can almost promise that the same manager who always wants to hire the best and brightest regardless of salary hasn’t changed her/his mindset.
Many managers simply don’t want to have to train or develop a new hire. Just gimme the best around and we’ll just have to figure out how to pay them. Then, you as the recruiter groan because you know what that means – hiring someone at or close to the max of the pay range plus a signing bonus plus relo, etc. etc. You get the picture. And, these actions are frequently the beginnings of lawsuits, poor morale, turnover, and other bad things.
It’s a bad situation when these ‘damn the salary, hire ‘em anyway’ managers are left to their own devices – especially when there is little, if any, accountability for the dollars. You know how it works: you get hammered for too much spending for hiring and relo, but you have little control over the manager and the boss just won’t back you. It’s your responsibility so deal with it! Oh, and make sure we maintain pay equity – we don’t want to have any legal issues arise. Yes, we’ve all been there before.
It’s a tough direction to follow, but with limited budgets and the continued need for good people, consider hiring the best people you can afford – not the best people you can find. Challenge your managers (and yourself) to look for candidates who clearly meet the requirements of the job, but may need a little time to develop and reach full potential. Yes, I know it’s not you that needs convincing, so start with senior management. If you can’t get them to back the strategy, I’d recommend updating your resume ’cause something has to give down the road and it’s probably NOT going to be them!
Bottom line: even when there is an abundance of candidates, stay within your pay ranges. This strategy will save money, keep the salaries reasonably equitable, and hopefully create a group of employees who really appreciate the opportunity. (Especially when they know there are more experienced people in the job market right now.)