Hiring?…Don’t sweat the small stuff!

MoneyWhen hiring software engineers or IT professionals, you are constantly putting together strong compensation packages and trying to make candidates feel as though they are valued and a welcomed member of the team. However, there are times during the offer stage when conversations stall over a gap between what you want to pay and what the potential employee is looking to make.  Often in situations like this, money clouds clear thinking and a few thousand dollars seems like a lot!  In reality, it isn’t.

Now that you’ve done the hard work – all those interviews, the meetings, the references – and found the right person, don’t stress over a few thousand dollars in your offer.  The costs for restarting your search, the time it will take to find the next qualified individual, and the lost productivity, all outweigh the money your new star employee is looking for.

Instead of negotiating, ask yourself: How much will it cost me to start the search over?  Who would I rather pay this money to? My new employee? Or the job boards, staffing agencies, or other entities that I use to find people?  How much will it cost me now to not have this person on staff?

When you think it through, having a happy employee that feels valued is well worth a few thousand dollars.  Make your best offer from the start, even if it’s more than what they are looking for!  Don’t negotiate. Tell them, “This is our best offer. We want you to feel good about your decision to work here without having to negotiate with us.”  This message is a refreshing change from the wheeling and dealing that happens during most job offer negotiations.

In addition to money, here are a few other ideas that will give you the best possible chance of getting the most sought after talent.

Be Generous with Vacation Days

Instead of offering a flat 2 weeks off for your most vital employees, offer up to 3 weeks off for those who are just being hired. Better yet, don’t have a set vacation policy.  Allowing your employees to take vacation whenever they need it tells them you respect their ability to be responsible while empowering them to have more control over their life at work.

Allow for Flexible Scheduling

Letting employees have some control over their own hours will allow them time for themselves and their families. This could be seen as a huge incentive, especially to younger job seekers, who may like the idea of scheduling themselves to come in late, or have a certain day off. Being able to set part of their own schedule is attractive to those people you are looking to hire, and you will probably get more productive employees because of it.

Include a Relocation Bonus

Moving someone from out of town? Sweeten the pot with a relocation bonus. This should be enough money to cover movers, transportation, and 1-2 months’ worth of rent or mortgage payments.  Make sure you can be get the money back if the employee doesn’t work out (don’t pay them until they have worked for you for 2 or 3 months). This may be enough to get your best prospect tilting off of the fence towards your side.

You do not necessarily need to offer the most money among your competitors to get the best talent.  Making the most attractive offer from the start goes a long way in showing your dedication to your employees and says a lot about what kind of employer you are.