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Winning Hiring Strategies : Reconciling Equity and Competitiveness

March 12, 2024

Particularly active hiring phases sometimes occur at different times of the year, for example, during the month of March. To ensure the success of a job offer for a sought-after candidate, an employer must strategically prepare to remain competitive while adhering to pay equity principles.  

Here are some steps to take when an application piques your interest : 

1. Have previously analysed salaries for similar positions  

  • At Kenova, we have implemented a unique tool that compiles salary surveys for the accounting and finance market in Quebec. Using this data, along with our database of over 45,000 applications and the specific salaries of our 250 candidates placed annually, we are able to keep a close eye on salary trends in the industry. This allows us to provide relevant and up-to-date analysis to better guide our clients. 
  • It can also be interesting to identify the competitive advantages offered by other companies for the same type of position in order to adjust your proposal accordingly since salary is not the only element sought after by applications. Your partner at Kenova will be able to provide you with all the recommendations you need. 

2. Assess the candidate’s skills and experience  

Use a variety of assessment methods, such as in-depth interviews, technical skills tests (if required) and task simulations, to assess the candidate’s skills. 

Consider the candidate’s past experience and its potential impact on future performance in the role.  

More specifically, during your interviews, opt for: 

  • Real-world examples : Use scenarios from previous events where you can recognize if the application has the skills needed for the specific role. 
  • Fact-based references : Ask your recruitment firm to contact the candidate’s references by focusing on specific facts and accomplishments rather than general judgments. 
  • A diverse team of evaluators : Involve different members of your team in the interview with whom the person will need to collaborate, making sure you have different skills and personality traits to see the bigger picture and reduce potential biases.  
  • Types of questions : Be sure to ask open-ended questions to get more detailed answers and an evaluation grid based on the technical skills and soft skills essential for the role. 

3. Determine the salary range for internal equity  

Salary is a sensitive subject. An employee who learns that a new hire has been made at a higher salary for the same level of position could be fatal. 

  • It is important to ensure legal compliance by adhering to pay equity laws without gender discrimination. 
  • Transparent salary ranges : Maintain scales that reflect the value of positions. Also, be aware that employees are talking to each other, so avoid potential unfairness. 
  • Proactive correction : since the market is evolving, it is normal to correct wage gaps as they arise, with the implementation of equity plans. 

4. Write a competitive offer  

  • Before making an offer, make sure you have confirmed the minimum expectations of the candidate you want to hire. While most seek salary progression by changing jobs, some accept the same salary or even a slight decrease for an ideal work environment and a fulfilling role. 
  • Kenova’s recruiters are specialists in gathering all the information that will be relevant to you about the essential criteria of candidates. Take advantage of their expertise to get an overview that will help you make a competitive offer. 

5. Remain flexible when negotiating  

  • Be open to negotiation while being aware of your budget limitations. Explore your ability to offer non-monetary benefits such as flexible hours, remote work opportunities, wellness programs, and other benefits that improve quality of life at work.  
  • When there’s a mutual fit, all it takes is a little creative to find a win-win middle ground.  
  • You can also highlight opportunities for professional growth within the company and propose a salary review after 6 months. Show that you’re investing in your employees’ long-term development by already planning how the progression of the person you’re hiring might look like. 

Remember that the right resource hired can not only generate significant profits for you, but also help save significant funds.

6. Follow up after the offer  

  • Of course, validate the reaction of the application after making the offer through the head-hunter and make sure to answer all the questions, clarify the details and keep the candidate engaged until they are onboarded. 
  • By following these steps, an employer can not only effectively prepare to make a competitive offer, but also implement a strategic compensation process that promotes internal and external equity, while enhancing the company’s overall attractiveness to sought-after candidates. 

In summary, ensuring a positive end-to-end candidate experience is key to optimizing the recruitment process. A transparent, respectful and well-paced process, accompanied by constant communication, will help generate interest in the application and increase the chances of a successful hire.  

It is just as relevant to build a strong employer brand upstream, as it allows you to attract talent that aligns their values with those of your company, for sustainable hiring. Employer branding can be highlighted during the recruitment process, highlighting your organization’s corporate culture, core values, and unique benefits. 

At Kenova, we act as brand ambassadors for our clients on a daily basis. We excel at highlighting the distinctive characteristics of our employees, strategically positioning them with candidates who share similar values and criteria.  

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