Offering the right salary to get the top talent


Many companies find themselves missing out on top talent over salaries. In fact, a reluctance to meet market level salaries, or to pay more for the right candidate, is something recruitment firms see all too often.

Being too tight-fisted over salaries can end up costing companies millions in the long term, particularly when the dispute can be over a sum as small as £5,000. So why do companies act in this way?

Salary banding

Many companies operate a salary band system. These are pay ranges established for specific roles within the business and are usually based on both market and internal value. However, salary bands can be restrictive and can prevent top tier talent from integrating within the business. Salary bands can also quickly become outdated as market values change with the economic landscape.

For example, a top Solution Architect or Product Manager could design and deliver an effective solution much more efficiently than another candidate. So meeting their salary expectations, even if the figure is outside of the company’s existing band structure, could ultimately save the company tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.


A much more complex and diverse issue we see in this scenario comes down to principle. If a company feels its right to only offer a certain salary, then it can be difficult to change their mind. However, if a company cannot come to a compromise on salary, then it could be seen as a reflection on its culture. We all know company values are important and necessary to building a strong workplace culture, but if these values are not adaptable, a firm could find itself behind the times and missing out on a strong talent pool.

Lack of involvement from senior management

Finally, the dispute can be made even more difficult if the senior management team is not involved enough in the recruitment process, as its these people that really understand the complexities of the role and the issues that need to be addressed. When consulted, a senior manager may agree that a higher salary should be awarded because they can recognise the weight of the problem that needs to be solved. And, if it isn’t solved, they can understand the ramifications it can have on the wider team.

With this in mind however, a problem may arise if the new starter requests a salary that is higher than that of the senior manager. This could create tension in the team and potentially cause the manager to feel undervalued. If the salary banding structure is too rigid, and the salaries of the wider team can’t be amended to facilitate the new starter’s request, then it could act as a blocker and prevent the business from securing top talent.

As specialists in the Broadcast and Media Streaming field, Hollbridge understands what it takes to attract top talent. Our thorough industry knowledge and broad global network means we’re best-placed to support you in your job search or help attract top candidates to your company. So, if you have any questions about salaries, or if you’re looking to recruit, get in touch.