When it comes to conversations about money, we can’t help but think of that key moment in the nineties classic, Jerry Maguire. You know the one. Cuba Gooding Jr’s character makes Tom Cruise’s character repeat ‘Show meeee the moneeeeey” until he’s blue in the face.

What this scene highlights is that, as a potential candidate, it can be extremely disheartening if they have performed well at interviews and are excited about the prospect of a new role, only to discover they would be on a better wicket at McDonalds.

Paying competitive salaries is vital if you want to attract – and keep – the best people. And these employee salaries should not be viewed as a business cost either – your people are assets. They are an investment in the success of your business.

Good. Now we’ve cleared that up, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. We’re sure you’re familiar with the well-worn saying about peanuts and monkeys, but it’s remarkably true in its simplicity. Paying a little bit more for better people is a much smarter strategy than trying to get talent on the cheap – and will net you greater profits in the long run.

We know it gets confusing when there are things like pay scales and awards to consider, but all it takes is a little bit of research and you can easily establish the industry benchmark for each position. Some online job sites will even calculate it for you.

The next important thing to remember is consistency. Nothing creates greater disunity or unhappiness than talk about who’s earning more than who and why the new person has better benefits. Staff gossip is almost as certain as death and taxes! So take a minute to consider this question – are you awarding rates of pay and benefits fairly?

Creativity is your secret weapon here – an attractive range of benefits does not have to cost you the earth, but it does need to have some value to your employees. Think access to Facebook or YouTube at work, an hour earlier finish on Fridays, remembering people’s birthdays, recognising people’s anniversaries with your company and perhaps hosting a morning tea to celebrate.

We cover all of these things in detail, plus additional aspects like how to structure rewards programs and paying for performance, in Chapter 3 of our What is HR? eBook. It’s an easy, affordable read at only $9.95 and will have you answering your own HR questions in no time. Pick up a copy now.

Happy HR’ing

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