The Problem with Getting Champagne-Quality Talent on a Beer Budget

Author Byline: Stacey Grimes
Author Website:

champagneAs recruiters in a sluggish economy, I’m sure there are plenty of stories out there about how companies are looking to obtain top talent at bargain prices. Kind of like having “champagne tastes” while only wanting to pay for a beer. I’d like to address this with the hope of providing some education and also learning what some best practices might be to combat this. As a recruiter that has been through many different markets, I know the downside of this type of hiring practice. In most cases, it is an unhappy ending for the company… and a frustrating experience for the candidate.

When the economy changes for the better (and it will…eventually), the candidate that took a 20K pay cut to get back to work will quickly seek out a new position. It’s inevitable and frankly should be expected – especially if the new offer is below market value. What I ask is that hiring managers look at the big picture. If the position and budget allows, it’s best to get the candidate as close to where they were previously (of course this does not apply if a candidate was earning well above market value). Why? It will take more than that 20K in the long run to replace this person, not to mention the time and cost of training that hire that left prematurely.

Here’s an example of this happening. I had a hiring manager who had been looking to fill his position for 4 months. No one was an exact bull’s eye…until our perfect candidate came along. The candidate had recently been laid off from a competitor. My hiring manager immediately went through the process and along came offer time. The candidate had been earning 100k and my hiring manager felt that we could get the candidate for 80K since the market was down and the candidate was unemployed. After a series of discussions, the hiring manager held firm and we presented the offer. The candidate accepted, went through the training program, was introduced to the clients and was formally integrated….only to leave in 9 months for a job paying 120K with another competitor. Ouch!

What are you experiencing? If you are a recruiter delivering this message to your hiring managers, how are you doing so? Conversely, if you are a hiring manager, I’d love to hear your perspective on this subject.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.


About Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Masters-prepared Certified Disability Management Specialist. Over eighteen years experience in vocational assessment, counseling, and testimony, primarily in rehabilitation services.
This entry was posted in advice, General, Networking, new grad, Vocational Counseling and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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