Salary Surveys - Is there really any point?

Salary Surveys - Is there really any point?

Vitae has always believed in providing real consultancy when it comes to dealing with our client base. Whilst many recruitment business models are based on achieving success through volume submissions and playing the numbers game, we have chosen to go against the grain and create a brand that is synonymous with market knowledge and a more scientific approach. Why then do we not publish Salary Surveys?

There are no guarantees when trying to fill a client's requirement but the odds of a successful match should be far shorter than they are across our industry. If a consultant really takes the time to understand what an organisation is looking for, and likewise actively sets out to really get under the skin of their potential candidate, there should be no horror shows. However we all know that in reality, shocking match-ups occur on a regular basis and the odd exception aside, this can nearly always be put down to generic scattergun recruitment. A CV that matches up against a few key words on a job specification, together with a salary aspiration that is roughly in line with the package on offer, will very often find its way on to a hiring manager's desk and the chances of a successful placement occurring are simply a lottery.

Everyone is Different

Successful recruitment ultimately comes down to the fact that no two people are the same. Standing in front of a client may be two individuals with similar academic profiles, a professional qualification and the same number of years post qualified experience gleaned from a FTSE 100 commercial enterprise. They won't both get the job and there is every chance that despite being similar on paper, they are very different in person. This in a nutshell is why we have never chosen to distribute or publish salary surveys. Although they can sometimes be asked for, we have always questioned their value and very much place them in the category discussed above - generic scattergun recruitment. The years of experience may be the same but the salary differentials may well be worlds apart and rightly so.

Defining Value

How do you assess someone’s value? A candidate will tell you how much they are looking for but does this mean their assessment is accurate and in line with market rates? No.

A recruitment specialist that knows their stuff will make an assessment (be it higher or lower) based on so many differentials: academics; years of experience; levels of responsibility; achievements and legacies; reasons for leaving; reasons for staying; management style; communication skills; areas for development; aspirations; depth of personality... the list goes on and on. To place job categories and pound signs on a matrix form may look professional and consultative but in our opinion, couldn't be further from the truth. Not only does it fail to take into account 'the individual' and their makeup, but it also fails to consider the fact that some people will choose to forgo a level of salary based on company benefits or maybe even because they just love working in a particular environment! The bottom line is that surveys can be extremely misleading whichever side of the fence you are reading them from.

Vitae’s Approach

So our approach is simple. We always have and always will provide salary related advice both to clients and jobseekers alike. However this will never be in a generic form format, but rather on a one to one basis taking into account as many differentials as possible and ensuring that our opinion is always backed up with logic and real consultancy.

If you would like further information on this subject matter or any other relating to financial recruitment, please contact us at your convenience.

Ryan Lamb, Managing Director
Vitae Financial Recruitment