You Lowballed Your Candidate and He Accepted #MerryChristmas

Ben Martinez Benefits, Business Development, candidate experience, Compensation/Cash Money, Holidays, HR

Merry Christmas. Can we still say that? Happy Holidays if that term is not allowed. But I digress…

Candidates decline offers, hiring managers do irrational things, but sometimes a hiring manager can lowball an offer to a candidate ($20K or more, less than expectations) and get them to accept. If you are the hiring manager with a tight budget, this might feel like a big win, until 30 days later you realize you made a mistake with the offer. You are paying LeBron James the salary of a 5th round draft pick.

Your new hire is getting after it, but getting paid way less than anyone else at the company. Worse, they are getting calls from recruiters with their new VP or Director title.

What do you do?

Take them to coffee and tell them you made a mistake on their offer. Give them a pay raise. Whatever you can do. $1K per year more, $5K, or $10K more. Do something. They will quickly find out they are underpaid and will not wait for their annual compensation increase. If they are A-level talent, they will leave within one year.

I just talked to an all-star Product Marketer at a high growth technology company who is underpaid for his role by 30%. He knows it and is looking. Two years ago, his current company low balled him, and he accepted. Now, he has experience. He will be recruited away for more money while his company’s HR team will be waiting for the annual pay cycle to evaluate this Product Marketing stud’s pay.

Do not underpay your top performers.

Compensation situations do not follow your company’s annual pay raise cycle. Compensation is personal, and you are dealing with emotions and money. No HR process can fix compensation issues. Many companies are looking at raises and bonuses for the new year – make sure you are addressing the low paid, top performers. It will be worth it to pay them what they are worth.

Merry Christmas–give someone a pay bump if you low balled them to get them in the door, then be a leader they want to follow. Simple but not easy to do.

Ben Martinez

Ben Martinez – family guy, coffee critic, planker, and HR & Recruiting journeyman. He has successfully worked in HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (Pepsi, Honeywell, and Energizer). Most recently he was the VP of People & Culture for HireVue, where he hired 400+ people in almost five years using video, social media, and created the employment brand, VueNation in partnership with HireVue.

Ben now runs his own consulting company, Ramp Talent, where they ramp recruiting and HR for startups. From recruiting ready-to-go talent to implementing ongoing best practices to preventing legal headaches, we build the first HR and recruiting systems for fast-growing startups.

PS – coffee is for closers – Ben founded an e-commerce subscription coffee company focused on re-imagining coffee in the workplace and home – Sumato Coffee Co. They only roast your beans within 48 hours of your order.

Ben lives in the SLC, Utah area.