There is an adage in real estate that your house is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. In recruitment, the position will pay what the market determines.
You can certainly adjust your profile to fit your compensation paradigm, but the market never lies. And for clients – this is a massive challenge in 2023; and I do not see it getting better.
For arguments sake – let us use a luxury hotel position I worked on several years ago to illustrate this point. A 500-room property in the Mid Atlantic US was seeking a Director of Revenue Management. They were paying 135k and the position reports to the DOSM and is on site. They did not want a first-time Director.
- Of the 75 properties in their geographic comp set – 50 of the DORM’s were remote or hybrid.
- 45 were multi-unit.
- 60 were above 135k.
- 90% reported to the GM and not to the DOSM.
So right away I had to work with the client on adjusting their expectations. They could either move on the location/reporting structure/compensation or adjust the profile of the candidate. The market will produce candidates at 135k but there might not be a lot of them, nor will they meet your experiential prerequisites.
Ask your recruitment partner to quantify why the market is resisting the opportunity – use that data to make a solid business decision. Do not be bound by what you paid your last leader – it is irrelevant in a fluid and organic market. It is commensurately not important to rely on salary data or survey information – nobody is going to move laterally to do the same job. Put yourself at the end of that recruitment call – would you toss your hat in the ring if the role on paper did not provide compensation growth?
The key is flexibility. Assess and reflect.
In this market, flexibility is a mental preservative for sanity.
Brent Billing is a Senior Director of Client Services at Lecours Group. He has been with Lecours for 22 years.