Increasing pay is one of the best ways to get a leg up on the competition for top talent. And while on the surface it may seem like a simple solution to a complex problem — just pay more — defining "more" is where many companies get stuck. 

"More" is always changing and varies depending on your industry, location and the roles you're looking to fill. Here, we'll show you how to find the perfect pay to meet that criteria and what else to offer in order to get your business to the top of every qualified candidate's wishlist. 

Start with this short video, and read on for a more in-depth guide to finding your salary sweet spot. 

1. use an online salary calculator 

You can't afford to guess when it comes to compensation. That's why the first tool you should use when determining the best pay rates for your area is an online salary calculator. Salary calculators are updated regularly with compensation data for local markets across the country – so no matter where you are, or what industry you're in, you'll be able to get a good read on the going rate in your area. 

  • Find a reputable online salary calculator to ensure you're looking at the most recent pay data for your industry and market. 
  • Enter the positions you're looking to fill. Once you get the average pay rate, make sure to pay above that in order to attract top talent. 
  • Revisit pay data quarterly to keep your salaries competitive. Wages can change from one quarter to the next, especially as more companies increase their offerings to get a leg up in the war for talent. 

online salary calculators are updated regularly and are the best source for up-to-the-minute pay data.

2. better your benefits

Increasing pay is the best way to land in-demand candidates, but it's not the be-all end-all of talent attraction. Sixty-one percent of employees said they would be willing to accept a lower salary if the company in question had an outstanding benefits package to back it up. If improving pay isn't in the cards — or even if it is and you just want to transform your business into an unstoppable talent-attraction force — then boosting the benefits you offer may be the ticket. Our research uncovered some interesting insights into the kinds of benefits todays employees want most:

  • Ninety-four percent of employees said they would like to see benefits packages that meaningfully impact their quality of life. 
  • Different generations prioritized different things, so tailor benefits to align with different life stages: think better healthcare for boomers and student loan assistance for younger workers. 
  • Thirty-four percent of respondents said their companies didn't offer any form of a 401(k), retirement or pension plan – so if that rings true for your organization, start making the investment.

66% of employees said that a great benefits package was the most significant factor in determining whether or not they’d accept a job offer.

3. pump up the perks 

Startups have long been the standard-bearers for outside-the-box, world-leading perks (onsite acupuncture or sound-proof nap pods anyone?) and while a majority of the common features we hear getting thrown around by, say, Facebook or Google may not make sense for your industry or workplace, adding a few extra perks onsite can make you more competitive for talent. Among the employees we surveyed, onsite amenities reigned supreme, so consider offering:

  • early Friday releases
  • flexible and remote work options
  • onsite gyms, laundry and dry cleaning
  • unlimited vacation time
  • stocked food pantries or office food courts
  • onsite childcare 

Offering better perks is a great first step, but make sure that people know about them once you've made all your improvements. Only 48 percent of employees said they knew about or took advantage of the perks offered by their employers. If the goal is to improve workforce morale and attract new talent, that number is much too low to be effective. When you update your perks, notify your existing employees and update your job postings to ensure that none of your new offerings go to waste.


get the word out on your perks:

only 48% of employees said they knew about or took advantage of what their employers offered.

partner with a staffing firm 

If you follow these steps and make all the necessary upgrades to your compensation and benefits then you'll be putting your business in a great position to secure highly sought-after talent. But if you'd like some expert assistance, or if you just don't have the time to dedicate to the task full-time, then considering working with a staffing partner. Staffing firms can: 

  • accelerate your time to hire so you can get top candidates before they leave the market
  • provide you with deeper insights into current pay trends in your area than a salary calculator can provide
  • keep you updated on all the latest worker expectations around perks and benefits so your offerings remain competitive year after year

Get in touch with us today if you'd like to work together.