Salary. It’s one of the first things we look at on job descriptions, and can be a deciding factor between jobs.
It’s extremely important that employers get salaries right, but how can companies know if they are paying their finance team appropriately?
There are many factors to be considered. That’s why we have teamed up with expert finance advisory firm, Hutcheon Mearns Ltd, and asked the key questions so you don’t have to.
How do you find the market norm?
There are a number of ways to find out whether or not you are paying your finance employees the appropriate salary, or whether you pay the market norm.
Salary surveys are useful for gaining a general overview of employee salaries in a specific area.
If using them, however, you must take into account the industries and the geographic area covered.
Another way of identifying the market norm for salaries is to look at other companies’ current job advertisements, albeit these are not always disclosed.
Tina Maguire, Resourcing Consultant at Hutcheon Mearns, said: “You can go on to numerous websites and job boards and find what looks to be the average salary for the financial member of staff you need.”
Is each method fool proof?
Tina explains that while surveys are useful and accessible, they can be general and sometimes biased.
She says: “If the survey was looking at the North East of Scotland, for example, you would either end up with an extremely wide band of salaries, which wouldn’t be helpful at all, or the survey would err on the side of the higher finance team salaries of the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen, and so imply that is whatevery qualified accountant in the area was earning the same.”
In this instance, the salary survey could lead companies to believe that the market norm for paying their employees is way out of budget when, in fact, it depends heavily on industry.
And while checking job boards to see what other companies are paying their financial employees is quick and easy, it fails to take into account factors such as travel, parking, pensions, holidays, etc.
As Tina says: “No two companies or employees are the same. For some employees, holidays will be of great importance. For others, a good pension package could be a deal breaker.
“You need to have some flexibility.”
How can Hutcheon Mearns help?
Hutcheon Mearns is a firm which has 25 finance professionals and a team of accountants leading the resourcing division.
“We have all made our own career choices in financial roles,” explains Tina. “This puts us in a strong position to advise clients – hiring managers and candidates – on any issues to do with job opportunities or vacancies.
“Yes, we will recruit for you and we will find you a job, but that’s not all we do. Our wider business offering, and relevant experience allows us to talk with clients and provide trusted advice on planning your finance department or your personal career.”
Why is an appropriate salary important?
Knowing and paying good salaries allows firms to attract – and keep – talent.
Well-paid people tend to be more productive and motivated, and more willing to go the extra mile for their employers.
Tina explains: “Paying low salaries is a very short term method of saving. Retention and hiring will become difficult and you could get a reputation for having a fast turnover of staff.
“While money may not be the major driver for all, feeling undervalued or being paid less than other colleagues has been shown to be a huge de-motivator.”
Happy employees, happy company
Paying employees an appropriate and fair salary will not just improve morale, it will act as an investment.
A motivated workforce which feels valued will ultimately lead to a more productive, successful business.
For more information on financial salaries, or for free expert advice on the subject, visit the Hutcheon Mearns website.