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Hiring The Best Candidates
By Steven Kozack

I know a company that pays up to 40% more than the current market rate to attract key people to the company...and they do this routinely. I asked if this hiring practice included the credit department, and the answer yes. When I asked them why they would pay more than the going rate, I got this explanation:

We want to hire the best people we can, set challenging performance goals, and expect they will succeed. We pay more, but for wages that are on average 20% above the market price we expect and usually get:

  • To attract and hire the best talent for every job opening we have.

  • New employees that generally need less training time, and specifically need less of their manager's time and attention.

  • We spend very little time documenting performance shortfalls because [a] we don't have many, and [b] if and when we do, we cut our losses and fire the employee before they get off their 90-day probation period.

  • Hiring good subordinates makes our managers more productive because it frees up management's time for high priority tasks.

  • Hiring the best employees we can find tends to keep our customers happy because the people they interact with are professional and competent.

  • Departmental productivity improves because more experienced workers need to spend less time helping new hires to adjust, to learn new skills, to figure out how to get along with their co-workers.

  • In our experience, high performers tend to have low absenteeism rates.

  • They tend to have low turnover rates because they are happy surrounded by competent, capable co-workers.

  • High performers tend to be able to multi-task, are flexible, adaptable, easy to cross-train and willing to accept new responsibilities.

  • They tend to be fast learners, and self-starters.

And finally, they generate a higher return on investment, dollar for dollar, than "average" workers would do. We estimate that in return for an average 20% premium, we hire employees that are twice as productive as an average new employee would be.

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