Challenges when recruiting testers – number 7

Continuing the theme of recruitment challenges, and number 7 is unrealistic salary expectations.

This one may well generate comments but I will explain what I mean.

A Tester needs to understand the value of their skills in the marketplace based upon their skills and experience. Unfortunately many feel the salaries they can ask for are far higher than should be the case, and this causes a number of issues:

1. Distortion in the market. As soon as one company pays 20% more for a role, then that starts to create an expectation that everyone else can afford to do so and follow on. This is not healthy.

2. The effect it has on existing employees. If you have someone who has been promoted to a Senior tester and they move to the next salary band, they are generally happy with this. But if you then have someone more junior who you have to pay more than the senior person, then it can cause resentment if the senior person becomes aware of it. And as a manager you are in a difficult position as you want to treat people fairly.

3. The effect on everyone else if a company decides they cannot justify paying people more than the role is actually worth. The work needs to be done, but there are less people to do it.

Of course it’s this ‘market’ that we all blame (its the same for house prices) – like a mythical entity that has it’s own brain and behaviour. But that is not true – the market can be sensibly ordered if people decide to be realistic about what they will pay for a role, and for candidates to be sensible about what we can and should ask for based on their skillsets.

We all want to earn more, but greed for the sake of it is not a good thing. Good candidates are missing out on opportunities to get in at ground level in organisations for the sake of asking too much money. And money is not the sole factor when looking at a job – there are many other things to consider:

Holidays, charity days, flexible working, pension scheme, office environment, free food and other perks, some or all fares paid, training opportunities etc. An overall package is based on salary plus the value of all the extras.

There are times when candidates need to consider taking a job that may not pay exactly what they think they are worth, as they have a chance to learn new skills, prove their worth and see their salary increase based on merit, and that has to be more satisfying.

Why would any employer want to overpay someone when they don’t know how they will actually perform? It makes no sense.

So for me, the best candidates are those who have a true sense of their value, and are not asking too much or too little…..

This is the flip side of asking too much – asking for too little. It can be an issue especially for a senior role, as it may make the recruiter think a candidate is not confident or experienced enough for the role. It could be that the candidate hasn’t done their homework and assessed their true value. There is no point undervaluing their worth either.

My advice: be realistic, assess the role, the salary offered plus extras, the training, the job growth opportunities and also assess your worth. Then you can go in confident that you can justify the salary you would like.


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