[IT] Salary is not the only recruitment criteria

4 min read
[IT] Salary is not the only recruitment criteria

Because of my professional background, I’ve worked for a lot of companies, either as a service provider or internally.

Salary is often:

  • A taboo subject, you should not talk about the salary you receive and even less with your colleagues
  • Seen as the only criterion for recruiting: If we don’t recruit, it’s because we don’t pay enough, if employees leave, it’s because of the salary

Today, I give you my vision on this point.

The salary is an important criterion…

Like many I think, I work to earn money. To say that salary is not a criterion for choosing a company would be hypocritical on my part.

Clearly, the salary that a company will offer me is one of the points I look at. However, for me it is only one of the criteria.

In the past, I had the opportunity to work in many different sectors and sizes of companies:

  • retail: Carrefour, Fnac, Conforama
  • industry: L’Oréal
  • banking: ING Commercial Banking, Société Générale
  • Media: Médiamétrie, Groupe SeLoger

All this to say that beside the salary, this panel also allowed me to see the sectors that interest me and what is not for me.

It is also thanks to this that I understood that I prefer to work in smaller structures than in big multinationals.

In IT, concerning the salary, you have to keep in mind that you often get a better salary in SSII/ESN. However, you have to keep in mind that this is not necessarily adapted to everyone, the world of service provision is a world that is more “mobile”, where you change context regularly, it is not necessarily adapted to everyone.

… but far from being the only one

It is indeed important to be paid according to the work done and the quality of it, that is undeniable.

However, limiting the choice of a company to the salary it offers is simplistic.

The general atmosphere

Being in a company with a healthy general atmosphere is just as important. I’m not talking about table soccer and croissants, but about a healthy atmosphere for your mind.

As an anecdote, in one of my former missions, I was shocked by a situation: I was on the client’s set surrounded by internal teams, and some people could not communicate other than by insults or aggression, I even saw one person crying on the set! Atmosphere!

This allowed me to see that this is not what I am looking for, and to tell myself that being in a healthy work environment is essential for me.

Feeling valued

I am one of those people who believe that in technical positions, it is important that the work you do is valued. We are often “men (and women, of course) behind the scenes”, and when a project is successful, the technical teams that made it possible are rarely put forward.

There are several ways to do this for me:

  • The salary increase (this seems logical)
  • Saying it! (we often forget this detail)
  • Share the success, for example by doing communications to explain what the team did
  • Highlight it on a technical blog

The last point is important to me. More and more companies are setting up technical blogs, even if it’s not their core business. Why? Because it allows them to highlight the skills they cultivate internally, but not only, a technical blog is also a perfect showcase for recruiting. Be careful, though, it is important that the author is highlighted in these articles, and not necessarily the company (even though the goal is visibility for the company)

At WeScale, my current employer, this also manifests itself with the WeTribute, once a month, we receive a form through which we can thank several colleagues. Once a quarter, all these thanks are compiled and sent and the three most thanked (excluding management) share a bonus. Being recognized by your peers is important and I must admit that receiving these messages once a quarter is always heartwarming!

Knowing where you’re going

The reason I left some companies was the captainless ship syndrome. You know, that feeling that you’re sailing with the waves, but no one has set a clear course.

From my point of view, it’s a frustrating situation. I like to know where the company I’m in is going. This requires communication: explaining the company’s choices, sharing a roadmap (even a very “big picture” one)… Basically, having a clearly defined direction.

But it also involves a point that is often forgotten: the career plan. I’m one of those people who need to be able to project themselves and say “OK, if I stay x years in the company, how can I evolve? Personally, I need to know that I won’t be doing the same thing every day until I quit.

Having visibility on possible evolutions is something that is as important as the salary.

You are very kind, but how do I recruit?

I’m not an expert in human resources, far from it, it’s a job that requires a lot of psychology and empathy and I don’t intend to take a position on these subjects.

However, I am one of those who are on the other side, and I can give my point of view.

First of all, stop putting forward your table soccer, resting room and co., I am applying for a job, not a summer camp!

Then, don’t only focus on the salary, but on what’s around it. I have turned down offers with a 50% increase in salary because the work environment was not for me. Paying a lot of money to people who won’t stay because of the work environment actually costs you more (training time, continuous recruitment, team turnover = demotivating, etc.)!

Some levers like telecommuting for example are nowadays points that can also be interesting.

Today, it is important to have healthy working conditions to be able to recruit. Don’t forget, for the same salary, candidates will always go where they feel most comfortable.