A former boss of mine used to say that to me all the time when we were recruiting talent and I would get cheap on the pay. Unless you are a fantastic organization in other ways, why would an “A” player come to work for you for “B” money? The answer. They won’t or if they do come to work for you they will not stay. As an employee retention speaker and employee retention expert, I see this happen all the time. Places will get lucky enough to get an “A” player for a “B” player salary and then they wonder why the person leaves a year later for more money. The answer: if you want a thoroughbred, you have to feed them oats or, to put it in business terms, pay people what they are worth!
The phenomena I see is that everyone wants “A” players. That is understandable. Unfortunately, they only want to pay “B” wages. With the rise of the internet and online salary surveys like salary.com, people can check instantly what they are worth in the marketplace. If someone talks to their friend or goes to an association meeting and money comes up and they get any indication they are underpaid, they will check it out when they get home…if not right there at the meeting on their iPhone.
The best way to prevent this is to pay people what they are worth. If you have “A” players, pay them “A” wages. If you do that, you take money out of the retention strategies equation as a variable and can concentrate on the other key elements of employee retention. So, next time you are thinking you are getting a “deal” by getting an “A” player for “B” wages, keep in mind that if you want a thoroughbred…you have to feed it oats! And remember: C.R.A.P. Works!