What do capuchin monkeys have in common with hiring practices? As it turns out, quite a lot.
Kasia and I were invited to lead a workshop during Transparency Festival, a recruitment event organised by No Fluff Jobs.
Leading workshops for 100 people is quite a challenge, even when they’re split into two groups. We decided to run a little experiment, which involved a role play. We selected three volunteers from each group to play the roles of:
- the recruiter
- the hiring manager
- the candidate
Here’s how we briefed the volunteers:
You’re invited to the last stage of the recruitment process for the role of an HR Business Partner. You were told the company wants to hire you. Everything you know about the role so far is in the job ad below.
Your goal is to negotiate the best offer for yourself.
In order to do this, you will need to understand the value of the benefits offered by the company. In your previous interview, the recruiter mentioned the salary ranges available for the position and your expectations were within those ranges. Your minimum expectations are 12.000K PLN before taxes and an employment contract (you may forfeit the benefits to negotiate a higher salary).
THE HIRING MANAGER:
You are the Hiring Manager for the position of an HR Business Partner in your company. The recruiter invited the best candidate for the position to meet with you today. Before you see the candidate, you will be meeting with the recruiter to make sure you’re on the same page as to what the company can offer the candidate.
Remember: Your role is only to answer direct questions from the recruiter!
Your goal is to make sure you negotiate the best offer for the company.
Your maximum budget for the role is 13 000K PLN and an employment contract.
- English language classes – the company will cover 50%, up to 200 PLN / month
- Private healthcare for the entire family – the company only covers the cost for the employee (the employee pays for family members)
- Gym membership – the employee contributes 50 PLN/month for the membership
- Career advancement – only if another position opens up, it’s impossible to determine when that might be
- Monthly education budget (200 PLN/month for training, max 2000 PLN a year).
You’re responsible for the recruitment process for the role of HR Business Partner. Today, you’ve invited the best candidate in the process in for the lsat stage of the process.
The hiring manager will also be present, their role is to listen in and support. Before you start the meeting with the candidate, you’ll meet for a short briefing with the hiring manager to make sure you’re on the same page.
Take time during the meeting to make sure you have all the information needed for extending the offer, such as the type of contract you want to sign, the salary ranges etc.
Everything you know about the role so far is in the job ad below.
Your goal is to make sure the offer you make is accepted by the candidate.
HOW THE ROLE PLAY WENT
As you see, only the hiring manager had all the facts. That often happens in a recruitment process. The briefing was supposed to allow the recruiter to ask everything they needed to know.Jak widzisz, tylko Hiring Manager posiadał komplet informacji.
This case could have been over in 2 minutes. The candidate’s expectations match the company budget for the position. All the participants needed to do was to be open about what they want and what they can offer. Win win.
What ended up happening in both sessions (independently!) was that the hiring manager claimed their maximum budget for the position was 11K PLN. The observers had all the information, just like the hiring manager and you could tell they were quite confused at this point.
In the first session, the company didn’t end up signing the contract with the candidate. The hiring manager didn’t agree to go above 11K PLN. The recruiter knew the budget was higher, but kept quiet.
And yet their goal was to sign the contract! The hiring manager’s goal was to “negotiate the best offer for the company” but nowhere did it say that meant lowballing the candidate.
This attitude can cost the company a great hire who ticks all the boxes and is within the budget. If you end up hiring someone less experienced or skilled, that’s fine, but you have to consider the cost of upskilling that employee. Instead, all the participants only looked at the salary as the cost to the employer.
In the second session the hiring manager also claimed they could offer 11K PLN but the candidate kept on negotiating. She was finally offered 12K PLN after giving up some of the additional benefits.
We found it interesting that none of the participants in the role play decided to openly discuss what they need or what they can offer. Lack of transparency can extend the negotiations process, it impacts candidate experience negatively and leads to salary inequality, and finally, it may cost you candidates.
Transparent salary practices lead to a more fair workplace. In the end, everyone wants a fair salary – even capuchin monkeys 😉