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Respecting Candidates' Salary Expectations: The Implications of Low Balling in the Hiring Process

Respect a Candidate's Expectations When candidates embark on the job search process, they often invest significant time and effort in learning about the company, preparing for interviews, and showcasing their skills. As part of this process, candidates also express their salary expectations early on. It is essential for employers to respect these expectations. By disregarding or significantly undercutting a candidate's initial salary expectations during negotiations, employers risk demoralizing the candidate and signaling a lack of value for their skills and contributions.

Negative Impact on Perception Undervaluing candidates can have a lasting effect on the perception of an organization. Candidates who receive a lowball offer feel disrespected and unappreciated, leading to a decreased sense of loyalty towards the company, if they accept. This negative perception can also spread quickly through word-of-mouth, affecting the ability to attract top talent in the future. In a tight market, this impact the employer's reputation, deterring other potential candidates who might view the organization as undervaluing its candidates and employees.

The Cost of Saving a Few Bucks

Restarting the recruitment process can come with various costs, both direct and indirect. Firstly, there are tangible expenses such as costly job postings, workstyle assessments, and background checks that need to be paid for again. Additionally, the time and effort invested by the hiring team in reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and negotiating terms with the candidate must be repeated. Indirect costs can also arise from the delay in filling the position, leading to a loss in productivity and potentially revenue for the company. Altogether, these costs emphasize the importance of offering fair and competitive compensation to potential candidates to avoid the need for a costly, time-consuming restart.

Self-Protection Mode When candidates receive a low offer, they will in most cases enter into self-protection mode. This means they become more cautious, skeptical, and hesitant to trust the employer. They may start questioning the company's integrity and wonder if they would be taken seriously in their role or if their contributions would be properly recognized. This mindset can hinder productivity and engagement from the very start, causing long-term repercussions for the employer-employee relationship.

The Ripple Effect Failing to meet a candidate's salary expectations not only affects the immediate job offer but also casts a shadow on any future discussions regarding compensation or benefits. Candidates who perceive that the company is undervaluing them in the recruitment process, also assume that the employer will likely undervalue them throughout their tenure. For existing employees, it can lead to disengagement and higher turnover rates, as employees start seeking opportunities elsewhere where they feel their expectations will be better met. Conclusion In a candidate-driven market, employers must recognize the importance of respecting candidates' expectations and offering fair compensation. "Low balling" candidates in the last hour not only sends a negative message in the moment but also impacts their perception of the company, the future employee-employer relationship and the employers' ability to attract future candidates. By investing in fair compensation from the beginning, employers can create a culture that values and retains top talent, leading to a more productive and successful workforce.

As an HR consulting and recruitment firm, we are committed to helping businesses stay ahead of the HR curve. Contact us today to learn more about how our expertise and tailored solutions can support your organization's HR goals.

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Article by Alicia Bolton, CEO & President @ OutsourceHR


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