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October 22, 2003
The Up (and Downside) of Hiring in a Buyers' Market
by Dave Ricker, Senior Recruiter

Hiring "A" talent to fill a B or C level position can be an expensive corporate mistake. Every day, we talk to candidates who say, "I just took this job to hold me over. Please keep me in mind for any other opportunities."

Even though today's candidate market is a buyers market, top logistics professionals should be offered a full salary appropriate with experience and background. If not, the overqualified candidate may accept a lower salary as a stop-gap measure until the next job opportunity comes along with an increased base salary and corporate recognition.

Example: Corporate position is for an experienced Global Supply Chain Professional to link worldwide locations.

Budgeted salary level: $80,000 - $90,000 base plus bonus plus benefits

Qualified Candidates:

  1. 2-3 Local candidates with 7-12 yrs experience
  2. Candidates' previous salaries ranged from $85,000 to $115,000 base plus bonus

Recommendation: Hire the right candidate. Do not expect the more experienced $115,000 base professional to be satisfied with a $90,000 base. If a threat of "other candidates in the pipeline would eagerly take this salary then the offer is most likely not going out to the right candidate.

Suggestions on how to hire the right candidate:

  • Have a written, detailed job description including realistic compensation criteria before initiating a search
  • Do not entertain candidates who have been living on a significantly higher salary
  • One step backward for two steps forward is one thing BUT FOUR STEPS BACKWARD will not work
  • Do not be swayed with the current ability to hire an "A" candidate at a significantly reduced salary. Times will change and you may risk losing the "A" employee to the appropriate salary level and professional challenge in the near future.
  • If the current open position does not require a super-star but you find a super-star candidate, consider opening a new search -- new job description, gain approval for a new salary level, etc.

A buyers market today can change overnight. The objective is to hire the right person in the right position to achieve long-term results. Follow the above simple rules and you should be well on your way to building a strong team of performers.

  About the Author
Dave Ricker, Senior Recruiter of The SearchLogix Group
Dave Ricker is a senior recruiter with The SearchLogix Group based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has over 20 years of successful, progressive recruitment in the fields of Transportation, 3rd Party Logistics, Supply Chain Management and Distribution/Transportation Technology. Dave can be reached at

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