Recognise This: Talented employees know what they’re worth and are ready to get it.

Did you snap up any good “deals” during the recession? You know – overqualified employees you were able to get cheap?

As the economy (slowly but surely) improves, what are you doing to retain those talented employees and keep them (and their knowledge) away from your competitors?

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that employers who hired on the cheap in the recession should start being concerned. According to a recruiter quoted in the article, 1 in 5 candidates who call him are trying to return to their previous salary levels after being in their current job for a year or less.

This shouldn’t be surprising. Talented people will always find a way to get what they’re worth. It’s up to you be sure you know the outcomes of hiring on the cheap:

• Hiring cheap for the long-term = poor hire.
If you’re just looking for cheap labor and those people stay without complaint, you’ve likely gotten what you paid for.

• Hiring cheap for the short-term = quality hire at a good price, but with a catch.
Now you have to decide if you’re willing to pay the person what they’re worth, or let them go somewhere that will.

The difference is – are you cheap or are you proactive? A proactive strategy will snap up talent whilst it’s available then do the right thing as soon as feasible. A cheap strategy will let things fester and watch good talent walk out the door. Which are you?

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