Business Exposure Group discussion puts staff pay under the spotlight

The amount that new members of staff should be paid was the subject of debate at the latest Business Exposure Group meeting.

Businesses were asked how they set a salary range for new staff, and one attendee said: “Ensuring that the amount you offer new employees is very important. If your candidate is hired at the top of your pay scale, you will have nowhere to go. However, staff who will accept low rates of pay are often less motivated and less effective on the ground.”

“Don’t wait until you find a candidate to come up with an offer,” said Geoff Sumner, who also attended the meeting.  “You need to keep the salary of new hires in line with current staff, and quality of life perks puts you a long way to attracting talent.”

Salary data is available from a number of places including:

–       classified ads

–       networking

–       public information

–       other business owners

–       chamber of commerce

–       employment agencies

–       trade associations

–       job applicants

–       suppliers.

The group also looked at the pay scales for existing staff and how to decide on pay rises. For example, some businesses have chosen to move away from paying the minimum wage of £6.19 per hour to the provincial Living Wage of £7.45.

“You could put every member of staff on commission,” continued Geoff Sumner. “Vary the rate between roles and pay it every month. Every employee is then inherently motivated.  Payroll will rise and fall automatically along with revenue creation.”

The real value of UK wages fell back to the equivalent of the 2003 level in 2012. Since 2009 inflation has outstripped wage increases.

David Greggs, who also attended the meeting said: “Male full time employees in the private sector have experienced the biggest fall in pay and on average, workers have seen pay drop by 3% annually between 2009-2013.

“An increasing number of workers have been underemployed since the economic down turn, which combined with lower take home pay, in real terms means many are earning much less than they were.”

If you are a Director or business owner and would like to attend one of their informative round-table discussions, please contact


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