Cost vs Quality: Which is more important?

by Richard Britcliffe

I am going to start this blog by admitting I made a mistake (so you jumped up recruiters don’t need to point it out). I took a very detailed spec for a very senior role but left the salary quite “flaky”.

Cutting a long story short, I introduced a £130k candidate to what turned out to be a £120k role and despite my candidate ticking all the boxes my client wouldn’t budge! This got me thinking….. What is more important sticking to budget or getting that first choice candidate?

Here are some pro and cons for both……


Sticking to the budget:

  • Companies have a budget for a reason, especially in Facilities Management where contracts are sold with little profit margin. Keeping costs down is a must.
  • There needs to be consistency when paying employees in similar roles the same. When one employee is paid more the workforce can get disgruntled.
  • It becomes more about the money for the employee and less about the desire to work for the company and genuinely believing in what they are trying to achieve.
  • It is a risk, just because someone has achieved well in their previous role does not mean they are going to deliver for you. The hiring manager will have a lot to answer for if the break budget and it does not work out.


That First Choice candidate:

  • People make the business what it is. If you want to be the best you have to hire the best and the best costs more.
  • If you set out clear deliverables salary can always be justified. If a potential employee wants more you can just higher their expectation and make that clear to the workforce. It should be about return on investment.
  • Paying higher salaries means a more motivated work force. If an employee feels they are well paid they feel they owe the company something. Employees will work harder to hit target and justify the higher salary.
  • It can be used as a selling point for a business; Clients want to know their supplier treats their staff well. People will also want to join your company making recruitment a lot easier.
  • It can be used as a competitive advantage, remember you are not only securing the services of the best in the market. You are taking them away from a competitor. Your employees are also much less likely to leave. Remember on average it costs £30k to replace an employee.


Obviously, there is no right or wrong answer. Every company will have their own motivators and of course nothing is guaranteed. I have my own opinion but I am keen to get yours. Is the reward of getting that perfect employee worth the risk?

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