Subscribe to industry newsletters

BizTrends 2018

Advertise on Bizcommunity

Manufacturing Indaba 2018

[BizCareers] Hiring the right person, discussing salaries

How can you make sure you hire the right person? Should you discuss salary in an interview? We look at these two questions from an employer's point of view this week.

Testing troubles

I'm not sure if you can help me with this, but I have recently interviewed and shortlisted a few candidates for a role at my company. I am completely new to this so I was hoping you could advise. What are the most comprehensive tests that I can use to a) check whether they have criminal or credit records and b) see whether their personalities will fit with the company? Also, do you know how much these would cost? Thank you for your time. - Dustin H

Hi Dustin,

Thank you for contacting me about this. There are in a fact a myriad of tests that you can use to screen and assess candidates, however, they are often very expensive and not easily accessible. For the credit and criminal check you will need to contact a recruitment agency to perform these on your behalf, they should have the necessary software and hardware to perform these. You will probably pay between R200-R300 for both credit and criminal check.

For the personality testing you will need to contact a registered psychometrist to conduct these. You pay them an hourly fee to conduct and assess your candidate. The fee will probably range between R2000 - R4000 depending on the test.

Please feel free to contact me with any further questions.

Salary slip-ups

I have been interviewing a few people and I never know whether or not to discuss salary with them in the interview. Should I discuss it or should I rather wait to put out a formal offer, are there any legal implications if I change my mind?" - Johan V

Hi Johan,

Thank you for your question.

Salary is always a very tricky and uncomfortable subject for both interviewer and interviewee. If you are interviewing a candidate through an agency I would always suggest that salary is discussed through the agent. So, for example, you can find out through the agent what the candidate would move for and then offer accordingly. This then frees you up to speak about more relevant and comfortable subjects in the interview and get a really good understanding of the person you're speaking to.

If however you're not working through an agent, then you will more than likely need to discuss it.

The two questions you could ask are:

1. What is the minimum salary you would move for?
2. What figure would you be ecstatic with?

These two answers will then give you a bit of scope to play with. If you, however, asked the straight-forward question of "What salary do you want?" , the candidate often answers out of panic because he wants the job and gives you a far lower figure than they actually are worthy of. You then think you've got a bargain, put an offer together, offer him the job only to find that he doesn't arrive for work on his first day as he never really wanted that salary and accepted something else.

The main message here is to tread very carefully around salary; there are no legal implications if you say one thing and then put another figure down on paper, however, it won't put you as an employer in a favourable light and already give a negative impression of the company before the person has even started, if they even choose to. People are not desperate for jobs, they will wait for the right thing and most often not jump at the first opportunity, so salary-wise, you need to remain competitive and above all fair and respectful.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Remember to always love what you do!

Email your questions for publication on Bizcommunity to .

Please note:

  • To see your questions answered in the BizCareers Column, please word your recruitment, job or career queries carefully, paying special attention to spelling and grammar.
  • Answers and advice provided will be based on your questions/industry issues, so the more complete and the more accurate your questions, the better. Answers will only be provided through and not as direct responses from Juliette Attwell.
  • The answers provided to questions submitted by readers will be based on the content of questions themselves, current recruitment practices and current legislation in force at the time of writing, and are intended as advisory only and such advice is provided in good faith.
  • Readers' questions are submitted on the basis that neither Juliette Attwell, Recruit Group,, their management nor associates may be held liable in any manner whatsoever for any consequences that might result from the correspondence following the advice provided. Juliette Attwell, Recruit Group,, their management or associates shall under no circumstances be held liable for any error in responses provided in this column as to the references of the candidate, relating to his or her qualifications, skills, personality and experience; as to the compliance with the various legal and medical requirements relating to the performance, by the candidate, of his or her work, or any consequence whatsoever connected to the use of false/incomplete information.

About Juliette Attwell

Juliette Attwell is Head of Marketing & Operations at Recruitgroup. Recruitgroup has won Careerjunction Recruiter of the Year in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as well as Fast Growth Business of the Year at the National Business Awards 2014. Juliette holds a Bcom Honours in Marketing Management and is the resident "agony aunt" on the BizCareers Column, she was also a finalist in the Top Young Executive at the National Business Awards 2014.