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The Vitamin T Blog: All you ever need to know about creative hiring, plus tips on digital portfolios, resumes, events, and trends.

How Much Should You Pay A New Hire?

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This post is part of a series outlining the Top 5 Creative and Marketing Trends for 2018. For more trends, and salary information for more than 35 positions, read Vitamin T’s full 2018 Digital Creative and Marketing Salary Guide.


To promote wage equality, many states have banned employers from inquiring about candidate salary history. That can make salary discussion into a guessing game. If you’re an employer seeking the best new talent for your team, here’s how to make sure your offer is on point to capture top prospects.

Learn Fair Market Salary Rates

A great starting point for gauging fair wages without asking a candidate about salary history is a fair market rate table. When navigating the complexities of salary negotiations, dependable data is key. But be sure to use a salary table from a resource that specializes in your industry to get an idea of how much the job position currently goes for when hiring junior, mid-level, and senior talent.

Here are some examples of average current rates nationally, based on Vitamin T’s 2018 Salary Guide:

  • Digital Marketing Manager: $45,000 for junior, $69,000 for mid-level, $103,000 for senior level
  • Digital Marketing Analyst: $49,000 for junior, $69,000 for mid-level, $93,500 for senior level
  • UX Designer: $77,500 for junior, $100,000 for mid-level, $125,000 for senior level
  • UI Designer: $77,500 for junior, $99,500 for mid-level, $124,500 for senior level
  • Project Manager: $62,500 for junior, $88,500 for mid-level, $117,000 for senior level
  • Social Media Marketer: $49,500 for junior, $68,000 for mid-level, $89,000 for senior level

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Promote Employees From Within

It’s not always easy to balance the needs of your company with the desires of top job candidates. Sometimes, the answer to your talent conundrum is already sitting in your office, across from the fax machine. Promoting an employee from within your company can be a great solution to filling a demanding spot without complex salary negotiations, since you already know their salary.

Promoting someone who already works for you can steer the conversation away from prior salary and toward other aspects of hiring, such as the demands of the new job title. On top of that, offering your current employees opportunities for growth and clear career paths can have another benefit: it can improve retention for your top performers.

Research Similar Job Offers

It never hurts to see what salaries your competitors are offering for the same or similar job positions. Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter and visit a few different job websites to see the pay scale for the position you need to fill. It may surprise you to find that your salary offer falls short of what other companies are offering – or that your price point is thousands of dollars above the average.

Weigh their current job title, years of experience, and location to come up with an average salary for their current position, and assume it’s close to what your candidate was making. Some back of the napkin research can be surprisingly effective in ballparking the current salary earned by your candidate of choice.

Budget and Advocate for New Roles With Confidence

No company wants budget surprises when it comes to onboarding a new team member. So how do you budget for new hires? Working with an experienced, knowledgeable creative and marketing staffing agency can help you calculate accurate salaries for both the exact location and level of experience you are looking for.

Even with increased restrictions around asking for individual salary data, you can still calculate a ballpark range for most positions - if you know where to look.

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