Paying your entry-level engineers a competitive rate in today’s increasingly competitive labor market can help your efforts to retain good employees.

While you should want to attract the best available talent with your compensation package, you shouldn’t overpay and forfeit money that might be used to grow your company. Further complicating matters is the secrecy around salary and worker benefits.

It’s important to note compensation is like any business expense: it’s an investment that must get a return. Below are a few tips on how to make that investment in your entry-level engineers.

Determine Your Potential Pay Range

The average rates for entry-level engineers establish candidates’ expectations. Sometimes, the industry rate undervalues employees. High-performing employees can do three, five and even 10 times the work of average employees but make just 20 to 30 percent more. In other cases, the market overprices value.

In any event, applicants come into a job offer situation expecting a pay rates in sync with the market. The websites for Indeed, and the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics are great resources for salary ranges of countless positions. When looking at these pay rates, it’s important to make sure your entry-level engineer position is similar to ones described on these websites. 

Managers at other companies are also a solid reference for pay rate information. Also, calling local staffing companies can give you a sense of what an entry-level engineer makes. Note you won’t be paying staffing company overhead, but you’ll be expected to offer benefits like health insurance and a 401(k) plan.

Consider the Value of Benefits

Speaking of benefits, it’s important to consider the value of benefits your company offers when deciding to set compensation. Benefits might be explicit, like health insurance, or they might be implicit, like the perk of working for a prominent, well-respected company.

A good way to determine the value of the benefits your company offers is to poll your current employees. Ask them which benefits they value and see how those benefits stack up against those on offer from the competition.

Be Upfront About Compensation

Many companies don’t get specific about salary until the interview or offer stages of the hiring process. However, not being upfront can be counterproductive. By posting the compensation you are offering to potential entry-level engineers, you’re building trust and establishing transparency, starting your employment relationship on a good note. Also, being transparent makes for a more efficient candidate selection process by allowing applicants to opt out before they apply, if the compensation doesn’t meet their needs.

Anticipate Changes

Everything from automation to labor regulations is expected to impact the job market in coming years. It’s important for managers to constantly track regulatory changes and keep up to date on the latest technology developments in order to avoid being blindsided by these shifting tectonic plates.

Partner With the Staffing Experts!

At Jarvi Group, we assist our client companies by providing them with custom staffing solutions that fit their particular needs. Please contact us today if your organization is currently in need of a hiring solution.

Jarvi Group

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Grand Rapids, MI 49504


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