Salary Calculator: What Salary Should I Offer Employees?

One of the most important elements of hiring an employee is determining what salary you should offer.

Get it wrong and you could lose out on top talent, as well as wasting time and resource on ‘no-shows’.

Underpaying employees can lead to poor staff retention and productivity rates further down the line too.

And with the average hire costing £3,000, it’s not something you want to do every few months.

So, what’s the key to success?

What salary should you be offering your employees?

What are the best salary checkers to use to help you establish a competitive figure to attract top professionals?

Here’s everything you need to know.

The best salary calculators in the UK

There are several salary calculators to check certain job pay scales and allow you to gauge what the average is depending on your location, the job title on offer and the experience of the professional.

To save you scrolling through the net, here are the top salary calculators:

Totaljobs salary calculator – if you want no fuss, this one is for you. It’s clean, easy to use and doesn’t require you to enter any contact details.

– Glassdoor salary calculator – one of the best parts of this example is that it offers salaries for related job titles so you can find industry standards, as well as job-specific.

Reed salary calculator – it should come as no surprise that one of the UK’s most popular job boards has one of the widest ranges of job salaries on offer too. Like Glassdoor, you can browse industry-standard salaries too.  

– Monster salary calculator – powered by PayScale, this is the most accurate salary calculator in the UK.

As well as using these salary calculators, don’t shy away from doing your own competitor research too.

Simply head to the best job boards and type in your desired job title.

You mustn’t just offer the same salary when you’re re-filling a role.

Between each employee, the economy changes and living expenses fluctuate.

As an employer, you need to do your research, instead of simply assuming the previous offering is acceptable.

For all you know, the departing employee might have left because of the poor salary at your business!

Create a salary band

Once you’ve used a salary checker for the jobs you’re hiring for, you must be flexible with the candidate.

One way of achieving this is to use a salary band, instead of committing to a one-off figure.

It gives you the flexibility to adapt your offering and will deter any underqualified or overqualified applicants from applying.

The issue with using ‘DOE’ (depending on experience) is that it’s too ambiguous and will result in a lot of “why not” applicants who just go along with it until they discover what the salary is.

When it comes to making a hiring decision, a salary band gives you more wriggle room to negotiate with the applicant too.

So, if you’ve decided to choose someone who is slightly less experienced, but has the potential to grow, you can place them at the lower end of the salary band.

Whereas if the candidate comes with a wealth of knowledge and added experience, you can push them to the top of the band.

Every decision you make must be made on merit and not on other factors, such as gender, age or previous salaries.

In doing so will put your business at risk of being sued for discrimination.

Also, if you offer a new employee the higher end of the salary range and it doesn’t fit in with the current pay scale of existing employees, it can cause friction, animosity and poor performance within the team.

As you can probably guess, this is bad news for work culture, productivity and staff retention.

Assess what your employees are currently earning and create a consistent model.

Negotiating a salary

What happens if the first salary offer is rejected by the candidate?

Well, you have two options; you can either make them a revised offer or move on.

It really is that simple.

Just ask yourself; how much value will this candidate bring to the business?

Do you have other professionals who could do a similar job?

It’s a case of weighing up whether you see true potential in the individual or you just like them for their soft skills and personality.

If you feel like you can’t up your salary offer based on your new strict brackets of pay equality, don’t bend the rules.

You can always make a revised offer sticking to the same salary but with a clear path of progression (including timescale) to help them reach their desired figure.

The candidate can then prove their work and enable you to adjust your budget accordingly.

Another way of successfully negotiating a salary with candidates is to provide added benefits.

Can you provide more training courses?

In some cases, candidates might be asking for the bigger salary to compensate for a long commute.

A perfect solution to this would be to provide flexible working hours, travel reimbursements or work from home benefits.

Just remember you may have to offer these to the rest of your employees to keep them happy.


Establishing the right salary to offer your candidates is a case of doing your research on your competitors using salary calculators and developing a pay scale that’s consistent across the board.

The moment you start bending the rules is the moment when employees lose faith in your business’ vision.

Be aware of salary standards, but don’t turn your back on those who have remained loyal to your growth.

Otherwise, you could end up with multiple job vacancies.

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