Retention is an extremely prevalent topic in today’s business community. With low unemployment rates in both Iowa and the entire nation, finding top talent for your positions can be a challenge. What can you do to proactively attract quality candidates? Although there are many facets to retention, starting with the right salary and benefits will lay a strong foundation for the success of your company.


This plays a powerful role in the decision-making process for candidates, especially for those who already have more than one offer. When deciding the right compensation for your position, there are many factors to consider: responsibilities, required education/certifications, budget, marketplace competition, and so on. To gain perspective, review recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This government site measures labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the US economy. Their data will give you a sense of the expectations potential candidates will carry based on their education and previous experience.

Palmer Group’s Salary Guide is another great resource for you as you research the components of employee salaries. Every year our company produces this comprehensive document, a joint project between the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Palmer Group. We gather data from several sources along with our own market knowledge to create a thorough guide of employment trends and statistics for hundreds of job titles across Iowa.


Your ability to adjust a compensation package to include items beyond salary may become a determining factor in your negotiations. Unfortunately, the company budget may not allow you to offer a better salary than the competition, but make sure you explore every resource available.

Do you have an inviting and positive company culture? If so, highlight it in the interview- introduce possible candidates to longstanding staff members to give a better picture of how wonderful your team is. Do you have outstanding insurance benefits? Talk through those and explain the details so your potential hires can understand how your benefits will go above and beyond in taking care of their families. What about your retirement options, bonus opportunities and incentive-based compensation? Offering incentive-based pay can help retain employees who are motivated to perform. A hiring bonus may convince candidates to accept an offer, but an incentive delivered a year or six months into their employment can encourage them to stay for the long term.

Salaries and benefits may not be the only factors in retention, but they are a great starting point. By strengthening and communicating well about these two areas, you will be laying the right foundation for success. For more tips on learning how you and your company can attract and keep quality candidates, contact the experts at Palmer Group for more information!

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