In a previous blog post, we initiated a discussion about to what extent there is a shortage of IT skills in South Africa. In a series of upcoming posts, we’ll be expanding on each of the points we made to further the discussion.

Salary is a crucial aspect of recruitment, as so much of the hiring process depends on what companies are prepared to offer, and what candidates expect, and/or are willing to accept.

If there is a skills shortage, a topic we’ve raised in earlier posts around the Rocket Scientist Mentality and upskilling candidates, salary negotiation is even more important to secure the talent we do have, but what if expectations are misaligned from the start?

Salary Mismatch

Going back to our discussion of the Rocket Scientist Mentality, many businesses feel they need a Rocket Scientist, so they go through the whole recruitment process only to conclude that the Rocket Scientist is “too expensive”.

This is obviously not an optimal use of resources, especially as this often happens even when the candidate’s salary expectation met the proposed budget from the outset!

Does this sound like a fair assessment? What do companies and candidates think?

Do companies feel that they cannot risk not having the most qualified candidate? Or do candidates feel like they’re constantly being taken advantage of?


Related to the point above, to attract talent there needs to be some kind of incentive. As we’ve pointed out before, is an average of a 6% to 12% salary increase reasonable? Or is this not enough to secure the best person for the job?

If the IT industry faces a dearth of skills, can we really afford to not have a solid salary benchmark in place for negotiations? This is especially important considering the fact that developers are in high demand around the world.

Once again we’d like to pose some questions to both companies and candidates: what is really driving candidates to take on a new position, is it money? And if so, a question for companies is how to manage this; is there a regulated or standard benchmark for increases?

We’d love to hear your thoughts- what do you think about salary negotiations, expectations and under-offering? Is this something you’ve also experienced in the IT industry? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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