Edgar Stewart has become the first Edinburgh recruitment consultancy to receive accreditation as a Scottish Living Wage employer.
The Stockbridge-based firm, which was also the first Edinburgh recruiter to sign up to the Scottish Business Pledge, has pledged to pay all permanent employees aged 18 and over at least £8.25 an hour – well above the newly introduced National Living Wage (NLW) by the UK Government on April 1.
From April 1, the Government introduced a new mandatory NLW for workers aged 25 and above – initially set at £7.20, culminating in a rise of 50p against the current National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate of £6.70, which will continue to apply to those aged 21 to 24. The NMW for those aged 18 to 10 remains at £5.30.
But Edgar Stewart believes that paying better wages helps to attract and retain better staff and has vowed to pay its entire team a minimum of £8.25 an hour with immediate effect.
The firm, which specialises in professional services recruitment in the manufacturing and engineering, electronics, semiconductor and optoelectronics, and life sciences and biotechnology sectors, says paying the Living Wage is good for business and can help to bridge the gap between employers and better staff retention.
It also believes it can help employers win the war for talent, especially when the competition is fierce.
According to founding director Bruce Hydes, better pay can lead to better staff performance.
He said: “The war for talent is acute in many sectors and a lot of salaries are depressed after the recession so people are looking for raises. Therefore, the employers who opt to pay more, such as the Living Wage, will be more successful in attracting and retaining staff.
“In fact, better payers will always find it easier to attract good staff.
“Not only that, but paying more allows employers to increase their expectations and demand more out of their workforce. And that workforce is more likely to go the extra mile for an employer which is meeting their everyday financial needs.”
According to Edgar Stewart, what they pay says a lot about a company.
“Companies that pay better tend to have a stronger employer brand; good, strong culture, and a forward-thinking mindset,” says Hydes.
“These are the companies which recognise that people today are much more worldly wise and that, to stay competitive, they must continue to adapt, change and diversify.
“Scotland is slowly moving towards a more inclusive society, for example, with new initiatives being brought in to help facilitate this, such as the pensions auto-enrolment.
“The employers at the forefront of these changes and who embrace them proactively are much more likely to pay the Living Wage and ultimately hire and retain better, more loyal staff.
“Here at Edgar Stewart, we believe that everyone should share in the profit – from entry level staff to company directors.”
Edgar Stewart signed up to the Scottish Business Pledge in October 2015 – promising to pay all employees aged 18 and over the Living Wage.
The company has now been recognised by the Poverty Alliance and accredited as a Scottish Living Wage employer.