Salary Negotiation Tips

Searching for the talent you need for your organization is akin to a marathon. Organizations typically recruit niche specialist staffing partners or hand over the responsibility to their HR departments. Whatever your approach, once you find the best candidate for the job, the finish line is within reach; you can begin to envision the person walking through the door to begin their new career.

At that point, your work isn’t over yet, however. If the candidate is a highly competitive asset, he or she might have multiple job offers on the table. With options at their disposal, job seekers feel more empowered to negotiate their salary. If a candidate requests more money, employers must pay care to consider their request. Whether you increase the offer or let the candidate walk away largely depends on your budget for the role and your internal processes.

Salary negotiation is an inevitable part of the recruiting process. Successful negotiation requires preparation. The discussion should never be about winning and losing, but rather the mutual benefit of both parties.

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To Send a Salary Negotiation Email or Have a Face to Face Meeting?

Salary negotiation is an open dialogue between the employer and the candidate, not a list of demands. For that reason. Negotiating the terms over email rarely a fruitful exercise. Negotiation should always be done offline, and ideally in person. It may happen over the phone, but only in cases in which potential candidate is not available for an office visit.

Face-to-face interaction is best because it gives both parties the opportunity to observe non-verbal cues, increasing the chances of a successful outcome for everyone. It also allows both parties to focus on their respective needs and reach a mutually beneficial resolution more efficiently.

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Email dialogue on sensitive issues always carries risks. It’s the type of communication that dampens earnestness and convolutes meanings. At the end of the day whether to conduct email or face-to-face interaction varies from one scenario to another. Know your patterns, habits, and tendencies to build a proper negotiation strategy.

Salary Negotiation Tips – How to Begin?

Start any discussion of salary from a place of respect. The following negotiation tips will aid you in extending a fair offer to your candidate:

Do Your Research

When a vacancy opens up in any organization, its HR department creates a job description. Typically, employers establish a salary range for the position at the beginning before even reaching out to creative staffing agencies.

Prior to defining a salary range, it’s important to know the market value of the position, including the requisite years of experience and skills associated with the role. Find out what other organizations are paying for the same role and determine a pay-scale from there.

Always inquire about the current salary of the candidate. Ask this question directly. Sprinkle in some other questions like, “why do you want to work for your organization?”, “are you looking for a higher salary?”, “do you value other benefits, such as a work-life balance or health benefits in favor of higher monetary compensation?” The answers to these exploratory questions will help you in the later stage of the negotiation.

Be Transparent

Never make an offer before determining what the candidate is expecting in terms of compensation.  They may or may not be looking for monetary compensation alone.

It’s impossible to appeal to the needs of the candidate and start the negotiation if you don’t know what’s important to that individual-– vacation, job flexibility, health benefits, or compensation. Understand what’s important to him or her and consider a package that is more than just the highest dollar amount.

Tread Carefully

When making any offer, always put your best foot forward. Don’t offer a candidate less than what they are currently making just to see if you can get a good deal. Instead, put forth your most reasonable offer. Find a balance between what you can afford to offer and what expertise the candidate is bringing to the table.

Offer Non-Cash Compensation

There is a possibility your organization can’t match the salary request of the candidate. Don’t automatically assume that the expectations of the applicant are beyond the limits of your budget. There might simply be a disconnect between the wants and needs of the applicant and your company’s budget. Start the dialogue by creating a compelling offer. Revise the perks of the job to bridge the gap. Include a signup bonus, flexible schedule, paid vacations, performance bonuses, and similar other benefits.

Expert tips on salary negotiation include leaning on this option early in any salary negotiation. By doing so, the candidate will begin to evaluate the value of the employment package earlier.

Often, applicants compromise on the salary if the compensation package is attractive. Perks and positive company culture are just as compelling as a competitive salary.

Know When to Walk Away

If the candidate becomes evasive, he or she may be awaiting news on another offer. They may also be using your offer elsewhere. This will be evident in their behavior. If they are standoffish for no apparent reason, it’s best to walk away. Move onto another potential candidate on the list provided with the assistance of local employment agencies.

HR experts discourage pressing an uninterested candidate. However, if you still feel the candidate could be beneficial to your team, determine why they are hesitant. If you can determine no reasonable explanation, thank the candidate for his or her time and move on.

If Salary Negotiation Went All, Seal The Deal!

Made it through the negotiation successfully? Great! It’s time to seal the deal.

Get the Offer in Writing

Once the candidate has agreed on a salary, compensation, and start date, provide a formalized job offer stating the terms of employment in writing. The candidate must formally accept the offer by signing the document.

Build Anticipation

The candidate likely needs to tender resignation at his or her current job. This could take up to three weeks. During this period of transition, a lot can happen. Their current company might make a counteroffer that’s more convincing than yours. To prevent that from happening, stay connected with the candidate through regular streams of communication.

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A win-win salary negotiation is the one in which both employer and the candidate leave the discussion feeling ready to begin a long-term relationship based on trust and mutual respect.

Common Questions About Salary Negotiation

How long does salary negotiation take?

This depends on the reality of your situation. It may take up to three weeks. During this period, stay connected with the candidate, keeping them well informed.

How should an employer negotiate the salary?

  • Learn about current hiring trends
  • Determine the candidate’s current salary package
  • Decide on your maximum limit
  • Approach any discussion respectfully
  • Offer compelling non-cash benefits
  • Value the potential candidate

Should an employer inquire about the candidate’s salary history?

In some cities and states, asking the candidate about their salary history is illegible. Do your research before inquiring. In any case, the candidate is not obligated to answer this question.

What does the candidate want in terms of compensation?

It’s pertinent to ask the candidate what type of compensation they expect. This could be monetary or non-monetary. This information will assist you in making an attractive offer.


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