You’ve waded through mounds of resumes, interviewed countless applicants, talked to innumerable references, and carefully conducted all necessary background checks. Now the time has come to extend a job offer.
This phase of the hiring process may seem anticlimactic, but in reality, it’s anything but routine. Salary negotiation can be difficult and stressful – for everyone involved.
Let’s face it: Both parties come to the table with an agenda. The employer wants to get the best employee at the best possible price, while the candidate wants to secure the biggest possible paycheck. Sounds like a good way to reach an impasse, doesn’t it? Just remember, any negotiation is all about compromise. You just need to go into the situation knowing where you have room to bend and where things are set in stone.
Here are a few strategies for a successful salary negotiation:
- Adopt a Friendly Approach – It’s easy to enter into salary negotiations as if you are going off to war. Just remember, it’s not “us vs. him/her.” Your ultimate goal is for you all to be on the same team. Approach the process that way from the beginning. The candidate before you wants to be a part of your organization. Otherwise, they would not have applied for the job in the first place. Negotiating a salary that is pleasing to both sides is simply part of making that happen.
- Do Your Homework – You risk offering too little or too much if you go into the negotiation process unprepared. Be sure to review the candidate’s salary history and find out what your competitors are paying. If you haven’t hired anyone in a while, it may be helpful to consult salary surveys. And don’t forget to take current market and economic conditions into consideration when devising an offer.
- Sweeten the Pot – If you simply cannot increase the amount of salary you are offering, consider adding a few perks. Things like tuition assistance, stock options, signing bonuses, or assistance with relocation costs can make a big difference. Sometimes, something as simple as a gym membership or pet insurance may be enough to bring a desired candidate onboard. The cost is minimal, but it demonstrates that you care about what they value – and that goes a long way.
- Stress the Non-Monetary Benefits – By the time you are ready to start negotiating salary, it’s a pretty safe bet you’ve already spent considerable time with the person you are looking to hire. You have likely come to recognize what they value beyond mere money. Whether it’s flexible hours, casual dress, challenging assignments, company culture, or opportunities for advancement, such “intangibles” can be used to tip the scale in your favor if the candidate is still wavering and you simply can’t offer anything more in the way of salary.
- Cut to the Chase – If the candidate is an absolute superstar and you don’t want to risk losing them to the competition, make your best offer right upfront. Granted, this won’t leave any room for compromise, but you reduce your chances of insulting them with a low-ball offer. If they still decide to go elsewhere, you can rest secure in the knowledge that you made them the best offer you possibly could. Maybe it just wasn’t a good match after all.
Salary negotiation is one of the most challenging facets of the hiring process. When done correctly, both sides emerge happy. When done poorly, no one is satisfied. For expert assistance with all your hiring needs, contact Peoplelink. We will help you secure the kind of talent you need.