Managers: Are you Ready for Salary Negotiations?

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By: Teri DePuy

Managers: Are you Ready for Salary Negotiations?


Recognizing the fiercely competitive environment employers are facing in today’s job market, there are some important points you as the hiring manager can do to set the tone for a mutually beneficial conversation and get to a win-win conclusion when it comes to salary negotiations with prospective employees.  Are you ready?  Check out my top 5 recommendations.

  • Connect the dots between the role and your company’s mission.

Throughout the hiring process take the time to describe what “a day in the life” will look like for the candidate while highlighting the value proposition of your company’s products or services. Doing so is essential to painting the picture that shows how the individual’s work contributes to the overall mission.  Articulating your organizations’ corporate culture and approach on how business gets done goes a long way to aiding the potential new hire to determine their own fit and find their why.  Remember, interviews are a two-way street; candidates are assessing you too.

  • Be poised to compete.

Do your homework. Collaborate with your human resources professionals and build a solid understanding on how your organization’s salary and benefit programs stack up against the competition in your market. This fundamental information is essential to your ability to educate the applicant on the value of your employee centric programs and the differentiators where you outperform others.  Besides, today’s sophisticated candidate will have done this same research and you certainly want to be equally prepared to have an informed conversation!

  • Signal your interest in the other party.

Get to know your candidate, ask questions and listen for cues to understand their wants and needs and pay attention to their motivators, career goals and desired job criteria. When equipped with this information, you can create a unique offer that acknowledges their interests and shows your willingness to advocate on their behalf. Be creative here.  Since not all deal elements have significant costs associated, you can consider low or no cost items such as a larger title, a flexible work schedule or telecommuting.  Any or all of these are highly desired benefits by employees.

  • Negotiate the salary and all offer elements as a package.

Include all the essential elements of the salary and benefits plan along with title, start date, and reporting structure in your offer. Doing so enables both parties to negotiate in good faith, the package in its entirety, which sets the stage for trade-offs and concessions. Negotiations that involve only one of these components removes this flexibility and are likely to lead to either a win-lose scenario or no agreement at all.

  • Incorporate time for review.

Don’t rush. It is likely you’ve already spent several weeks or months bringing the candidate along through your selection process, thus, it’s not unreasonable to give the candidate the time needed to evaluate your proposal. So, when a candidate asks for a couple of days to “think about it,” graciously grant the request and don’t loose sight of your goal to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome that leads to a positive work relationship.

Share with us your stories and approach to salary negotiations, we’d love to hear from you.



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