Let’s assume a hiring manager wants you. You’re offered the job. What do you do?
Usually an employer will outline the conditions of the employment offer in writing. Make sure it coincides with your understanding, then say, “Thank you very much for this exciting opportunity. I’d like to review the offer, talk it over with family and come back with questions.” Why? You may have room for negotiations. There are differences between “hard’ and “soft” changes that can be made. Usually items that involve a third party (insurances, pensions, 401K’s and the like) are not negotiable. Soft changes are those that a manager can make, depending upon the organization’s flexibility.
If the salary is less than you anticipated, ask, “Is it possible to have a 6-month review with a potential increase?” “Are there ways for you to expand my experiences and add new responsibilities later?” “Are there developmental programs to help accelerate my career?” The greater the out-of-policy request, the higher the decision level is made. However, if you’re seen as the answer to their problems, you have a great deal more influence.
Research job comparisons. Use websites like Indeed.com/salary, Salary.com, Glassdoor.com, or PayScale.com.If the salary is short of your expectations, ask:
- “I was expecting a slightly higher salary. Do you have any flexibility?”
- “Is there a reason why the salary is below or at the low end of the range?”
- “I would like to accept the offer even though it’s below my expectation. Can I expect an increase/promotion assuming high-performance?”
Here are some general rules or comments to help you with compensation negotiations:
- It can be an expensive mistake to give a compensation number too early. Let them see your potential contribution and value through your measurable results
- Delay the compensation question for as long as possible. The more they want your expertise, the higher the pay. If you give a low number, the company may accept it.
- After you have proven that you are the best candidate, you are at the highest negotiating position. Now is the time to test the compensation question.
- One strategy to delay the compensation question is to state, ““Until I understand the complete compensation picture (bonus, incentive, benefits, costs to me) along with the expectations of the position and degree of difficulty for results, I would find it hard to provide you with a number right now. I’ll need time to digest all the information.”
- Usually the response will either be, “The salary is set at this time”, or “There may be some flexibility that we can talk about later”.Research says that over 40% of candidates did not negotiate their initial compensation package.
- Always get the final offer in writing. Always give your acceptance in writing. You never want to resign from your current position until the new organization is fully committed to you and your acceptance is locked in.
You only get one shot and negotiating your incoming salary. It’s difficult to go back.
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