Tips for a Successful Salary Negotiation

Hiring a prospective employee usually goes through an arduous process of salary negotiations. It is understandable, of course, that the candidate wants to receive his or her salary according to his experience and skills, and at the same time the candidate does not want to provide an impression that he or she is asking for too much.

These negotiations could either end up with the employer feeling excited to welcome the candidate or as if he lost a prospective employee who would contribute significantly to your company, or worse, accepting the new employee but ended up paying more than you can afford.

Salary negotiations can consume the employer’s mental and physical energy way beyond its importance because, by the time you reach the stage of making an offer, you have spent the time developing a pool of candidates and have interviewed them for weeks. And after investing significant time and energy in wooing and getting to know your final choice candidate, more often than not they would counter your initial offer letter.

Although these tips to not intend to comprehensively detail how to conduct salary negotiations, but they ensure that your organization would conduct a successful salary negotiation.

Negotiation is not a battle between employer and employee – The essence of salary negotiations is that both parties should win. If either the employer or the candidate feels they have capitulated-having paid more than the employer could afford or less than the employee could receive-both parties lose.

Identify the most recent salary and benefits your candidate received – There is a reason why other organizations ask for salary on their job applications, so that they would be able to match what the employee’s current employer is giving (and at the same time they would have an idea who they can afford). You can either ask for the employee’s W-2 forms and other proof of salary, or you could also ask former employers during reference checking.

Know your limits in salary negotiations – Your salary offer should have a limit according to how much your current employees in similar positions receive, the economic climate and job searching market, as well as the profitability of your company.

Any other financial benefits can be included in the negotiation – Even if your salary is non-negotiable, superior candidates will negotiate with you in other areas that may be negotiable. These include benefits, paid COBRA, tuition assistance, paid time off, a signing bonus, stock options, variable bonus pay, commissions, car allowance, paid cell phone, severance packages, and relocation expenses.

If you cannot afford the candidate, let it go – Even if you are convinced the final candidate has potential positive impact within your organization, you cannot accept him or her in your company if the candidate is asking for too much. Most organizations have limit, and you will regret violating your limits if you accept an employee that you end up capitulating.

Indicate if your initial offer is not negotiable, or barely negotiable – Other employers usually provide their candidates with a "base salary," which subtly suggests that the employee cannot negotiate that amount. However, they also say how the base salary can increase in time (either according to a time period, or according to performance).

Use a point person – Even though many people in your company would interview a potential candidate, make sure that only one person should tell how much the candidate should expect from the company. If the employee receives salary details from two or more people, and more often than not they are different, he or she would have an inkling on how much to negotiate.

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