Salary Negotiation Tips for the Employer

You want employees with drive and ambition but when it comes to salary negotiations, you may wish you had a few wallflowers.  We’ve all seen a lot of info out there for how to get what you are worth in the job market, but what if you are sitting on the other side of the desk?  You have the open spot to fill but also the department budget to manage.  How do you make sure salary negotiations end in success for both you, the organization, and the employee?  Here are a few thoughts:

Networking is not just for job seekers anymore.

Eighty percent of all jobs are found through networking.  But it’s up to you to spread the word.  Talk it up.  Let people know what you are looking for and your talent pool may fill up quickly.  The more you expand your search, the more experiences you may be able to tap into and the more you may get for your budgeted salary-dollar.

The hiring process is a two-way street. 

Not only are you getting to know the candidate during this potentially stressful time, they’re checking you out as well.  Be clear about the culture and if hiring from within is part of it, let your candidate know.  Particularly, if the open position is due to expansion or a promotion, this could play a vital role in how anxious the successful candidate is to join your team.

Do your research.

Know the market and know your competitors.  What is the going rate for this position elsewhere, both in your region and elsewhere?  If you are relocating someone, make sure those numbers are accounted for in the budget, and if not, be clear about that from the beginning.

Know your limits.

When that perfect candidate walks through your door, you may be tempted to stretch your expected salary proposal.  While flexibility is a sign of a dynamic organization, too much can shift the balance of power and create unrest in your happy work family.  Setting unrealistic expectations early on sets the stage for future disappointment and may plant the seed of resentment going forward.

Paint the big picture.

Think long term and get your ideal candidate to do so as well.  If your base can’t be moved, talk about potential growth as the company expands.  Perhaps add incremental bonuses based on future growth where the employee can really effect the results both for the organization and for his or herself.

Use all the tools you’ve got.

Salary is only one aspect of compensation.  Benefits, signing bonus, relocation packages all play a huge role in a candidate’s decision to move from one position or organization to another.  If salary is non- negotiable, perhaps additional vacation days, or even lightening up on the requirements to take them may be?  Be open, you never know what hot buttons may turn the tide for a candidate.

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