Last week, one of my clients decided not to put out a job offer to their preferred candidate because he lied about his current package. To them, it was a breach of trust that could not be repaired. Needless to say that this left all concerned parties frustrated: my client because they had lost valuable time, my candidate because he missed out on a great opportunity and me because I had to restart the search.
Negotiating a compensation package is an essential part of a job search.
And the way you handle salary negotiations, may prove to be critical to successfully closing the deal, both from your side as well as from the side of your future employer.
So here are 7 tips that may guide you to get the right package for the job that you aspire.
· Focus on the job
Your long-term satisfaction depends less on getting your negotiation right and more on getting the job right. The content of a job, the team that you will join and the leadership displayed by your future boss are much more important than the particulars of an offer. The start of any salary negotiation is knowing that this is the right job for you and clearly transmitting this message to your future employer.
· Be prepared
Know up front all the elements of your compensation package, not just your annual base salary. Make sure that you communicate the bonuses that you are entitled to, representation allowances that you receive or details about your health and pension plan before an offer is made.
There is no room to pull any ‘forgotten’ items out of your head once the offer is on the table.
· Be open and honest
It would be stating the obvious that you are looking for a salary increase when you decide to change jobs. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to include that desired increase into your current salary.
Some employers will ask for proof of your current package. If that happens and you have been dishonest about your current package, you are hung out to dry and there is a large chance that the job is lost.
· Be realistic
Preparing an offer is quite an analytical exercise where your current salary is compared with the benchmarks and compensation guidelines a company uses to grade its employees. Usually an increase will be added to make the offer attractive but increases of 15 to 20% are rare.
Experience shows that offers tend to be well balanced, offering you a fair compensation for the results you have to achieve while at the same time leaving some room for future increases.
When you work through a headhunter or a recruitment agency, use them as an intermediate to test the waters and to check how much room there is for negotiation.
· Don’t negotiate for the sake of it
Resist the temptation to prove that you are a great negotiator. You are not on a Moroccan market where they enter as low as possible and you aim as high as possible. Determine whether battling it out over 100 EUR gross per month will truly make the difference.
· Don’t use an ultimatum
Tempting as it may be to use another job offer to ‘increase the price’, employers don’t like to be put hostile. If this is really the job that you want, why would you make your future employer believe that there are in competition with others.
· Keep a broader perspective
Much of your satisfaction from the job will come from other factors you can negotiate—perhaps even more easily than salary. Don’t get fixated on money. Focus on the value of the entire deal: commute time, flexibility in work hours, possibility to work from home, opportunities for growth and promotion and so forth.
Obviously, you want to get the offer you deserve. But to successfully close the deal, you need to find the right balance between the content of the job and the financial gain that you want to get. I hope that these 7 tips will allow you to professionally negotiate any future job offers.
I look forward to hearing from you
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