Thursday, 13 September 2012

Planning a job change? Tips to negotiate salary

Are you planning a job change? Have you accepted the offer or still in the negotiation phase? The outcome of this phase can leave a candidate feeling wanted or devalued. You may want to read this article for a better looking offer letter, even in a tight job market situation.

Firstly, it is essential to understand that making the salary pitch too early or asking for too many changes in the counteroffer are some of the biggest goof-ups that a candidate can do. It is highly discouraged by HR professionals to make the interview process a platform for only negotiations or even starting the interview discussion with this topic.

It is important for aspirants to understand that the HR professional is at the table to recruit talented people, and not discourage or demean candidates.

Do your homework – go through salary surveys, and research through your industry association, network of contacts of people in the same industry/profession or recruitment consultants. Keep in mind that there could be variations based on the number of years experience, region or the type of company -start up vs. well established.

Focus should be on the value you add or will add to the company, which should be much more than the salary you are looking for. It is like presenting a business case on yourself to your employer, justifying what is the compensation you deserve.

Ideal approach would be to understand the current level of compensation and broad expectations at the very outset. It is better if compensation is taken as a topic for discussion after there has been a good meeting point on other aspects. Also it is important to gauge the key drivers for the change and relative importance of compensation.

In all circumstances, it should be remembered that the basic principles of good negotiation is – be flexible and realistic. Candidates should not get too fixated on the one number in their minds. And, figure out in advance on how much you are willing to compromise, and what is your strategy if the offer is below your expectations.

In totality, while fixing comp one has to be very fair and close it at a level which is win-win for both. For the prospective employee it should be fixed at a level that keeps them excited, and at the same time for the organization it should provide enough head room for growth without upsetting internal parity.

Watch Outs

> Don’t overemphasize on compensation: it is short term, and loses impact after the first pay cycle
> Be open and transparent: Offer only what can be honored. While every organization emphasizes the confidential nature of Compensation it never stays confidential
> Don’t over price it: It is neither good for the organization or for the prospective employee
> Finally, compensation is like water – it finds it own level. Ultimately, the market will determine the right compensation for an employee and will adjust any abnormalities in the medium term

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