Negotiate your salary, effectively.

The amount of horror stories I could write about from interviews and salary discussions could go on for pages ! The words “What’s your desired salary?” create such fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and unadulterated panic in candidates.

When you think back to your last job offer, were you happy with the result? The salary that you join a company on will forever be related to your increases year on year. If you are coming in under market, chances are the only way you will get on par is by leaving the company. Salary is not something we should be afraid to negotiate, unless of course you have unrealistically high expectations of what you are worth; but that’s what we are here for!

Recruitment consultants know how to navigate the world of money and power. We also know what’s realistic in terms of the market and your skills set. The cherry on top? If you win big, we win big, so naturally, of course we will negotiate the highest package we can!

Before you start make sure you know your package. The ins and outs, the shares and bonuses. Before you even start interviewing, sit down and figure out how much you want to make at your next position. This isn’t limited to just salary + bonus, either. Consider everything, including the cost of your benefits and how much you spend on travel. Decide how flexible you are. Are you willing to take a lower base salary with a higher potential bonus? Are you willing to take a lower package for something slightly closer? Factor in all the benefits.

When it comes to negotiating a salary for a new position its always best to give the prospective employee exactky what you are currently earning. Chat to your consultant about what the market is currently offering. At the moment, given the Rand Crash etc we are really only seeing an 8-10 % increase. Wind back a few years it was at 12-15. Be confident in your tone but always keep it realistic. You don’t want to go in too high and the client automatically regrets you for being over the bracket.

Be very aware that the number you give is the number that will remain in the client’s mind. Be careful to clarify that you are both on the same page. Are you both talking net, gross or full CTC? Be honest about your needs upfront. If you tell them a number they are going to assume that’s your number and there are very few things that enrage hiring managers more than candidates who suddenly inflate their salary at the last minute. They see it as greedy and its one of the biggest turn offs.

Know when to stop pushing. If a client has told you that that’s the best offer they can make learn when NOT to push, this could erase you from the process completely! Do remember though, the NON-CASH benefits. Maybe there is a higher incentive portion based on performance or perhaps better leave days or medical benefits? Remember the client can withdraw the offer at any point so speak in adult! Don’t assume the employer is simply trying to say no to everything.

Remember Salary negotiation is not a trap. They not trying to trip you up, or mess you around by giving you a complete under-offer. If an offer is extended The hiring manager wants to hire you. At the same time it is a business and there are certain “Job Grades”, “Budgets” etc that need to be adhered too. They want to find the right person as soon as possible. They need the new person to step in and help carry the water on their big project. Also, they really want to stop interviewing and get back to work. One thing I have learnt is Clients do not enjoy mind games, and they don’t have time for them either. They do, of course, want the best skills for the lowest cost, but that’s just business. If you’re an ideal candidate, they’ll work with your needs to get you in as soon as possible.

Once again, if you don’t possess the confidence, fake it. Know your worth and back up your value. Eventually you’ll grow into your own power without having to sacrifice raises along the way.

Finally, the saying “Time kills all deals” is not something created by recruiters to get deals through quicker. It applies to both candidates and clients from an interest point of view. Don’t make them wait. If there’s an offer on the table that matches your stated needs, don’t linger. 24 hours is fine. 48 is pushing it. 72 or more will have them calling their second choice.

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