Years of recruitment experience have taught us that negotiating money is a very emotional experience.
After all, an employer is telling you what they think you are worth to them. Wow! No wonder sports agents negotiate with representative of the sports team; this allows players to discuss X’s and O’s with coaches instead of fighting about money.
For any negotiations to go well, they need to be setup well.
Bear these thoughts in mind when negotiating. Of course, if you are working with a competent Recruiter, he should do much of this for you.
Don’t discuss money in the 1st interview. It may be okay for an hourly position or commissioned based, however for any managerial or executive position it is not appropriate.
– If pushed by interviewer, during 1st interview, it is advisable to deflect the query. Possible language: “I would like to know more about the position before I comment on compensation”.
– If pushed to comment on a range: If the range is way too low, you might want to let the interviewer know that the range is outside of your expectations
– If the range is at least “in the ballpark”, deflect by letting interviewer know that you need more information on – responsibilities – future opportunities – travel commitments – “Heartburn factor”, etc.
Further deflection language: “If I am the best person for the position I am sure your offer will be appropriate”.
Do not suggest to interviewer that you will accept an amount that, in the end, you could not live with.
When it is time to discuss money:
Know what you and the position are worth. Web sites like salary.com can be helpful. Your Recruiter should have this information for you.
If you want a future offer from employer to be acceptable to you, tell the employer what you want and remember these 3 rules:
Justify your value to the company! Remind the potential employer of your past accomplishment, your commitment level, your vision, how you will fulfill the manager’s needs, and what you need to make this commitment.
Ok, an offer is made and it is too low – what do you do?
Separate the person from the problem – don’t get emotional, I know you were just told what someone thinks you are worth and you do not like it.
Articulately remind the manager that this is not the dollar range that you have been discussing and bounce the ball back to him. Possible language: “ This is not the figure we have been discussing since my second interview, why is it so much lower?”
Remember, some “Corporate Nibbler”, who you never met, may have tried to justify their own worth to the company by saving it money by paying you less. We see this attempted every day in our profession.
– Only you can determine your bottom line. Negotiating is a little give and take. However, never agree to an amount that you cannot live happily with. Starting a new position, already disgruntled, is a disaster waiting to happen.
– If you really want the position, remain focused, firm and remember the 3 rules – justify your value, justify, justify. Remind them of your level of commitment level, accomplishments and how you will solve their problem or maximize their opportunity.
What to do if the company won’t budge?
Unless you really want the job, turn it down. There is someone out there who will value you and their position more. Don’t agree to something that you cannot happily live with.