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5 Tips On How To Negotiate A Starting Salary With A Candidate

By Lauren @BubbleJobs

Salary is one of the most important factors in taking a new job for a candidate – and it’s an equally important decision for the employer too.

Negotiation of pay can be a tricky and uncomfortable situation, and the results of the conversation can leave a candidate feeling one of two ways: very happy or seriously undervalued.

While you may have a starting salary in mind, the candidate may be expecting another figure so it’s important to evaluate how important having this candidate on board will be for your company.

The best way to choose an initial starting salary is to look at how rare the skills the candidate has are – and to review similar salaries for a similar role in the same location.

Now that you know what the salary bracket you are prepared to work with is, here are my five top tips to negotiate salaries with candidates.

1) Be Prepared

If you’re entering into starting salary negotiations, chances are the candidate will have already researched salaries for similar roles so expect some questions about your initial level of pay offer.

Remember that the candidate may be trying to make you think that the average salary is higher than it is, so ensure you do you research prior to negotiation.

2) Find Out Their Existing Package

Speaking of research, it’s really helpful if you already know the candidates’ existing package if they’re already in work.

They will most likely aim for a package about 10% higher than what they’re on now (unless they’re going for a major change of career or promotion), so make sure you know what to expect.

3) Don’t Be A Bully

The worst thing you could do is make the candidate feel like they’re taking a wage that is a lot lower than they deserve. Any employee who feels they are being underpaid will be miserable and will probably eventually leave for somewhere they feel more valued.

So, the money you could have spent on giving a good candidate the salary they deserve will probably be less than what you’ll have to fork out to find a replacement.

4) Don’t Be Too Kind

I know I just told you to be kind, but now I’m telling you not to! Let me explain…

While it would be great to be able to give everyone all the money they ask for whenever they ask for it, it just doesn’t work like that. If you really like a candidate, don’t tell them you’ll be able to offer a certain salary without checking it with finance first. I’m sure this doesn’t need explaining, but if you can’t follow up on an offer… you’re in big trouble!

5) Offer Alternative Benefits

Not being able to offer a candidate the salary they want isn’t the be-all and end-all. Quite the opposite! Think of all the other benefits you can offer to them that might compensate for the lack of money.

Consider offering them benefits such as commission for hitting targets, profit-sharing or extra holidays. If you work for a larger company, there will be lots more you can offer too!

So there we go, five tips on how to negotiate a starting salary with a candidate. Do you agree with these tips, have any of your own or have experienced the dreaded conversation yourself?

Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs! 🙂

One Comment

  1. Alex

    I agree with some points.The line between being a bully or being too kind is quite a thin one. I find inspiration in movies though, and I find it really restores my confidence.

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