21 Sep Salary Negotiations – from Both Sides of the Desk
Whether you are sitting on the employer/interviewer side of the desk or the applicant side of the desk, you need to have a good idea of what the salary should be for the specific job opening or position in question. The salary range for a position in a given geographical area is fairly simple to find with a little research on the Web. The website PayScale.com is a good source of salary information.
Finding the Salary “Sweet Spot”
Finding the salary range is the easy part. Finding the “sweet spot” is much more difficult. Many factors come into play when determining an exact figure for a salary. The factors may include skill level, education or certification in the job area, years of experience in the field, recommendations from people in the field, awards or accomplishments in the field, and so on. Lack of these factors would put the salary at the lower end of the range, and, of course, an abundance of these factors would put the salary at the top end of the range.
An employer, who must consider the bottom line, is concerned with not only getting an employee who is competent to fill the position, but with just how much the company can afford to pay. The applicant, who must consider his or her own bottom line, is concerned with being paid what he or she is worth. The employer’s sweet spot and the applicant’s sweet spot may not coincide—thus the salary negotiations ensue.
Applicants’ job in the negotiations is to showcase all the factors that they have used to determine what they think their salary should be. The employer’s job in the negotiations is usually to get the best person for the job at the lowest salary. Both sides of the negotiation need to consider the needs of the other side and seek to find ways to meet those needs.
Money is Not Everything in Salary Negotiations
In a salary negotiation, both sides of the table need to realize that money is not everything. A company can offer benefits and an applicant can ask for benefits that would mean as much to the applicant as money. These benefits could include company stability, a good working environment, flexible hours or schedule, the ability to work from home, child care services, good morale among employees, a good training program, incentive programs, and so on.
Both sides of the negotiation would do well to tread lightly and not be too rigid. The employer must recognize that demanding too low a salary could turn away the best person for the job or could result in a hire that quickly leaves—costing the company more in turnover expense than would have been saved by offering a lower salary. The applicant must recognize that a higher paying position at a different company might not always be the best choice for happiness and personal well-being. And both negotiators should take into consideration the future value that each has to offer the other.