Thoughts on Salary Negotiation

The Five O’Clock Club has a four-step approach to salary negotiation that I have used to help clients (and myself!) negotiate thousands more in compensation. Thought I would mention a few highlights from this approach.

First off, salary negotiation in a job search is best postponed until after the offer is received. This is because once hey make you the offer, all the negotiating leverage has switched over to you. After the offer is made, the hiring manager wants you to start “yesterday”– they are focused on you, they don’t want the other candidates. So negotiation is more of a possibility.  Before the offer, citing a salary requirement that wasn’t in line with their thinking could have immediately excluded you from consideration, no matter how well you were doing otherwise (in an interview they are looking for ways to screen you out!).

A couple of other key elements of the four step process.  Always place yourself on the same side of the table as the hiring manager (or your boss) when negotiating.  Do not be an adversary– re-iterate how much you’re looking forward to contributing.  A related item–  focus on negotiating the job, not the salary.  That is, make your case for compensation by showing that you will be helping them with more than the job posting.  Or, by saying that you need to be brought in at a higher level to get the respect and attention you need to do your job effectively.

And lastly (for now), take into account all aspects of compensation when you negotiate.  It’s not just base salary, it’s bonus, profit sharing, 401k matching, amount of raises, frequency of raises, tuition reimbursement, and on and on.  In short, everything is negotiable, and you should consider the big picture when negotiating.  This means you need to have all the information about compensation before you negotiate.

There’s so much more to say on this subject (including how to manage the negotiating session and  how to address salary questions in an interview), so you’ll be hearing more from me on this!