SIXTEEN REASONS YOUR EMPLOYER
MIGHT BE “FLEXIBLE” ABOUT YOUR PAY.
Here’s a first step to help you negotiate more money: understand there are reasons for your employer to increase your pay – many of which don’t even have to do with your competence and skills.
These apply to employers whether you’re negotiating a new salary for a new job, or getting a raise in your present job -- just think of getting a raise as "being re-hired" for your job. That's essentially what getting a raise/performance review is. So, while I’ll concentrate on “new job” salary negotiations in this article, please note that everything I say also applies to negotiating with you current employer.
Typically a candidate feels like the employer has the upper hand. They think they’re stuck – accept what’s offered or the employer might pick the next candidate in line. Not true.
Even if the policy is “take it or leave it,” everything is negotiable. Here’s the first couple thoughts of why that’s so.
1 -- Even the best researched scientific and statistical analysis of your salary level still has a lot of guesswork and wiggle room in it.
2 -- The first offer you hear is [almost] never the best offer, and even "take it or leave it" offers can be improved.
Let's start bolstering your negotiating power by bolstering those tenets.
When that's done, I'll link you to a summary of Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute – my book, and the “bible” of salary negotiations. The SUMMARY (available on this site) will cover the five basic rules of salary negotiations and an in-depth look at the salary-equation gold mine!
EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE
When a company wants to buy your time and effort, there's a human being involved. It isn't a cut and dried assessment, it's a rational-emotive process. In a perfectly logical world, the pay setting scenario goes like this:
1. The employer defines the job duties clearly.
2. They assign the appropriate job title.
3. They gather salary information from other companies.
4. They adjust it according to geographical cost of living, level of your experience and estimates of the value you’ll produce.
5. Lastly, logical Mr. Spock makes you a fair and competitive offer that needs little or no negotiating.
Things are not so neat and tidy the real world. Job titles aren't accurate. An "accountant" in one company can drive money-making business strategies, while an "accountant" elsewhere simply posts credits & debits and reconciles the checking account.
Put yourself in the place of the Hiring Decision Maker [HDM]. You want to make an offer that will entice someone to join your team and stay. You have some financial guidelines, of course, but they're subservient to your highest needs: to successfully complete the process of hiring.
Getting the right people in place affects your business, your personal career, your peace of mind, your own salary. You want it settled so you can get back to your main work. Once you've chosen the candidate you want to hire, you're motivated to find whatever resources are needed to close the deal.
Here are some factors that affect your offer as a HDM.
--Job Performance Skills -- Two candidates with the same years of experience can differ widely in their actual ability to do the job; you are motivated to pay for abilities.
--Personal Rapport -- They call it "chemistry"; sometimes you click with one person more than the equally qualified alternative. Those feelings loosen tight budgets.
--Urgency -- When your biz is losing money because... the line's down, the customers are waiting, your competitor's salesperson is closing deals with your mutual prospects daily, etc., you’ll cough up more money to get someone NOW.
--Politics -- Could it be that this is a pet project of the top brass, and important more because of its visibility than its profitability? In that case you might overpay this position to ensure success.
--Weariness -- When they're just plain tired of interviewing and want to get back to work, you may loosen up the salary budget.
--Supply/Demand -- You might pay above average to not just hire, but to retain candidates in high demand.
--Risk/Reward -- Big bonuses and commissions can be offered on a performance basis.
--Special Skills -- What if, besides the required skills for today, the candidate has skills you'll need tomorrow? Would you bump up the salary?
--"Everyone Will Want One" -- Your salary largesse can be limited by "but if I pay YOU this much, I'll have to pay everybody this much."
--Ramp-Up Speed -- The candidate that learns faster may be more valuable.
--Creativity -- the spice that improves every skill can command spicy compensation.
--Fear of Competitors -- If you knew this [great] candidate will go work for the competition if you don't make him/her an attractive offer, how would that push the salary?
--HDM's Reputation -- Maybe the hiring decision maker has been accused of not being able to "hold on" to good people and wants to correct that perception starting with better pay.
--The Candidate's Personal Needs (a little) -- Let's face it, you won't throw an applicant money just because they cry poor, but sometimes there are circumstances that will tug at your heart strings enough to open your purse strings.
--Pie in the Sky -- If you are convinced the rosy ROI the candidate is painting is real, you can offer them a big slice of that financial pie.
--Wiggle Room -- no matter what the first offer is, it's only common sense that an employer is not going to start at the top! They need to leave some wiggle room somewhere -- that's how the game is played and they know it.
These are only some of the factors that prospective employers experience dealing with determining salary. Now that you know everything is negotiable, that the all too human factors exist, use the information in the book to get the best compensation package possible.
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