it, pay is often a primary motivator for work. When setting your financial
goals and preparing for salary negotiations, Rich Lakis, a human resources
consultant with more than 15 years of senior level HR experience in
the banking, telecom and travel industry sectors, offers these tips
in negotiating a win-win compensation package.
Get to know and understand your worth or value in the labor
market. There are a variety of tools and web pages, such as
SalaryExpert.com, that can provide salary ranges and total compensation
by position types and several will provide that data by geography.
Why not ask the interviewer what the salary range is? "You should
understand that there will always be budgetary and internal equity
issues for the hiring manager to consider, but if you can show your
value relative to what the incumbent was earning or what others
might be making, you will give him or her good reason to consider
going to bat for you," notes Lakis.
Don't base your salary expectations solely on your current earnings.
What if your current employer is paying under market? Or, what if
you have been in the position for several years and are already
earning what the market "suggests" you're worth? Keep in mind that
ranges provide for a broad spectrum of candidates, and your experience
or relevant skill set may not be considered to be at the top of
that range. Don't make the mistake of assuming too little or too
much. And, depending upon the position, there could be other forms
of compensation involved, most notably annual bonuses or sign-on
Establish what your priorities are and how compensation factors
into the equation. If money is not your primary reason for wanting
this new position or wanting out of your old one, don't make it
a sticking point if it provides for other upside opportunities.
In fact, you should make clear to the interviewer that there is
more to your decision to change jobs than just the compensation.
Demonstrate your worth to the interviewer by detailing your
accomplishments and what they have meant to the bottom line of your
current or past employers. "Applicants who spend too much time
telling the interviewer what they do and not enough time discussing
what they have done are doing themselves a great disservice," says
Lakis. Remember, the interviewer will not know what you are worth
unless you paint the picture.
Don't get bogged down in conversations about your current earnings
if they are not relevant to the position being discussed. You
could be offered more than you are earning and it still might not
be appropriate for the desired position. Lakis suggests, "Gear the
conversation to the worth of the position or the skills and experiences
you have rather than your current earnings."
Ask the interviewer to describe the salary range rather than
suggesting what you are hoping to earn. This way, you'll be
in a position to know how close or far off your expectations are.
If you are earning more than the position pays, yet it appeals to
you for other reasons, why not tell the hiring manager that you
really want the job and ask if there is a way that the financial
gap can be made up by way of an up-front or sign-on bonus or suggest
a performance review after six months.
Leverage other factors to your advantage such as a forthcoming
salary increase or that you're assessing other potential employment
situations. Do not make any ultimatums -- it seldom creates
a win-win situation. This tactic such as leaves aprospective employer
with a bad feeling and leads judgments as to the type of employee
you will be better off employed elsewhere!
Bottom line, think big picture. If everthing about the offer
matches your criteria -- job description, reporting manager, working
environment, and company policies and mission -- get the best compensation
package you can while letting the hiring manager know you are the
best candidate for the job.
© Copyright CareerBuilder.com 2004. All rights reserved. The
information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast
or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority.