Negotiation – Last but Certainly Not Least
August 10, 2016
There’s more to getting on the career path you want than putting in applications, getting through the interview process, and finally getting an offer. These things only get you inside the door. You still need to negotiate for the right package.
Fail, and you might end up with a career that leaves you feeling less than satisfied.
Negotiating a salary package works just like any other business deal. It is basic economics really. Each party wants a good deal, and neither wants to be taken advantage off. The key to a successful negotiation is coming up with a deal that leaves both parties feeling like they got an excellent deal.
Obviously, not all jobs are open to direct negotiations on pay or company terms and conditions. It’s typically the senior upper-level positions that are open to negotiations on salaries and such. You certainly need to make sure the compensation for the job you are interviewing for is open for negotiations before you go around making demands.
Let’s get back to negotiating the right salary package.
Getting the right package
Like any other type of business negotiation, there is always a starting point and an end point when negotiating a salary package. As far as the format goes, the employer typically makes the first offer. Some negotiators see that as a good thing, while others see it as a bad thing. It really comes down to preference since the other party going first has advantages and disadvantages.
Here’s the reality. With your potential employer making the first move, you don’t have to worry about going too low. However, since the employer gets to set the starting point, the range of what you can ask for is somewhat limited.
Fortunately for you, all jobs on the CITI Recruitment website come with salary ranges, meaning you will know what to expect before negotiations even begin. Given the ethical implications, most companies won’t dare offer you anything less than the industry standard, but you will find that most are willing to pay a little more than the standard if they are determined to add you to their team.
It’s a good idea to figure out the minimum and maximum amounts you can hope for prior to negotiations, and, most of the time, you will end up somewhere between these two points. Of course, the closer it is to your maximum, the better.
As exciting as the possibility of securing an excellent salary package is, you need to understand the importance of research. You will need to do some serious investigation if you want to be armed with the information necessary to come out on top during negotiations. Gather information from as many people you can reach about the company, industry, management staff, and employees. If possible, get as much information as you can from an insider. Research the company’s history and goals.
Also, find out what people in the industry with similar qualifications are earning, and, even better, find out what the company currently pays similarly qualified employees. The keyword here is “currently” as it is current market conditions that determine how much employees get paid. When the market is doing well, pay tends to be higher. The reverse happens when the market is struggling. That’s why it’s important to look at the big picture. If you’re negotiating a salary package during hard times, you want to work something out so that your pay increases as things get better for the company.
While you’re at it, talk to some head-hunters and recruiters. These are the professionals who are always in the mix when it comes to who’s getting hired where, for what, and the type of salaries that are often involved. You do have to take the salary information you get from these recruiters with a grain of salt though. They have incentives to push for higher salaries since they get a commission.
During negotiations, don’t feel obligated to disclose your previous earnings. Your potential employer will likely have an idea if they have done their homework, but why give them an exact figure? Let them make their best guess. You might end up with a higher number than you expected. Just make sure you’re not taking on more than you can handle.
Structuring your package
Once you have come to an agreement with your employer, it’s time to figure out how your package is structured. In order words, you want to figure out the best way to receive what you’ve agreed upon. Obviously, there will be a cash component to any salary package, but depending on the type of work you do and the industry, there are ways to end up getting more out of your package by minimizing the amount of taxes you end up paying. Obviously, there are legal ramifications for any improprieties, so talking to financial advisor or tax accountant prior to discussing your package disbursement is a good idea.
Follow the recommendations above and you’ll be on your way to successfully negotiating a salary package. While we’re wrapping this up, it is worth noting that if your line of work often involves negotiations, which is most jobs in the corporate sector, you will likely be judged by how well you handle your salary negotiation. Makes sense right? If you can’t negotiate a good deal for yourself, you might have a difficult time getting good deals for the company or your department.
No one will think less of you for trying to secure the best package for yourself, but many corporate people will hold it against you if you give in too easily during negotiations. That’s another reason to push for the best deal possible when you sit down to negotiate your salary package.
Senior Tech Talent Manager
An Irish cat living the dream in Sydney I don’t know what to tell ya! Even though I’m a long way from the homeland I’ve successfully built up 5 years of local industry knowledge specialising in emerging technologies. I have a strong JAVA and Ruby on Rails following in NSW and VIC. I also have extensive experience sourcing specialist software development teams for technology companies with highly transactional, high volume, data intensive environments. Let’s catch up for a pint, but do send me a message and we’ll see what happens!
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