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A Recruiter’s Guide to Salary Negotiations – Tips and Ideas for Getting the Right Compensation

When it comes to salary negotiations, when and how you handle them can mean the difference between landing the role with the pay you want, or losing the opportunity altogether. We asked some of WinterWyman’s expert Finance & Administrative recruiters for their thoughts on the savvy, fair and realistic ways to negotiate compensation. Here’s what they had to say.

James Mellon

When it comes to salary, you will naturally want to try to get the best offer possible. When you are negotiating, understand the factors that go into a realistic salary. A company offers a salary based on a variety of elements that include the candidate’s experience as it relates to the role, the salary range for the position and the candidate’s salary expectations compared to what others with a similar background are seeking.

It is also important to look at the total offer package and not just the base salary.  If there is a bonus percentage or equity/stock included in the offer, you should also take that into consideration. And don’t forget to include the healthcare/benefit plan the company is offering.

Choosing the best position and the right company are ultimately the most important factors above and beyond salary. I would rather see someone take the right role for a little less compensation than the wrong role for a little more. I think being happy in your job and moving to an organization or role that will further advance your career are what should be the main drivers in a job search.

Bill O’Connell 

I’ve always felt that salary negotiations should be direct and simple. Your prospective company should be made aware of your compensation package expectations. That should include base salary, bonus, profit sharing, or equity awards. They should also be aware of when your next salary review will occur. Remember that salary should only come into play once you’ve decided that this opportunity is right for you and you can see yourself being successful and happy in the new role. If compensation is the only compelling factor to take the position, that might be a sign that this job is not the right fit after all.

Another factor that might come into play is “nonquantitative” compensation. Most options like work/life balance, potential ability for flexible hours, or working from home might not be on the table initially, as they tend to be earned with some time. However, if they are important to you, the potential for that now or sometime in the near future should be addressed.

Andrew Finn

The first thing to remember is your ultimate goal: to find the right career opportunity. Sometimes people get so caught up in compensation that they lose sight of what’s really important. The last thing you want to do is get a few extra dollars but in a manner that leaves a sour taste in your new employer’s mouth. Don’t win the battle and lose the war.

I always recommend having compensation conversations with a high amount of professionalism and tact. I believe that it’s not only what you say, but how you say it. And that last piece might actually be the thing that sticks the most with your new potential employer.

Lastly, be mindful of the fact that the best negotiations typically end where both sides feel good.  Both sides should be treated respectfully by one another and end the discussions with a fair outcome for all parties.

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