Some tips and things to consider from a salary negotiation specialist.
by Ryan Stephens
Starved for time and content, I decided I would share some notes I took after hearing salary negotiation specialist Jim Dixey speak at an event:
- It’s not about you, but the employer.
- The recruiting process is the most discriminatory part of business.
- You’re not the most important person to the recruiter.
- You have to be .
- The employer environment is extremely competitive.
- You can throw the concept of a level playing field out the window.
- They will hire the person they like the most virtually every time.
- A paper candidate doesn’t matter.
- Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to someone else.
- Compensation is a lot of things; salary is just one of those.
- A signing bonus locks you in; it’s the least important thing you should worry about.
- Re-location: you won’t get much unless you’re a bigwig or have a family.
- Always focus on salary.
- Your raise is based on your salary.
- Your bonus is based on your base salary.
- Your benefits package is based on salary level.
- Always counter or negotiate the offer; you’re foolish not to.
- Until it is in writing, it does not matter.
Negotiating an Offer:
- Know yourself.
- Know what you bring to the table.
- Know the range you can negotiate within.
- Always negotiate over the phone or face to face, never via email.
- Ask three questions.
- Ask two innocuous questions you would like clarified and bring up salary on the third.
- Start with something like this: “I am following up on the offer. I had a chance to look over it and I have a few questions I would like to ask you.”
- For example:
- Ask about relocation (i.e. fees such as deposits (first and last), cost to turn on electric, etc.).
- Ask about the bonus—is it paid in the first or second paycheck, or separately?
- Finally, ask about salary: “The last point I want to discuss is base salary. I would like to ask you to consider…”
- Always give a range (i.e. mid- to high-$60,000s), NEVER a firm number.
- This gives them something to ponder, to go and ask about rather than just a firm number to quickly dismiss.
What do you think? What strategies have you implemented in the past? Were they successful? Please leave a comment and let me know what has (or has not) worked for you in your own salary negotiation situations.