The question of compensation can be very sensitive and often requires extended negotiations to reach a figure that is fair and acceptable to both you and the ompany. You should never start discussions about salary during your interview. However, at times, the interviewer will bring up the topic. Here are some points to consider if they do:
1. Most companies want to make a fair offer
They want to bring new employees on board at a salary level that provides incentive to change jobs and excel, while remaining consistent with their existing compensation structure for that position.
2. Manage your expectations
The recession has forced many organizations to keep a close eye on salaries, so the salary figures that were common a decade ago may be hard to come by in today’s climate. Speak with your recruiter or utilize resources like our salary guide to get an accurate understanding of what the position should earn in your specific location.
3. The position is the single most important element of your decision
No amount of money will make a poor fit — whether it be the company, the job or the environment — a good one for you. A quality position and the opportunity to work with people in a dynamic work environment offer many rewards that money cannot buy.
4. Get the whole picture
Compensation packages are a combination of salary, bonus, titles and perks. These elements can be arranged and rearranged — sometimes very creatively — to satisfy both you and the company.
5. Keep your recruiter involved
Part of our job is to handle sensitive negotiations and move both parties to a fair and acceptable compensation package. We do this for a living and can often offer alternatives that will satisfy both parties. We are also a good buffer and can keep sensitive negotiations on a professional level.
6. Salary discussions
If you are asked directly what salary you are looking for, try to avoid quoting a specific figure. Instead, offer this response: “I am very interested in the opportunity and I feel I can make a meaningful contribution. I am currently earning/most recently earned $____ per year. I would be open to a competitive offer.”
It is best not to name a figure if at all possible. You don’t want to over-or-under price yourself, so remember to discuss all relevant salary and benefits issues with your recruiter. If you are asked again later in the process, you may want to restate what you are earning, cite your research and ask what a person with your experience level is worth in their company.