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The Hiring Manager's Best Practices for Salary Negotiation

Aug 29 , 2019

Employee shaking hands with a hiring manager.

Salary negotiations are fraught with uncertainty and challenges for both candidates and hiring managers alike. Offer too low, and the candidate will lose interest and may even feel insulted. Ask for too much, and the hiring manager will have to move on to the next candidate.

Knowing best practices for salary negotiations can help hiring managers know what move they should make next and how to avoid making common mistakes that can jeopardize an offer. Here are some valuable principles that can make salary negotiations a little easier for everyone to handle.

When to Talk Salary

It's only natural to want to get salary talk out of the way upfront, but starting out with salary talk can be a drawback that turns away top candidates that could be valuable assets for a company. Candidates will want to know the scope and expectations of the job before agreeing to a salary, and hiring managers should really learn all they can about the candidate before deciding where they fit on the salary scale.

Be Willing 

Going in with a preconceived compensation package with no wiggle room for negotiation is a big turnoff for candidates who are expecting some give and take as the final numbers are determined. When it's finally time for the salary negotiation, start with a fair offer, but give a bit of room to go upward if the candidate asks for more. 

Go Online

There's all kinds of information online now about salary ranges for a particular position that can tell you what will be expected before talk turns to salaries. Not only can hiring managers get specific information about how others in the same job are being paid, but they should be aware that their candidates are likely to have looked at the same information so that they know what to expect as well.

Two colleagues shaking hands.

Go Beyond Salary

If your preferred candidate asks for a higher salary than you can reasonably offer, you can revisit non-monetary parts of the compensation package to see if you can offer something of value that will get the candidate to say yes to your offer. Benefits like working off-site, flexible hours, or even unlimited paid time off can entice candidates to accept your offer at a lower salary than they originally asked for.

Walk Away

If the negotiations become strained or antagonistic, it may be time to walk away from the candidate. In many cases, you may be dodging a bullet if the candidate is already turning ugly before the interview process is even over. Another situation that could cause you to walk away is a salary request that is way out of line or much higher than your company can afford. 

GDH offers recruiting services at various levels from one aspect to a complete recruiting package. Contact us for more information on everything we can offer your company to help you find better talent.