Salary negotiations are always tricky when hiring new staff members. As a hiring manager you do want to be fair to new employees coming in; but, you have a responsibility to the company as a whole. There is a delicate balance between what is desirable, what is acceptable, and what is fair – for all parties. Keep these things in mind as you negotiate salaries with new hires or hopefuls and see if you can enjoy a favorable experience for everyone involved.
Attempt to Find a Salary Where Everyone Wins
The bottom line is that if you bring in new staff members with a salary that’s moon and stars higher than other people with similar responsibilities in the company it will breed resentment and make for an uncomfortable work situation (not to mention quite a few other unhappy staff members). If you make an offer that’s too low you miss out on the benefit of the candidate’s potential contribution to your organization (after possibly months of careful selection).
Be Prepared for a Counter Offer
You know, better than anyone else how much you can afford to pay and how much you feel the position merits. In other words, you also know how much you’re willing to pay. Usually there is a salary range that would be acceptable. Make your offer near the lower end or middle of that range and be prepared (you should even expect) a counter offer. This gives you a little negotiating room of your own when the time comes.
Keep Your Offers Appropriate for the Location
You’re not going to bring in new talent to high-salary, high-tech areas if you’re offering low-ball salary options. It’s just not going to happen. They won’t be able to afford the parking much less rent or a house note. If you want to attract top talent then you’re going to have to come up with a salary offer that is appropriate to salary situation in the local landscape.
Present the Salary Offer as Part of a Package
Don’t give a verbal salary offer. Present the salary offer as if it is part of something bigger – a “golden” benefits package. Some benefits matter more to employees than other benefits. Benefits you may offer include: generous vacation or PTO (paid time off) packages, profit sharing, stock options, tuition reimbursement, relocation expenses, matching funds for charitable donation, health benefits, retirement benefits, on-site recreational benefits, extended holidays, etc. It could be that you have a benefit package that is attractive enough to your candidate to make him or her overlook a lower salary.
Negotiating salaries with new hires may seem like a complex situation but if you display a fair-minded and balanced approach throughout the process it will work in your favor more often than not.