Business owners and hiring managers are often unprepared when a candidate starts negotiating a presented offer. Hiring managers should expect top candidates to negotiate, particularly for sales or upper management positions. Experienced professionals know their value and with the plethora of online guidance about interviewing, candidates are prepared to negotiate based on market data. Hiring managers need to be prepared to negotiate, too.
Making a job offer? Here are three tips to ensure your success:
1) Expect to negotiate: Start by making a competitive salary offer in line with the candidate’s expectations, yet with a little wiggle room for negotiations. Don’t make low ball offers as that could immediately turn off the candidate and set a bad tone for negotiations.
2) Negotiate without emotional attachment: There is nothing wrong with a candidate looking out for themselves financially, so don’t take it personally. Don’t go into negotiations trying to win at all costs or to prove the candidate is not worth what they are asking. This is not a competition to see who is the best negotiator. Keep a level head and try to find the win-win for both sides.
3) Be flexible: If a candidate negotiates for more salary, benefits, or vacation, look for ways to meet them half way. If the cost of what they are asking for is less than the cost of going through the hiring process again, consider granting their request. Avoid the trap of thinking you can’t pay them more than a current employee in a similar role.
With the current tight labor market, candidates may have the upper hand in negotiations. Top candidates are evaluating multiple opportunities, so your offers need to be competitive with the marketplace. Rejected offers are a possible sign you are paying below market. In that case, you have two options . . . pay more than you expected or hire candidates with less experience.
You can either build (train) talent or buy (acquire) talent. Acquiring top talent in today’s competitive market is more expensive than training less experienced candidates. If you don’t have time to train, then be prepared to pay for experience. And, be prepared that these experienced candidates will negotiate offers.
If you need help in drafting or negotiating a candidate job offer, give us a call at 317-578-1310.