Mastering Salary Negotiation: Insights from a People Leader

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Unlock the art of salary negotiation with expert insights from Viju, Director of Human Resources at iMocha. Discover ten key strategies for recruiters and hiring managers, ensuring a fair and beneficial offer for both parties. Learn what to do (and what to avoid) in this crucial process.

Unlock the art of salary negotiation with expert insights from Viju, Director of Human Resources at iMocha. Discover ten key strategies for recruiters and hiring managers, ensuring a fair and beneficial offer for both parties. Learn what to do (and what to avoid) in this crucial process.

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October 27, 2023
Mastering Salary Negotiation: Insights from a People Leader
Mastering Salary Negotiation: Insights from a People Leader

Candidates have every right to negotiate their salary after receiving an offer, and it's an anticipated part of the hiring process. Navigating this delicate exchange requires careful planning and strategy. In this article, we'll delve into the art of negotiating salaries in India. Drawing from Viju Gangadharan, Director of Human Resources at iMocha, we've compiled ten key tips to guide you through the process. Viju's extensive experience sheds light on the intricate dance between candidates and hiring managers. As she wisely notes, "Moving from one company to another is a pivotal decision, a journey from the known to the unknown, demanding the best possible deal in job role, reporting structure, and compensation." So, let's dive into these invaluable insights.

How To Negotiate Salary With A Candidate?

Candidates are within their right to negotiate after receiving an offer, and it’s usually an expected part of the hiring process. That’s why salary negotiation in recruitment must include careful planning and strategy. So, how to negotiate salary with candidate as a recruiter or hiring manager? This article will help you with how to do salary negotiation in India. Employ the following strategies when a candidate wants to negotiate the desired salary.

10 Key Tips To Negotiate Salary With Candidate

1. Reassure candidates that you’re their advocate

Candidates often withhold information — about their expectations or about other offers — out of fear that you’ll somehow use it against them. Be open and honest with the candidate by stressing how your top objective is to give them the best possible offer. This way, they’ll be eager to accept and happy to stay in their new role for a long time. As Viju emphasizes, "Compensation is the linchpin that seals the deal, often decided on the very day of joining, should a better offer not materialize in time."

2. Show the candidate how your company culture supports their life

Employees spend a vast amount of their time at work and they want to be at a place that aligns with their values and preferences. Can they bring their dog to the office? Is childcare offered? Is the workplace inclusive? Share your culture upfront to help the candidate see the holistic value of your company as a prospective employer.

3. Research market salary to establish a fair salary range

Conduct research on market salary to create a lower and higher salary boundary for this position and stick to it. The mapping of salary ranges not only makes sure that the salary you’re offering is competitive but also builds transparency. This transparency assists candidates in the future too when they’re looking for a pay raise or they will clearly see how they can move up to another position.

4. Understand what’s important to your candidate

During job interviews, try and discover what the candidate cares deeply about, for instance, having the flexibility to work from home might be worth more to them than a bump in base salary. Imagine how you would negotiate with the HR (human resource) manager if you were an employee in that situation. This will help you understand how to do salary negotiation with candidates with ease.

5. Consider other benefits besides cash

If you can’t match a candidate’s starting salary request, try to sweeten the deal with benefits or perks such as vacation time, group health insurance, etc. Benefits can have a strong impact on the candidate’s decision to accept or decline your offer. As Viju advises, "When compensation comes into play, significant time has already been invested in the candidate, necessitating our readiness with all crucial information."

6. Communicate effectively

When you’re speaking with the candidate, no matter what you’re talking about salary, the additional benefits, or the job, you need to communicate what’s on your mind effectively.

7. Look beyond the resume

During the hiring process, you’ve gone through your fair share of resumes. You’ve marked some of them as good while you’ve tossed others aside due to lack of experience or skills. However, hiring beyond what’s in the resume is beneficial for you. You will find that each candidate brings something unique to the table. Sometimes when they’re lacking the needed master's degree, for example, they can make up for it with their skills or being the perfect culture fit. You really need to understand the role you’re looking to fulfill and what the candidate offers.

8. Explore compensation alternatives

Sometimes, a higher salary just isn’t an option. If that’s the case, there are other things you might negotiate for. Instead discuss adding other types of compensation like a signing bonus, performance bonuses, a pension, or stock options. Such offerings will help your employees be more efficient, focused, and productive.

9. Mention career advancement

If the candidate’s compensation requirements are higher than the role allows, discuss the potential realistic compensation package of the role to give the candidate a more long-term view. Let them know that even though their first year may not align, many employees reach a higher compensation package in their second year.

10. Know when to walk away

If a candidate becomes overly aggressive, evasive, or difficult to reach, consider thanking them for their time and moving on. When you decide what to do, weigh both the value they bring to the business and if there are other available candidates with similar qualifications and experiences.

Common mistakes when doing salary negotiation with candidate, and how to avoid them:

Negotiating an offer with a candidate is not about successfully negotiating. It’s about reaching a salary agreement that meets your business objectives and makes the candidate feel valued and appropriately compensated. As a result, always be prepared on how to negotiate salary in the interview process. Below is a list of what NOT TO DO in the event you have to negotiate with a candidate.

Don’t trash talk other companies: If a candidate is interviewing at your company and a competing organization, it’s important to focus on what your company brings to the table. Ground your salary negotiation example conversation in facts. It’s ok to compare your benefits package to theirs, for salary negotiation conversation example, but bringing up rumors about other companies that you’ve heard secondhand or read on sites like Glassdoor is tacky.

Don’t be aggressive or impatient: A lot of the time candidates just need to understand the initial offer to make a counteroffer. If they seem a little hesitant, give them time to think about the offer or offer them a couple of days to get back to you. Try to support them through the process and let them know they can come to you if they have questions.

Don’t ignore biases: When negotiating with a job candidate, understand that bias, whether deliberate or unconscious, can influence your decisions. For instance, women often pay a penalty when they negotiate and are more likely to receive feedback that they are “intimidating,” “too aggressive,” or “bossy.” When negotiating with a candidate, always take a step back and think about your biases.

We hope you have learned a lot about how to negotiate with candidates on salary. Why don't you look after the health of your new employees by providing employee health benefits like group health insurance? It’s definitely one of the additional benefits prospective employees are looking for, so you will have the upper hand! Talk to us today!

Mastering Salary Negotiation: Insights from a People Leader
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