With a new job, you need to look realistically at your desire to actually accept the position and do the work involved in the position. Is it what you really want? Will you be happy in the position? It is important to understand that whilst most people think pay if the only motivator, satisfaction in the job also comes from things like good relations with co-workers, appropriate achievable goals, and a satisfying position. Each of these factors are seemingly unconnected with the pay scale.
Moving on to salary negotiation, when you receive a job offer, you will want to fairly assess the offer to determine if you should accept it, ask for more, or decline the offer.
It is common to uncertain and a bit nervous about what could happen if you ask for more money than was initially offered. However, it is a good opportunity to test the waters, stand up for your own worth, and see whether a better offer is possible for you.
1. Get your head around Salary Benchmarking
As long as you already have a job and an ongoing salary, you are in a position of being able to shop around and not take the first offer. Once over that initial hurdle, a smart applicant should review salary tables to consider what they are actually worth in the job marketplace. To do this, you much develop a good idea what criteria businesses use to determine salary offers.
Companies will often use a blended technique of salary averaging to determine what they see as a fair minded pay rate for each position. Different analysis can include:
Average pay in similar positions with other companies in the same industry
Typical salary range for people with a similar experience, skill-set and education.
Variations in pay dependent on city, state or region.
Smart employers will not look to undercut the job market when looking for top tier talent. They understand that intelligent applicants will do their own research to determine their worth in the marketplace and low or middling pay offers will not be reach a receptive audience with the best applicants.
That said, employers have also found by looking at their past employment records that paying over the odds does not always deliver better employee happiness, higher productivity or increased employee retention.
2. Be Patient
Regardless of the fact that people work for money, rather than to socialize with co-workers, employers like to find people that share an interest in the company and their culture. Raising the subject of money too early can deliver a skewed message that once done, cannot be walked back. Indeed, during an interview one should be focused on how you will be a good match – or not! – for the position and the existing culture. This will help steer your decision in the right way, which hopefully will not be swayed by a high job offer.
3. Ask for Performance-Related Pay
When employers that are unwilling to offer good salaries, it may be possible to negotiate for a performance related pay package. This can balance what is required to prove yourself successful in the role, and what the company can then afford to pay for this improved performance. Ultimately, at some point, higher performance from individual employees can lead to improved sales, high product quality, happier customers, more units sold and greater profits. However indirectly, this translates back to individual employees who contribute to this process. Performance related pay can reflect this.
4. Consider Benefits
A job offer will usually come with a package offer. This might include a company vehicle, comprehensive health plan, 401K company pension plan with matching contributions, etc. The package can be summarized with a total worth. A benefits specialist can arrive at this figure and confirm what the total offer is worth in equivalent value for a range of perks and benefits offering potential recruits.
5. Role Play the Second Interview Process
It is useful to sit with a career coach and practise your interview technique. This can help key areas where you lack poise. With repeated practice, prepared answers can be delivered smoothly, cutting out the nervous “umms” and “aaaahs”, and other indications of uncertainty or lack of confidence. When you come across as serious, ready for the role and confident, an interviewer is likely to be impressed, having more confident in their decision and sometimes offer more to try to obtain your acceptance of their job offer.
A second interview is a second change to meet the interviewed, get more used to the surroundings and consider your options. Most of the initial standard questions are dispensed with, which leaves the floor open to more in depth questions, telling answers and a greater clarity whether the role would be a good fit for you or not.
Where possible, request to meet the key people within the organization or within the department you would be working if you were offered the role and accepted it. Ask to tour the offices and facilities, where appropriate, to get a better sense of the size of the business and how it operates. Ask about the key challenges the business is currently facing and how it intends to attack the issues. This will help to give you a good idea whether the management team is diverse and dynamic enough to take the company places – and you with it – or if the business has seen its better days already.
The second interview (assuming there is no third interview) is your final opportunity to give the business a once over. Consider carefully what information you would like to know in order to make your decision if you are made a formal offer. Also bear in mind that some businesses like to make offers at the end of a second interview rather than wait to make a formal offer by letter in the mail. This can be unorthodox, but some companies use this as as way to see whether you can think on your feet and make quick decisions.
Try to determine what is a reasonable offer given the knowledge you cleaned ahead of the interview and from the first interview, and then adjust this, where necessary, from information forthcoming in the second interview on the fly. This way you will have a good idea what is reasonable. Where ever possible, ask to consider any offer overnight and come back to them the next day. This will help to avoid making a hasty decision which was not in your best interests, while under pressure, on the spur of the moment.
With potential employers who make an offer and refuse to allow a day to consider the offer, you will want to ask yourself whether you will be happy working for a company that behaves in such a compulsive, forceful manner.