Picture this. You want to buy a house. So you look online, find some you like, and go view them. But no one will tell you how much they cost until you view them and you’re not willing to reveal how much you want to pay.
Sounds crazy doesn’t it?
But it’s a situation that keeps coming up in recruitment. Candidates are unwilling to give away their expectations for fear of undervaluing themselves, and companies don’t want to give away ballpark salaries in case it’s way above what the candidate’s expectations.
It creates a disconnect between the two, fracturing the relationship before it’s even really begun.
To save this happening, it’s time for both sides to start being more honest. The combative approach when it comes to money means that candidates and hiring managers, both already time poor, are wasting hours trying to figure out what the other wants.
What to do? Let’s dig in…
Set a Ballpark Figure
First up, candidates need to think about what their ballpark figure is before going into salary negotiations. Do some research. Sites like Glassdoor and other online forums can help you figure out what you should be paid for the position you’re applying for.
Unless you’re out of work or moving industry or career, it’s likely you’ll be looking for a position that pays the same or more as your current or last one.
According to Amy Morin, a Forbes.com contributor and mental strength podcaster, you should also let businesses know what your expectations are before the interview. As she points out:
“I don’t want to waste a company’s time with the interview process if their salary isn’t in the ballpark of what I’m looking for. More importantly, I don’t want to waste my time either.”
For hiring managers, this also means setting down a payscale. For the most experienced candidates, what will the top figure be? And if you have a great candidate at the start of their career, what should they get paid?
Stay Flexible During Salary Negotiations
But both sides need a degree of flexibility in their scales. After all, there’s usually lots of reasons why people look for a new position.
Perhaps you’re joining a fast-growing start-up where the potential for growth is huge. Or you’re a parent and the company doesn’t mind what hours you log if you get your work done.
Maybe like 50% of the candidate’s who took part in Glassdoor’s 2019 Mission and Culture Survey, culture is more important to you than salary.
Consider both ends of your ballpark carefully and think ahead, rather than focusing entirely on a small salary gain now.
The same applies for the hiring manager. Could you go up by a couple of thousand for an incredible candidate who has the potential to really boost your company? Have you investigated the real “top end of the scale” for salary negotiations?
Think About The Future
In 2019, the World Economic Forum predicted that by 2022, at least 54% of employees would need reskilling. That means it’s worth hiring people for their future potential to learn and adapt easily, rather than the specific skills they currently have, which could further affect the salary level they deserve.
It can be difficult for businesses to assess this on their own though.
Tools like psychometric and aptitude tests can help you identify people who will be able to reskill easily and learn what’s needed for the workplace in the next few years. It can also be worth taking stock of your talent before entering into a hiring process.
If you have a great recruitment partner, this is something they can help with – casting an unbiased eye on your current operations and identifying the skills and qualities you might have missed. At Solutions Driven we do this for many of our clients, allowing us to unearth quality candidates with traits you might not have realised you needed.
Be Open and Honest
“Honesty is the best policy” right?
Especially when it comes to the negotiating process. And especially in the workplace where KPIs and metrics usually mean that a little white lie is quickly found out.
So for candidates, if you get to a chat or interview stage and you don’t have the required skills or qualifications, let the company know. Businesses value honesty and if your other skills are in demand, this could actually put you in a better position to secure the role.
Conversely, if the position isn’t for you, the salary is too low, or you don’t think the working environment will fit your needs, let the hiring manager know and don’t drag out the process.
The hiring environment is tough right now, both for candidates and employers. Many candidates are staring down the barrel of a recession and hiring managers are facing budget cuts and hiring freezes.
For businesses to ensure they don’t burn bridges with candidates and vice versa, both sides need to change the way they think about salaries.
Not everyone will get their dream salary and not everyone will get the perfect employee at a great price. Sometimes you’ll need to bring in a third party who can help find the right people at the right cost and can use their expertise to help with salary negotiations.