6 Tips on How to Discuss & Negotiate Salary / Compensation

Filed under: Redfish Speaks, Salary

6 Tips on How to Discuss & Negotiate Salary / Compensation

By: Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development

Redfish Technology

 

The Pay Equity & Salary History regulations that are being adopted by more cities & states are making the discussion around compensation a bit tricky. Back in the “old days” a recruiter or company would simply ask “How much are you making now?” and even request W2’s to support the figures provided. The questions you’ll most likely get today are “What are your salary/compensation expectations” or “what sort of compensation range would you need to consider making a move?”.

 

While laws surrounding the topic of compensation are well intentioned as an effort to chip away at pay inequity, they have created a bit of ambiguity around the subject. As recruiters, we talk to candidates & companies about compensation all the time and here are some recommendations to help you navigate the matter, with recruiters, hiring companies or even your current employer.

 

Do your homework & Educate yourself on the market: There are plenty of compensation surveys & calculators out there…here are a few common ones we often share with our clients & candidates.

https://www.dice.com/salary-calculator
https://www.payscale.com/salary-calculator
https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/know-your-worth.htm
https://hired.com/salary-calculator

 

Ask your recruiter: There are times when our clients have asked us to leave compensation open, but we try to nail it down to at least a range. You can also ask your recruiter…we spend every day talking to candidates, companies & each other about the current market, so any good recruiter should be able to give you a realistic estimate of someone with your experience, education, etc. is making these days…and don’t let initial figures rule anything out. We recently had a company peg their comp range at $170-$180k/yr & wound up offering someone well over $200k, but they were able to justify it because of how much our candidate was brining to the table (essentially a hire & a half).

 

Flip it: A great way to deal with questions surrounding your compensation expectations is to turn it back on your interviewer. Something like, “If it turns out that I’m the person you hire for this position, I’m sure we’d be able to reach a mutually agreeable salary, as I’m willing to be flexible. Can you give me an idea as to what the budgeted salary range is?” You’re not trying to be evasive, you’re establishing even footing & looking to have an open discussion around compensations…plus it frames things well, that you’re optimistic you’ll be able to figure things out if it turns out that there’s a fit and mutual interest.

 

OK, you’ve made it past the initial “How much do you (want to) make?” and “What does the position pay?” stage and we’re moving in the direction of an offer…here are some tips to help you across the finish line.

 

Provide context, your “why”: Its one thing to say “I need $180k to even look at something new.” Vs. “I’m really interested in what ABC Company is doing, but I’m currently at $180k with 2 kids in college & a mortgage in Mountain View, plus my Mom just moved in & we’re helping to take care of her until we find a more permanent option.”. Explaining your “why” gives context and humanizes things, so don’t be afraid to share some insight into what’s driving your compensations expectations and needs.

Be Flexible: Beyond cash, what else is important to you? e.g. Benefits, RSU’s/stock/options, opportunity, track record of the founders (have they had successful exits?), commute? Don’t forget to take a holistic view of the compensation package. We have many clients who work hard to not just remain competitive in the marketplace from a cash standpoint, but go above & beyond by offering benefits like; school or home loan pay downs, 529 education fund donations for employee’s children, and mandatory paid vacations.

 

Leverage (how to use it properly), “If-Then”: Another mistake we see is when people simply keep asking for more money to see if they can get it. Assuming you’re interested in potentially working at a company, figure out what you’d need to work there, and quantify your needs. Help your potential employer by giving them something when you’re asking them for more money, benefits, stock…it means a lot more to be able to extend and “If – Then” commitment vs. “can you increase the offer?”. It’s reciprocal, you’re giving your commitment in return for their increased offer, plus it gives your hiring manager the internal leverage to get approval for the increase…they’re not just asking for money, they’re guaranteeing a hire if the increase is approved. It goes something like this; “Based on our conversations, I believe I’ll be a good fit at “ABC Company” because of (X, Y, and Z). I know this position was slated for $150k/yr, that’s currently what I’m making. My expectation when I started looking for a new position was at least a 10% bump and if we can get to that I’m ready to give my notice, decline any counter offer & start within 2-3 weeks.”

 

Be Realistic: the Curse of the “Golden Handcuffs”: We get people coming out of the “FANGS” or other large, well established tech companies with deep pockets who say they’re bored & want in on the exciting startup world, but they want to have their cake & eat it too…they still want $350k/yr from a 20 person Series A company where the founders haven’t pulled a paycheck for 6 months. There’s a happy medium that needs to be reached & you have to be realistic about the risk-reward…and big companies aren’t always less risky. A quick way to fix a bad quarter or two @ a big company is to lay off a few thousand employees, especially the expensive ones.

 

The subject of compensation can be a touchy one and it isn’t something that most people deal with on a regular basis. However, there are plenty of ways the topic can be managed from initial conversations through to an offer. If you have any questions, or could use some help navigating the subject of “money”, please feel free to CONTACT US.

Salary Information Reports: Software / IT / STEM

Filed under: Salary, Tech Trends

Salary Information Reports:

Software / IT / STEMCash Money salary compensation

 

The Computerworld IT Salary Survey 2015 focuses on IT talent, and their report shows that there are noteworthy gains in the sector after several years of slower wage growth.

Averaging a range of positions, the average total compensation has increased 3.6% in 2015, compared to 2.0% in 2014. On average survey respondents reports total compensation for specific positions at: Business intelligence analyst $90,237, Systems administrator $71,907, Software engineer $104,156, Systems architect $117,409, Product manager $112,427, Internet technology architect/strategist $141,447.

The report states that 49% of those surveyed report that base pay is among the most important aspects of their current jobs, followed at 44% by job stability. 60% of those looking for a new job are motivated by higher compensation. Companies that require cutting-edge IT skills are offering greater salaries and bonuses to lure talented tech workers. Read more »

How to Get a Raise – Half of Tech Workers Want More

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Career Building, Salary

How to Get a Raise

Half of technology professionals were not satisfied with their compensation in 2014Money puzzle

 

Tech workers saw a 1.9% pay raise last year according to the 2014 Dice Tech Salary Survey. Does that feel like enough? How do you get the raise you feel you merit?

 

Make Sure You Are a Known Quantity

 

Market yourself, and use numbers – this is just like advice you hear all the time about touting your quantifiable accomplishments on your resume. Make sure you are giving a recap of your accomplishments in your reports or office meetings, using these quantified data points.

 

Be Present and Presenting

 

Not every interaction in a presentation but keep in mind that you choose your presence. Each time you interact with your boss and supervisors and colleagues, you have an opportunity to communicate with them about what you are doing and accomplishing. So rather than gripe about that bothersome client, highlight a sale, lead, new feature, code fix, or other solution you found to help promote the business.

 

Insinuate Yourself

 

Does your boss hate keeping track of the commission list, or especially appreciate an informal Monday morning recap before the meeting, or be relieved at some other time-saving service you understand benefits him/her. This doesn’t mean coffee-serving subservience where inappropriate, it means finding opportunities to be a great and reliable team-player.

 

Provide Value

 

Take every opportunity to maximize return and provide value. This sounds simple and straightforward but you’d be surprised how sometimes people ignore making a suggestion that could better the process/product, save some money, generate a new lead, be useful to someone in need in another department or role, because they somehow don’t feel it is part of their job area. Provide value to your company in your role and without – Merit that raise!

 

Ask for the Raise

 

If you don’t have a formal review coming up, take your boss to lunch or ask for a meeting. Tell your boss you want a raise and pitch him/her on your proposal and be prepared to demonstrate concrete examples of how your work warrants that raise. Share a vision of how your work will continue to benefit the company.

 

Know Your Market Value

 

To be prepared, you should know what other accomplished professionals in your sector and responsibility and experience level are earning. There are all kinds of salary resources on the web of course, but you can also refer to job ads, speak with a recruiter, and ask friends and colleagues in your network to get a good picture of the salary and benefits packages for competitive roles.

 

Be Tenacious

 

If at first you don’t succeed, figure out the right timing and approach to try again. Being tenacious and affirming your objectives will keep a potential raise on your boss’ radar. Your ambition is an important part of how your salary will grow over the course of your career, making sure your employer is on board with that growth requires a dialogue and a trajectory.

 

Move On

 

If you’ve tried and tried and you aren’t getting anywhere, perhaps you are in the wrong place. It may simply be time to move on. With the competition in the tech market, many companies are willing to offer more to recruit new talent. And those who aren’t willing to pay more to retain their talent will be paying more for it later. Twenty-five percent of tech workers who changed employment in 2014 did so for compensation reasons; you can too.

 

Do I Have to Disclose My Salary?

Filed under: Interview, Redfish Speaks, Salary

Jon Piggins, IT Recruiter

Jon Piggins – IT Recruiter, Sales & Marketing

By Jon Piggins, Executive Recruiter, IT Sales & Marketing

 

Salary Disclosure Questions Pre-Interview Process

There are a lot of opinions on salary negotiations and salary disclosure: Should you tell your current salary or just your desired salary? Should you give this up front if asked, or save it until you are at an offer stage? In our experience, most all companies are going to want to know both your current salary and your desired before investing in the interview process, some will even want your full salary history.

 

Reasons for the Salary Question

From the point of view of a recruiter working with primarily growth-mode tech companies, there are compelling reasons for the salary question. Read more »

The Best Cities To Work In – Glassdoor Employment Satisfaction Report Card

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Job Search, Salary

The Best Cities To Work In

Glassdoor Employment Satisfaction Report Card

GlassDoor Blog Thumbnail

 

In the new Glassdoor survey respondents ranked the best cities to live in in terms of employment satisfaction. Overall employment satisfaction was compared by city, with factors such as compensation and benefits satisfaction, senior management satisfaction, expectations for company outlook, and the number of employers hiring per city taken into consideration.

 

San Jose and San Francisco took the lead at a score of 3.4 – Way to go brother friars! Each city is home to five Glassdoor’s Top 50 Best Places to Work for 2013 companies: San Jose (Google #6, LinkedIn #14, Agilent Technologies #30, Intel #31, Apple #34) & San Francisco (Facebook #1, Riverbed Technology #3, Chevron #13, Workday #19, Salesforce.com #22). The top five were in a photo finish! Seattle, WA also scored 3.4, with Salt Lake City, UT and Washington, DC nipping at its heels at 3.3 each.

 

Software Engineer was the top in-demand job in 4 of the top five cities, and among the top three in-demand jobs in 7 of the top ten cities on the report card. Program Managers, Systems Engineers, Business Analyst and Sales Associates ranked high in the top cities, and Personal Trainer was in the top three in San Diego, proving that the economy must truly be in recovery.

 

When you are considering relocation, employment satisfaction surveys like this are a great source of information among othes. For other important criteria to consider, read Redfish recruiter Leah O’Flynn’s article “Should You Move for a Job?

 

Check out the complete results:

http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/glassdoors-employment-satisfaction-report-card-city/

Negotiating Yourself Right Out of an Offer – By Rob Reeves

Filed under: Best Practices, Candidate / Job Seeker, Offers / CounterOffers, Redfish Speaks, Salary

Rob Reeves, Recruiter, President, CEO

Rob Reeves, Recruiter, President, CEO

Negotiating Yourself Right Out of an Offer

By Rob Reeves, Executive Recruiter, President, CEO

 

So you fancy yourself a skilled negotiator? That will hopefully serve you well, just don’t negotiate yourself right out of an offer. We recently had a fantastic candidate who did just that.

 

It is important to understand that negotiating a job offer is the beginning of an important relationship between hiring manager and employee. “Don’t lose sight of the human part of negotiating.” cautions Rob Reeves, executive recruiter and CEO of Redfish Technology for over 17 years.

 

Salary negotiations can be challenging. The market is heating up for great sales, marketing and engineering talent in the technology sectors. Candidates often want a step up in salary when making a move. Even if you are the greatest thing since sliced bread, and you’ve got negotiating in your blood, listen up! Read more »

Positive Job Creation Indicators Revealed in the 20th Anniversary Executive Job Market Intelligence Report

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Employer, Hiring Strategies, Human Resources / Capital, Salary, Talent Acquisition, Talent Retention

Positive Job Creation Indicators Revealed in the 20th Anniversary Executive Job Market Intelligence Report

Companies are planning on growth, both via new management hires and trading up new hires for existing executive roles to fill gaps or improve teams. Recruiters weighed in on executive job creation reporting they expect 51 percent of employers will be adding headcount through “trading up” with new hires for existing executive jobs and 27 percent will create new executive roles over the next six months. Only 2 percent of companies surveyed intend on continuing the management cutbacks that have been in effect during the economic downturn. Read more »

How Do You Evaluate Compensation At A Startup Company?

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Career Building, Job Search, Salary

How Do You Evaluate Compensation At A Startup Company?

Salary evaluation is an initial part of looking at any new opportunity. And despite the various salary calculators and Bureau of Labor Statistics tracking, compensation evaluation is not cut and dried by any means.

Large companies and public corporations often make available salary information based on roles, experience, and tenure. It may be fairly easy to compare remuneration between some of the large players because of this. But how do you evaluate the right level of compensation at a startup company? Read more »

May the Equity Packages Be Forever in Your Favor

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Interview, Job Search, Offers / CounterOffers, Salary

May the Equity Packages Be Forever in Your Favor

By Joseph Walker.

Joanna Bradley, IT Sales & Marketing Recruitment Manager, was interviewed for this story on evaluating opportunities at start-ups. This article was originally published on the FINS (Wall Street Journal Digital Network) website.

 

You’ve decided to join a start-up. You’ve gone through a rigorous interview selection process and have been deemed worthy of joining a small band of brothers dedicated to nothing less than ringing the Nasdaq bell and becoming millionaires many times over. Read more »

Employee Compensation in 2012: Pent-up Demand By Robert Teal, CCP, CBP

Filed under: Best Practices, Employer, Human Resources / Capital, Salary, Talent Retention

Employee Compensation in 2012: Pent-up Demand

Robert Teal, CCP, CBP

Robert Teal

By Robert Teal, CCP, CBP

 

During the recent recession, numerous organizations froze wages, reduced benefits and hours, and eliminated staff in an effort to remain competitive. By all official counts, the recession reportedly ended over two years ago, yet corporate compensation budgets are still very much stalled in a slump. With unemployment above 8%, many employers feel little or no pressure to increase wages or benefits. However those employees who have foregone raises or even suffered reductions are becoming restless. Yes, they were grateful to have jobs, while at the same they are beginning to question what their loyalty really bought them. Even in the best of times, a rubber band will only stretch so far before it snaps. So what options are available to an organization which needs to retain its talent in the face of little or no desire to increase costs? Read more »