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.

Tech Compensation Trends

Filed under: Compensation, High Tech / IT / Software, Tech Trends

Tech SalariesTech Industry Average Annual Wages

 

While real wages may be down 8% in the US since 2006, the tech industry paid an annual average wage of $93,800 in 2012, which is 98% more than the average private sector wage of $47,400. And California tech workers earn the highest average annual wage of $123,900, according to the TechAmerica Foundation.

 

Software Services Leading

 

The Cyberstates 2013 Key Findings include that the software services sector grew by 63,900 jobs in 2012, a 3.5 percent increase. Leading the way in high-tech employment was California (968,800), Texas (485,600), New York (318,200), Virginia (285,400 – 9.8% of with private sector workforce), and Florida (270,900). Read more »

Tech Salary Trends: Up, Up, and Up

Filed under: Compensation, Industry Info, Tech Trends

 

Overall salaries have risen over the last year as the economy makes slow but steady gains. Two of the main tech industry surveys report on salaries, raises, skills, and more.

Tech Salary Trends

The Dice Salary Survey Report for 2014 highlights include:

 

U.S. tech salaries had an average increase of nearly 3% to $87,811 in 2013, up from $85,619 the previous year according to the Dice Salary Survey – that increase was less than the 5.3% jump the prior year.

 

The Dice report also shows that tech powered companies are nervous as compensation satisfaction slips. The recovering economy has tech candidates very confident, with low unemployment rates in tech sectors, the job market is good and employers recognize that talent reward goes along with talent retention. 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/

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 »

‘Tis the Season … for quitting your job!? By Jonyt Meyer

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Career Building, Employer, Human Resources / Capital

‘Tis the Season … for quitting your job!?Jonyt Meyer

By Jonyt Meyer, guest contributor

 

If you aren’t happy in your job, or your organization suffers from retention issues, this may be worth reading.

For the first time in years I find myself foregoing a tradition that has for me been a very valuable career drill. Each year as the Holiday season approached, I would sit down and create a Pros/Cons list, the list covering considerations for remaining with or moving on from my current company.  Instead of using this to drive a year end career decision, it was meant to remind me of the positives while creating a “to-do” list for the year to come. My intent being that if I was ever incapable of significantly improving the cons list based on my to-do activities, that would be my indicator that it was time to move on to new opportunities.  Read more »

How To Evaluate a Job Offer

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

How To Evaluate a Job Offer

Congratulations! You’ve received a job offer. Now what?

 

First of all, ask yourself if you want this job. Hopefully you spent the time up front to evaluate the company and the position prior to pursuing it.  Sometimes things happen faster than you expect and you haven’t fully explored the opportunity. There are a lot of important aspects to research and consider when you are evaluating an employment opportunity. The more you know before the offer, the better position you’ll be in.

A company’s values, vision and corporate culture are going to fundamentally affect you on a daily basis. Does the company you are evaluating motivate and speak to you? Do you feel like it will be a fit with your personality and work style? Just as dating someone with a fundamentally different belief system would be a great challenge, so will working for a company where you do not buy into the mission and vision. Read more »

Determining Market Worth, By Beth Cliff, Executive Recruiter, Redfish Technology

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Employer, Hiring Strategies, Redfish Speaks, Salary

Determining Market Worth

Beth Cliff

Beth Cliff

By Beth Cliff,  Executive Recruiter, High Tech Engineering Talent Manager

Knowing what you are worth in the marketplace, or determining how to compensate a prospective employee can be a daunting proposition. Candidates want to obtain the optimum salary, while employers want to fairly compensate their new hires within their allotted budgets. The magic number that will leave both sides feeling good about their decision is in large part determined by the ever changing marketplace.

Over the past couple of years, I have seen some interesting trends in the marketplace. It’s no secret that finding your dream job, and corresponding compensation, the past few years hasn’t been easy. Many talented professionals found themselves unexpectedly looking for new roles. Read more »

When is the Best Time to Look for a New Job?

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Job Search, Recruiter / Recruiting, Redfish Speaks

Beth Cliff

Beth Cliff

When is the Best Time to Look for a New Job?

By Beth Cliff, Executive Recruiter, High Tech Engineering Talent Manager

The old adage follows that the best time to look for a job is when you already have one.  While this may still hold true, the reality of today’s economic climate dictates that many excellent candidates are finding themselves unemployed and in the midst of a job search.  There are pros and cons to both classifications of candidates – those who are employed and those who are not, when it comes to identifying your next career opportunity.  What I have found over the years as a Recruiter is that no matter what your motivation for seeking a new opportunity, preparation and attitude are key. Read more »

Make Your Offer Bullet-Proof; Close the Candidate from the Get-Go

Filed under: Best Practices, Employer, Hiring Strategies, Human Resources / Capital, Talent Acquisition

Make Your Offer Bullet-Proof; Close the Candidate from the Get-Go

The cost of hiring is significant. It starts with the effort undertaken by the hiring manager, HR and participating staff. Much time is invested from studying the department’s need and formulating the requirements, to advertising, recruiting and interviewing. Once you find the right candidate, you are almost there. But it’s not over yet.

Despite the high unemployment rate, it is not a slam dunk. Many good candidates are receiving multiple offers, and many applicants are still employed and need to be certain that your company is the right move for them at this time. You need to sell the company and the opportunity. You need to close the candidate. Read more »