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 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 »

IT Trends: Employment at an All-Time High

Filed under: Compensation, High Tech / IT / Software, Industry Info, Jobs/Employment, Tech Trends

IT Trends:

Employment at an All-Time High

“IT employment has surpassed its previous all-time high—an encouraging sign not only for the IT services industry, but the economy at-large,” stated Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance. “Given strong demand for IT talent, high wages these professionals command and the benefits of IT to the broader economy, policymakers should do all they can to create an environment which encourages such work to be performed in the United States,” added Roberts.

TechServe Alliance reports that IT jobs reached the high at 4,107,700 adding 13,300 jobs in January, a monthly record that surpasses the previous all-time high set in September 2008 when IT employment reached 4,088,600. According to revised BLS numbers, IT employment grew by 3.4% in 2011 (compared to 1.5% in 2010). Read more »

Will a Recruiter’s Fees Impact My Salary? by Rob Reeves, Redfish Technology – Nationwide IT and CleanTech Recruiters

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

Rob Reeves

Rob Reeves,            CEO – Redfish

Will a Recruiter’s Fees Impact My Salary?

By Rob Reeves, President, CEO Redfish Technology

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked by a candidate if working with a recruiter will lower his salary. Some people think that a recruiter’s fee comes out of the same budget that a candidate’s salary comes from. “Isn’t the money for a new hire going to be split between the candidate hired, referral fees, headhunter commission, and Sally over at H.R.?” Read more »

Salary Negotiation – Tips You Can Use In Any Job Market

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Salary

Salary Negotiation – Tips You Can Use In Any Job Market

Shannon Tinker

Shannon Tinker

By Shannon Tinker

The ‘how to’ of negotiating salaries has likely been a hot topic since the invention of employment. In reality, there are no hard and fast rules for determining salary and an Internet search on salaries can sometimes prove helpful and other times is sadly, misleading. 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 »

Closing Candidates: A How-To in a Hot Job Market

Filed under: Best Practices, Employer, Hiring Strategies, Redfish Speaks, Talent Acquisition

Joanna Edwards

Joanna Edwards

Closing Candidates: A How-To in a Hot Job Market

By Joanna Edwards, Executive Recruiter, High Tech Sales & Marketing Division Manager

 An undisputable fact: the job market is heating up. Candidates seeking employment no longer go months without returned phone calls, but rather, quite the opposite.  This morning when speaking with a candidate who declared he was ‘actively looking’ for a new role,  I was informed that since beginning his career search on Thursday of last week  he had received 152 emails regarding job opportunities.  An entirely separate call indicated the same trend. This candidate, who was directly recruited out of her organization, had to choose from one of four offers – all with a 10% increase in base salary and a significant equity component.  These are all very solid signs that the job market is better than last year. But with a positive shift in the economy comes a new set of challenges that hiring managers must be prepared to combat.   After 17 phone interviews, six on-site meetings, three reference checks and everyone on your team agreeing that this (and only this) person is the ideal fit, you cannot afford to lose him. So in a candidate’s market, what is the best approach when at the offer stage? Below are some suggestions to help you and the team make a successful hire.

1. Knowledge is power.  It may sound obvious, but the best way to close a candidate is to have as much information as possible, and this starts from the minute you first look at their resume.  After deciding you are interested in having a conversation/interview with the candidate, begin to ask questions.  Here is what you need to ask the candidate – once at the beginning and again as the interview process continues: 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 »

High Tech Job Trends

Filed under: High Tech / IT / Software, Jobs/Employment, Tech Trends

High Tech Job Trends

from the December 2010 Newsletter

Tech Job Demand

According to the new Salary Guide 2011, by Robert Half Technology, the majority of CIOs find that understaffing is interfering with their ability to implement new technologies and that it a challenge to find IT talent with the right skills. A rebound may occur as projects previously deferred or promising a high return on investment are rolled out. The report lists demands highest for these skill sets: programming, business analysis in concert with project management, ERP technological proficiency, security, infrastructure support, networking, and electronic medical records. Read more »