From our President & CEO . . .
For The Hiring Organization: The Offer Strategy
You’ve chosen your top candidate and the feeling is definitely mutual! Now it’s time for compensation discussions. Negotiating compensation with your prospective new hire can be anxiety-inducing for both sides, but the right attitude can make it more like a relaxing day at the pool.
It’s easy to get caught up in issues you have to consider… parity, tight budgets, internal negotiations (because even if you are the CEO, there is a board or finance committee who probably needs to bless this offer). However, contrary to popular belief, your best strategy is not to low-ball and get this person for the lowest dollar figure. Instead, your goal is to do everything in your power to make your favored candidate feel wanted, because this negotiation sets the tone for your professional relationship.
We recommend offering your “highest and best” offer in terms of salary right out of the gate and ensuring the candidate knows that is what you are doing.* Offering the most you can within your budgetary and parity limitations lets the candidate know they are wanted — reinforcing good will and enthusiasm as they come on board.
Utilize other “back pocket” items for further negotiation, such as a signing bonus, moving package, car and/or housing allowance, or club memberships. These serve as valuable extras in negotiations that still enable you to stick with your original salary. The ultimate goal is to create trust, the foundation of a great relationship.
From our Vice President . . .
For the Successful Candidate: You got the offer… now what?
The hiring authority called and they would like you to join their team (Yay!). They’ve shared the salary and benefits and discussed potential start dates. Now to make the big decision of accept or negotiate.
Prior to this you’ve used online resources that allow you to research what people with similar titles in that geography are earning and done your homework to determine what constitutes a fair offer. It’s also important for you and the other decision-makers in the household to take time to determine which compensation items are most important and prioritize them.
We recommend separating salary and bonus/incentive plans into one group and everything else into another group. Group two may include retirement plans, healthcare benefits, vacation time, car allowance, transitional housing, moving expenses, cell phone, laptop, parking space, job placement assistance for your significant other, tuition remission for family members, departmental resources, and professional education for you and your staff.
Ask for a day to think through the initial offer. This is a big decision and best to approach it clear-headed and not rushed. If the offer is more than you expected and you feel great about it, do your part in starting this relationship on a positive note by accepting that part of the compensation and negotiating other items, starting with those that are of highest priority. Enter this conversation knowing what you will accept and what is a deal-breaker.
The goal is to achieve a “win-win” and every employer has different options and constraints. Your candor and honesty in negotiations will set the stage for a beneficial relationship.
Lastly, we believe it is essential to take some time off between positions to decompress, move if necessary, and get mentally prepared for your new role. Jamaica works well for this. Cheers to your new position!