When I first started recruiting, I assumed I would be talking money all day long and dedicating many hours to the fine art of salary negotiation. However, I quickly learned that discussing a candidate’s salary is actually quite straightforward, and when done correctly, should not be complicated at all.
Here are a few tips for making salary conversations and negotiations as clear and effective as possible when working with a recruiter:
Salary expectations should be shared with your recruiter at the start of the relationship, as this is the only way to ensure you are presented with appropriate opportunities. Bluffing or withholding information regarding salary never results in a win. If a salary doesn't meet your requirements, then your recruiter should find opportunities that are better suited for you. If the salary isn’t too far off, they should bring the opportunity to you to discuss and assess.
Abandon the notion that you will be showered with money once the company meets you. At Communications Collaborative, we share a candidate’s salary needs with the hiring manager before the candidate interviews. However, there are still some folks that think an offer will come through at a higher rate or salary if the interview goes particularly well. Honestly, we have yet to see this happen. Does this mean you’re not the rock star you thought you were? Of course not. It means you’re the rock star that’s the right fit for the position and compensation package.
Be honest and realistic about your salary requirements. Before you even discuss money with a recruiter, do your own research to determine the salary range appropriate to your experience. (There are many web tools to help with this, salary.com and salary.careerbuilder.com, to name a few.) And then work with your recruiter, and be willing to listen if they think you’re shooting too high. At Communications Collaborative, we focus solely on marketing and creative staffing, so we are in a unique position to provide industry-specific perspective on whether or not your salary expectations are where they should be.
Be open to the entire compensation package. When it comes time to review an offer with your recruiter, know that compensation comes in all forms, now more so than ever. Bonus, insurance, 401(k) and matches, perks and flexible schedules should all be considered when assessing potential offers.
Presenting your salary requirements and assessing offers is intimidating, but your recruiter is there to help. And the best way to ensure that you are compensated fairly is to have open and honest communication when it comes to talking money.