Art of Salary Negotiation

A’s to Zee of effective Salary Negotiation

Today’s scenario when associations are falling apart be it matrimonial alliance, alliance of political parties, mergers or acquisitions in corporate world or simply talks for seeking  a dream job with an esteemed employer it is pertinent that we should learn the art of negotiation to avoid getting into a situation that might cause an embarrassment or even humiliation. It is common now-a-days that candidate seeking a prospective employer see negotiations on compensation meeting the dead end. So, why not learn and master the art. If Negotiation can be termed as an Art on one hand, it would be logical to put this as Science on the other hand. Since, only if you have researched well in terms of compensation and the bandwidth that commensurate with your experience at the prospective employer’s place you can exhibit the art of Negotiation.  Though at times it is spontaneous yet a systematic approach can lead to a winning situation. The common pitfall needs to be avoided.

1.    First things first – The first and foremost is to understand and negotiate on the bandwidth of role, reporting relationships, span of control, position in the organizational structure. The Compensation should be the last part to be touched upon, also it would reflect maturity on your part that role and other things are primary and money is the secondary concern.
2.    Positive Mind vs Preset mind – Job seekers decide before hand as to what is their expectation in terms of compensation and they tend to quote this at the very initial phase of interaction whereas it is the concluding part of your discussion. Truly speaking you should have three bands in mind, If you have done exceedingly well during your personal interactions and you have made yourself look like indispensable for the Interviewer to drop you, you may assume you can call the shots and go for the maximum band. If the discussions have been average it is fair to ask for medium slab and if the interaction went beyond your control it is advisable not to quote the expectation and leave it to the interviewer to decide your fate, the third band.

3.    Do your Homework and Groundwork – Understand your compensation structure in terms of fixed & variable, ESOP’s & Retention Pay, Housing  & Car policy, Perks &  benefits etc and other things that might accrue directly or indirectly. Now, once you have understood this and you have to quote an expectation with the groundwork that you have done in understanding the compensation bands prevailing in the organization with respect to the education, function, level and years of experience. The Headhunter or some salary survey sites can come handy for the purpose to have an idea on the above.

4.    Rationality and Humility - Now, it’s a time for the quote and that should be humbly communicated with rationale behind your expectation, you can raise the bar on account of your stability and not being a job hopper, your % growth on the basis of your stupendous achievements  in last few years with current employer. Please do not compare yourself with your peers or try to bargain by showing some other offer in hand. If in the case your expectations are met you should stand firm and not try to haggle further citing you forgot to add a certain component or a perk that is paid to you in cash or kind. Most of the times with a good employer all these tactics are suicidal.

5.    Make it or Leave it – If the offered compensation is below your expectation do not jump onto conclusion at that very moment, take time to respond back. It might be possible you have missed out on certain fringe benefits or role or the Organization itself is more important than stop counting the buck here. Try the last card up your sleeve, if it gets compensated either thro’ “Joining Bonus” or taken care of in next appraisal cycle on satisfactory performance. If still it doesn’t work out as per your expectations it is wise to inform your inability to join the organization, though refusal or turning down the offer often doesn’t go down well with the employer  yet they appreciate your gesture and courtesy to keep them informed. This always keep your options alive with same organization in future and you never know you meet same set of people again in the future, the world is too small.

6.    Time to fly On-board – All done on compensation front, the joining time is the consideration. All employers will wish you to join as of yesterday though they might have taken hell lot of time to roll out the offer. It is wise to speak to your current employer before committing to next employer, my gut feel all said and done if the new employer want you they will wait for a decent period. Check on Notice period buy out, relocation expense policy, Kids education and etc but don’t put another road bloc as every organization has their own standard policy that they follow, you win some you lose some.