Five Tips for Negotiating With a New Hire

Last Updated Sep 9, 2008 1:02 PM EDT

  • This candidate is not happy with how negotiations are going.The Find:You've sifted through resumes, sat through interviews and pondered test results, now you know who you want to hire, the only thing left to know is how to hire them in a way that keeps you both happy, and HR World has answers.
  • The Source: Tips on how to negotiate effectively with job candidates at HR World.
The Takeaway: Offering a potential job candidate is one of the first occasions for your potential employee to get a sense of how your company does business. Handle the situation badly, and your new hire may hit the ground grumpy and less productive, if they decide to join your organization at all. So what's the secret to a firm but fair negotiation process that leaves everyone happy? HR World offers tips:
  1. Salary history can be a distraction from the real issue: what the position should pay today. It's not just job seekers who can have an unrealistic idea of what a position pays. A candidate who sounds happy with a given salary range at the beginning of the process may be less satisfied with it after interviewing at several companies and learning that others pay more. "I always tell employers, 'You can't look at their current salary. Look at what you're competing with,'" said Glenn Davis, president of the Next Step Group.
  2. Not all employees look past the base salary. It's your job to make sure candidates are considering all aspects of their compensation.
  3. HR managers can help blunt the effect of counter-offers with a little advance work. "Prepare them for what they may hear from their soon-to-be ex-employer," says Marcia Stein, an HR consultant and author of Recruiters on Recruiting.
  4. Set expectations: if you give a candidate a salary range, he or she will likely be disappointed with an offer that's not at or near the top of that range. If that's not realistic, make sure you explain that early and often. It may be better to cut the top off the range in your initial conversations.
  5. Present the offer well: Stein suggests making the offer in a way that focuses on the job and opportunities, not just the compensation. "Go back to what the person said when they first walked in the door. Remind them: 'This is what you said you were looking for, and this is what I have.'"
The Question: Any other tips for ensuring smooth negotiations with job candidates?

(Image of tough negotiations by Aleutia, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.