Tricky Salary Discussions

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Most people are inherently uncomfortable talking about money, particularly, candidates during an interview situation.  So how should you approach those tricky salary discussions in an interview?

Expected salary

Candidates may or may not come prepared with a range of numbers they expect. They likely know what they would like to get paid in a perfect world but it can be intimidating to be asked to put out a number – especially if it is for a junior position and they haven’t had a chance to figure out what they are worth.

As an employer – be honest. Let them know if they are nowhere near the mark and remember to explain the benefits of the job as well, not just the salary. Candidates can be more likely to accept a lower salary if it comes with the right benefits to make the whole package seem more enticing. 

Make sure you have done your research and that the salary matches what the candidate is expected to do in the role. If they are interviewing with more than one company you don’t want to come up short because you didn’t evaluate the current market for the role accurately.

What to do if the salary range offered is less than they had anticipated

This is interesting, and not as straightforward as you think to deal with. 

To start with, don’t let them get disheartened and check out of the interview. It is disappointing to a candidate to hear what is being offered is less than what they were expecting. 

If the range being offered isn’t what they expected while researching the role confirm the roles and responsibilities with them, they may be expecting to have to do more. Explain to them the benefits – 

  • Dental
  • Healthcare
  • Leave
  • Working from home/a shorter/cheaper/more efficient commute
  • Maternity leave
  • Company culture – social hours/sports teams/mentorships
  • Opportunities to advance
  • Training and qualifications

Anything you can think of that is a reason they should come and work for you. There may be a reason they are looking for more money and you may be able to address it here.

Recruiting in a candidate short market

It can be challenging to find the perfect candidate for your role in a candidate short market. What does that mean in terms of salary as an employer? It means you will have to emphasise the other benefits of working for you. Although the salary plays an important part in whether someone chooses to take a job offer, it is not the only factor. 

With more focus being placed on achieving a healthy work-life balance you may be able to sell some of the benefits your company can offer to help them achieve that.

Remember that the interview process is about discovering if a candidate is a good fit for your company. The ideal outcome is that both parties are happy with the agreement made and feel valued. Money is an important part, but not the whole package. Encourage them to examine the entire remuneration package as well as the culture of the company and the satisfaction they are likely to get based on the role before making up their mind.

Do you have tips on tricky salary discussion points you would like to share with us?

Just email sbolster@sbrecruitment.com

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