Negotiating an increased starting salary has the potential to be an awkward situation for both the new starter and HR rep sat across the table.
A recent report from global staffing firm Robert Half
found that 34% of Canadian workers tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last job offer. Employees aged between 18-34 and 35-54 are more likely to negotiate salary than those aged 55 and older.
But with a plethora of literature out there aimed at advising candidates how to haggle and talk numbers, there’s decidedly less so for HR leaders.
Speaking to Derek Wood, Regional Manager for Robert Half
, he advised employers to enter into negotiations with candidates with an open mind.
“Employers should enter into the hiring processes with the assumption that salary negotiation will come up,” explained Wood.
“They should have a pay range set before they start the hiring process. Pay should be set according to the going rate for a particular position, skill set and experience, not what a person has made before. Pay what the market demands. Be prepared to communicate the range to candidates during the process.”
But what if an employer simply cannot meet the candidate’s expectations? Well, Wood advocates being creative.
“If you can’t meet a candidate’s salary expectations, look for ways to modify other components of the compensation package, like extra vacation days, tuition reimbursement or remote work options,” he told us.
“You want your offer to be at least on par with industry standards, and ideally exceed them, and that means being open to reviewing the entire compensation package. Be flexible; even if you can’t offer them exactly what they want, be open to finding other ways to attract them.
“Look at things like additional benefits, perks, vacation, remote work options, that are appealing beyond salary.”
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