Salary negotiation Ellis Fox Blog

Playing your cards right in salary negotiations

For both candidates and companies salary negotiations can be tricky. Show your cards too soon and you could lose out, ending up paying more or earning less than you would have liked. Finding the winning option for both parties is not simple, but it can be made easier when you have someone in the middle who knows what everyone wants and can negotiate without revealing what the upper limits are. This is where a recruiter can provide true value to the hiring process.

Company perspective

While many companies are aware that top expertise is worth paying for, they may also have budget limitations. Being transparent about what is in the budget, the recruiter can give some honest feedback as to whether that matches the expectation of the level of expertise required. If it doesn’t, they can also make some other recommendations for making a successful hire. For example: there may be a candidate with transferable skills and the right personality fit that may be willing to accept what the company can offer. If the company agrees to provide training it can be a winning situation. Alternatively if the company provides a salary range, the recruiter may be able to provide a shortlist of candidates, giving more room for negotiations.

Candidate perspective

When candidates make a career move it is usually with the expectation that an increase in earnings and benefits will be part of that. Not all candidates want to reveal their existing salaries as they may feel it’s far too low and they’re looking for a significant increase, not a marginal one. The benefit of having a recruiter involved is that if candidates name their salary expectations, the recruiter, with knowledge of what is possible from a company perspective, can give the candidate honest feedback. Yes that is possible, or no, that’s unfortunately out of the ballpark. The recruiter can also make an assessment of whether the salary being asked for matches the level of expertise on offer. For a really top candidate, they may be able to convince the company that it’s worth paying more for a particular candidate because of the value they can add to the company.

Ultimately both parties have similar objectives in salary negotiations – getting the best expertise at the best cost. The industry experience of a recruiter can add significant value to the hiring process, helping to facilitate negotiations and formulate a winning deal.