Important Salary Negotiation Tips – from the Employer’s Perspective

When employers begin negotiating the compensation package of a potential new hire, it is helpful for the new hire to be aware of the fact that there are some things that the employer is already sure of, as well as some things in which the employer needs to become absolutely certain. Knowledge of these items can provide you, the potential new hire, with a few crucial points of reference for negotiating the starting compensation.

Regardless of other smaller matters, the main issues that a candidate should be aware of that stand out from the employer’s perspective include:
• The value of the job role to the company
• The competition or availability of persons who can fulfill the desired job role
• The relative suitability of the prospective employee to fulfill the desired job role
• The track record of the employee with regard to honesty and integrity
• The track record of the employee with regard to achievements and innovativeness
• Current salary packages offered by the competition – however defined by the employer – at similar job roles
• The employer’s internal wage structure and the leeway they have to negotiate on different issues of professional concern

Regardless of other numerous elements like criminal record and residence, for example, these are the things the employer can be certain about before moving to the negotiation table with the potential new hire. The things the employer can be reasonably sure about include:
• If the candidate is a new graduate, they may never have had experience negotiating all elements of a job package
• Even candidates with substantial experience sometimes feel uncomfortable negotiating on non-salary components
• The candidate will have a fear of losing the offer
• The candidate may show difficulty in assertiveness at the negotiating table. This is very important because an otherwise valuable employee and company resources may be lost, because the candidate-turned employee failed to assert themselves at the negotiation table, and then suffered a bout of post-purchase regret after joining the company
• That they have developed a compensation package that adequately addresses the maximum number of their professional concerns

What you as the candidate should expect from the employer is that they:
• Make the negotiation process as smooth as possible
• Are aware of all your professional concerns and communicate to you, the candidate, the employer’s remuneration policies that are in place to address those concerns
• Provide assurance that they can maintain, and in turn enable you, the candidate, to give promises
• Talk about the job, and find out whether you, the candidate, are more concerned about money, or about the work – a professional whose primary role it is to negotiate would not lose sight of the job role and duties associated with it
• Are clear about long-term organizational goals and policies of the company

Salary negotiation can have a great psychological impact on a potential new employee. An employee who joins an organization in a satisfied mood and with a sense of achievement in remuneration negotiations will try to work harder and be more motivated. On the other hand a new hire on whom the employer’s negotiating representative left an impression at the negotiating table that the candidate was timid, uncertain and worried about the strength of the offer might depart at the next opportunity, because the new hire might view you (the employer) as just a stop-gap measure.


This article was adapted from an article posted on Employment Crossing, a career planning and management website.

By Paul Gagnon
Paul Gagnon Career Consultant, College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources Paul Gagnon