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Salary negotiation breakdown

avoid stumbling at the last hurdle

The recruitment process can stall or derail at the offer stage. Employers can prevent this from happening by careful management of the offer.

So after weeks of searching, shortlisting, screening and interviewing, you finally find the ideal candidate for your vacancy. All that remains is to make an offer, wait for the candidate to accept and agree on a start date. However, this often gets derailed IF the offer is not pitched at the right level. Follow the basic principles below to land your preferred candidate:

Know what the salary expectation is
    • We strongly recommend that you take into consideration a potential candidate’s current and expected salary package well before the final interview.

    • This begins with qualifying this information at the shortlist stage.

    • We recommend that you invite to interview those candidates that are strong on paper, irrespective of their current or expected salary levels (provided of course this is within a reasonable range).

    • Thereafter, the interview process should help you assess the cost-benefit of each interviewee in order to reach the hiring decision.

    • At this stage, we recommend that if a candidate does not meet your cost-benefit expectations, they are either not progressed any further, or are given the opportunity of progressing with the caveat that any potential offer would be under their required threshold.

Be prepared to offer the desired salary
    • Problems arise when clients, take to a candidate so much, even though they are aware that they may fall outside the approved salary range for the job.

    • Inevitably this only leads to disappointment as both parties fail to negotiate on the salary and consequently bear the true costs of the delay.​

    • Paying a small premium to secure your ideal candidate is better than settling for a less desirable candidate who may not be able to contribute to the business as effectively.

Pitching the offer
    • Of course, there is an element of negotiation at the offer stage.

    • As an employer, you have budgetary constraints to bear in mind whilst candidates on average seek an improvement on their salary package depending upon the level of expertise and seniority.

    • We understand that you may want to make a conservative initial offer in the knowledge that there is some movement for negotiation – but our advice is to make this offer as appealing as possible.

    • Receiving a poor offer only dulls the candidate’s enthusiasm and makes them either consider staying put or investigating alternative opportunities or employers.

    • Where possible, providing us with the minimum and maximum salary range (subject to capabilities and skills set) helps to avoid any potential candidate expectation and client offer mismatching.​

Make the final offer
    • If you have a policy not to negotiate at the offer stage, then the above suggestion still applies, but make sure the candidate is made aware that there will be no further improvement or negotiation.

    • There is a fine balance in managing your recruitment budget and securing your ideal candidate.

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