3 Salary Negotiation Tips for Employers

Ladan Nikravan Hayes

So you believe you have found the perfect candidate for the job and extended an offer. Now be prepared to negotiate. Job seekers today have access to a plethora of information on how to negotiate salary through websites and other resources, so many enter the meeting knowledgeable on the topic, with money on their mind.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, when asked what motivates workers to do their job, 71 percent say the ability to provide for themselves and their families, followed by money (63 percent), the ability to make a difference (38 percent) and the ability to create something meaningful or cool (21 percent).

While finances are a top priority for workers, 79 percent say they do not earn their desired salary – with more than a third (36 percent) saying they don’t earn anywhere near it – and more than half (58 percent) say they do not think they are better off financially than their parents.

Who is Most Likely to Negotiate an Offer?

Age: The survey found that a new hire’s willingness to negotiate the first job offer may come with more experience. Forty-five percent of workers 35 or older typically negotiate the first offer, which is higher than workers ages 18-34 (42 percent).

Gender: Nearly half of men (47 percent) say they negotiate first offers, compared to 42 percent of women who say they do.

Industry/function: Information technology workers (59 percent) are the most likely to negotiate salary, followed by sales (55 percent), financial services (53 percent) and health care workers (48 percent).

What Does This Mean For You?

What are the most important things to keep in mind when you are extending a salary offer? These salary negotiation tips will advise you on making a fair offer for both yourself and your potential hire:

Don’t lowball from the start: If you're not starting the negotiation process from a competitive offer, the candidate is caught in a position where they might have to ask for $10,000 more in salary and risk looking unreasonable. Putting the candidate in this tough spot could make them just walk away.

Do your research: Some employers begin salary talks by asking prospective employees: “What are you making at your current job?” The problem with this question is, until background check results come in, you won’t know if the candidate is telling the truth; even more importantly, it doesn’t matter what they’re making now. It’s up to you as an employer to do the research and know the market value of the employee you are looking to hire, factoring in years of experience, geographic location and demand for the position. Plus, some states are even banning you from asking about their salary.

Consider the whole picture: How can you appeal to your candidate’s wants and needs before even beginning a salary negotiation? By understanding what’s important to your candidate — compensation, vacation, health benefits or flexibility. Create a package that is more than just competing for the best number.

Once the offer is worked out, it's time to start thinking about preboarding. Learn how to make preboarding a success.

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