Money — while it certainly can’t buy happiness, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the primary motivators in many a candidate’s job search. Yet despite the fact that job seekers may decide to accept or reject a role based on salary, it’s the one topic that candidates often find the most difficult to bring up in an interview.
According to research, 56% of candidates don’t negotiate for a better salary. They simply accept the first offer because they either don’t know how to broach the subject or they don’t want to be seen as money-focused.
But the funny thing is that employers often have no trouble talking about it at all.
The same research carried out by Careerbuilder found that 53% of employers are willing to negotiate a salary with a candidate while 26% will offer considerably less in their first offer than they are willing to pay.
Getting over the fear factor
There’s a common misconception that asking about holidays or salary during an interview reflects poorly on the candidate. After all, employers only hire candidates who are all about the role and don’t care about money or benefits, right?
Well, we know this isn’t true at all, and as you can see from the research mentioned above not only do employers have no trouble talking about money, but they kind of expect it.
So no matter how a candidate might feel about a potential employer’s perception of them, they need to get over that fear factor and remember that talking about money in a job interview is not only acceptable but also perfectly normal behaviour.
Keeping quiet wastes everyone’s time
Time for a little truth.
As a candidate, you need to talk about your salary expectations as early as possible, within reason of course.
This is particularly true if your expectations are at the higher end of the salary range given in the job description/posting or perhaps even outside that range altogether.
Fail to do this and the entire interview process could potentially be a huge waste of everyone’s time.
For example, if you’re only willing to accept the higher end of the employer’s offered salary range, there’s a very strong chance that you may be disappointed. That range is often calculated based on several factors and an employer will have an idea of how much each candidate will be offered based on their skills and experience.
If your skills and experience mean that you fall into the lower end of the scale, then there may be very little that you can do to get all the way up to the top end. Sure, you can negotiate a little, but not as much as you might hope.
If this is the case, then you can either discuss it with the hiring manager or internal recruiter, or look for positions that have a more desirable salary range.
Either way, you need to do something.
But experts advise against talking about money too early
Most industry experts will tell you that you lose your negotiating power if you set your stall out too early with regards to salary expectations. And in some cases, they’re right.
You tell an employer that you want no less than €50,000 and the employer offers you exactly that despite the fact that, unknown to you, they were willing to go as high as €60,000. As you have already told the employer that you’ll work for €50k, you lose the power to negotiate up.
But there is another way and one that you may be familiar with.
How a recruitment agency creates a win win scenario
You can call us biased, but we are, of course, talking about working with a recruitment agency.
When working with an external recruiter or recruitment agency, you get all of the honesty and lose none of the negotiating power. It’s quite literally a win win situation for all involved.
That’s because a recruiter will ask you almost immediately what your salary expectations are and then match you with roles where they feel that you have the best chance of not only fulfilling the role but also getting a suitable salary package.
The recruiter and employer also win as it helps to speed up the hiring process and cut down on wasted time at the interview stage.
As a candidate you’ll also get the benefit of the recruiter’s experience with the employer and their knowledge of current salary levels for your chosen industry. In other words, the recruiter can immediately tell you if an employer is likely to increase their first offer or if they’re not the negotiating type.
As we said, this saves a whole lot of time on all sides and allows you to retain some of that negotiating power should you need it.
The onus isn’t just on candidates to discuss salary
One last thing concerning salary discussions — employers and internal recruiters shouldn’t leave a candidate hanging on the question of salary.
By the second interview at the very latest, if the candidate has yet to talk about money, then the employer really should. Wasting time is a two-way street and employers and recruiters should be just as concerned about not wasting a candidate’s time as the other way round.
We know, it doesn’t always work this way, but if an employer or recruiter brushes aside any talk of money wanting to leave discussions for a later date, then there’s always the chance that you’re wasting your time.
The bottom line here is that salary discussions are an integral part of the hiring process and, as we said earlier, you should feel free to bring the topic up whenever you feel it’s the right time for you.
If salary negotiations and all this talk about money is something that you struggle with in your search for a new role, then why not give yourself a shot of confidence and work with a recruitment agency that knows your industry inside out. Get in touch today and let’s talk salaries.