You have been selected for the position. You will receive an offer: celebrate! (The Kool and Gang song will stick in my head for a week.) How do you run the show?
Start here: think about it, what do you want? Seriously, what do you want? This is the information you most need to know ahead of your job search.
What do I do now ?
What are other people doing in the same job? (Do research online)
What is the reputation of this company? (Find out where this company falls on the pay scale: are they known to pay more or less than the market?)
What other benefits do they offer? (for example: benefits, transfers, bonuses, etc.)
What financial value do these benefits have for me? (Example: Will I accept a lower salary to have more free time?)
Once you have decided on your criteria for salary expectations, check again. Is the amount reasonable? I added this because I’ve seen absolutely crazy applications from great candidates who missed out on their dream job.
For example, I saw Software Engineer III which currently earned 62K and demanded a minimum salary of 128K. (He felt he was underpaid and should be compensated by his next employer.)
In another circumstance, I saw a senior financial analyst earning 73k and demanding a minimum salary of 110k.
Finally, I watched the negotiations of a program director who earned $87,000 and demanded a minimum salary of $125,000 and stock options worth over $2 million.
So the next question: what is reasonable? Each transaction is unique depending on its circumstances, market conditions, corporate culture and general expectations. To establish general guidelines, when moving to another company, it is reasonable to expect a salary increase of 5% to 15% depending on your current salary. When moving internally, a reasonable increase is usually between 5% and 8%.
We’ve all seen deals on TV shows and movies where someone gets a 30% or 40% raise. This is a fantasy. In my 20+ years in human resources, the biggest increase I’ve seen was 16%. The absolute greatest!! Before writing this article, I decided to survey other HR professionals to see if my experience was unique. Consistently, the biggest increases in history have been less than 20%.
Hollywood is fun to watch, but make no mistake. Employers don’t give these types of raises.
Hopefully, at this point, you’ll have some wiggle room in your head and a few key items (such as vacations) that you’re willing to trade, known as “hot spots.”
For those of you who are unemployed, be sure to provide your previous salary if asked directly. Many employers will try to take advantage of the situation and make a “low” offer. Depending on your situation, you need to decide what is important to you. Can you negotiate? Are you ready to quit work? It depends on your personal situation.
Support – How do you get the offer? The most important thing to remember is that while you’re going through the interview process, don’t tell them your current compensation (if possible). There are times when you will be asked for this information very early in the process (i.e. the first interview). Although you don’t want to challenge the employer, it is important that you understand the job before setting salary expectations.
So how and when do you disclose your current compensation? Here are some guidelines:
Do not include your salary requirements when submitting your resume online or in a formal application. When ordering, please provide words such as open or negotiable. Again, the longer you wait to provide this information, the better. Employers usually use the “percentage” raise, so if they don’t know your salary, they can’t decide in advance what to give you. However, sometimes you will have to tell him. Be positive and honest!!! Never lie, more and more employers are asking for W-2 and/or tax documents. It’s very easy to get caught, so if you need a pay slip, be honest!