How do you discuss salary requirements?
Along with religion and politics, it seems that money – specifically compensation – is one of the more uncomfortable conversations. Yet, it’s clearly important.
As a recruiter, I’m often asked how best to deal with the topic – specifically ‘when’ and ‘how.’
First, it’s important to frame the topic correctly in your head. It’s not meant to be a poker game. Most employers are not wanting to land a bargain – instead they want the best and highly motivated candidates. They understand that fair compensation is required for a candidate to enter (and remain) motivated.
As for when to approach the topic, it depends with whom the candidate is engaging: recruiter or directly with a hiring manager. Either requires a fair amount of transparency.
With a recruiter, it’s important to be transparent early in the process. Remember, the recruiter wants to make an opportunity work for the client and the candidate. Bluffing or withholding information about salary makes the situation far more complicated than necessary.
- Be honest about your salary requirements.
- Be upfront – nobody wants to waste time if it’s not going to fit.
- Be willing to listen.
Also, I always have the compensation conversation with a candidate live rather than an email exchange. It’s important to understand the context and color around this topic.
The bottom line is to keep perspective and not to allow the conversation of compensation to be a zero-sum game.