It’s a topic that most people feel uncomfortable if not awkward talking about but at some time during a recruitment process, the question around remuneration expectations will arise. So, when is the right time or place to start talking about salary?

Unfortunately, there are no rules, but preparation is key.

Here are some tips that may help.

Discussing upfront

You may be asked about your salary expectations very early on in a recruitment process – even before both parties know if they are even interested in one another. This is likely to be a very broad conversation where the objective is to ensure that both the recruiter/hiring manager and candidate are talking a similar “ballpark” figure. Having some understanding of the role and responsibilities can help you in terms of your thinking. Just remember that there is a difference between what you think a role is worth and what your comfort level is in regard to remuneration. It may help to know current salary trends and industry information and where possible, have a personal threshold/baseline salary in mind. There is a lot of useful information on salary insights that you can find online, for example sites like Glassdoor and PayScale.

During the interview

During the early stages of the interview process, it’s not ideal for the candidate to raise the topic of remuneration. Yes, you are evaluating whether the opportunity is the right fit for you but you don’t want to give the impression that salary is a primary motivator. This of course depends on who you are interacting with, for example an external recruitment consultant is less likely to take offense than an internal hiring manager or the person the role reports to. As a general rule of thumb, wait for the recruiter/hiring manager to raise the subject. If you do decide to ask the question then be prepared for it to be flipped back to you i.e., what are you looking for. As per above, this is still early days so responding with a salary range is acceptable.

The negotiation

As you progress through the recruitment process and better understand the organisation and the opportunity there will come a time to have a frank conversation about remuneration. Throughout the process you have hopefully formed a view of what you think the role is worth and have a broad understanding of what the company’s position is when it comes to salary. If you are pressed to respond, you don’t have to set a definitive figure – rather discuss a salary range. This demonstrates flexibility plus there are other “benefits” that you may wish to pursue that are non-monetary. Knowing what you are worth and holding firm to that is important – this is a negotiation after all. Equally so, don’t over exaggerate or mislead in terms of your current compensation (or expectations).

The key takeout is to choose your timing to discuss remuneration, be well informed about what you and/or the role is worth and above all, try to understand the broader opportunity rather than focussing too narrowly on salary.

Need help?

Decipher Group have their finger on the pulse of changing trends in the recruitment and people space. If you are looking for direction and assistance on unearthing and retaining the right talent for your business, get in touch with us.

The Decipher Team

To stay on top of current recruitment trends and technologies follow Decipher Group on LinkedIn.

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