“According to CareerBuilder’s 2015 hiring forecast, the U.S. job market is turning a corner as caution gives way to confidence. More than one-third of employers expect to add full-time, permanent staff in 2015, the best outlook from the annual survey since 2006. Employers, now facing a more competitive market that favors job seekers in various fields, will need to step up their recruitment efforts if they want to secure the most desirable candidates for their open positions.”
What is a candidate’s markets vs. employer’s market?
Employers market- If employers have few jobs and a lot of candidates applying they take more time to hire do not offer as aggressive salaries and bonuses as they have their pick of applicants.
Candidate’s market- If there are more jobs and less candidates the reverse happens. Candidates in his case may be receiving multiple offers to employers have to move faster and be competitive with their offerings.
2015 has been projected to be the turning point of moving form an employer’s make to a candidate’s marketplace. This means that candidates should think about increases at work, looking at outside opportunities and being more assertive about what they view as fair for a new position.
What are somethings that employees should think about to negotiate a salary increase at work?
Know your worth
· Look at key salary websites so you understand what your position is making such as glassdoor.com, payscale.com, vault.com. Align as closely to your profile titles, skills, education zip code.
· Look at specific salary surveys- Robert Half, Dice technology salary survey, medical salary surveys
· Talk to Industry recruiters
· Look at Professional Association surveys.
· Ask executives in other companies.
You say that individually employees should keep metrics/proof points of success on yourself what is this?
Yes I tell employees to keep metrics on themselves. That is write down a metric every day. Increase profits, reduce costs, and generate new business that aligns to corporate initiatives. Quantify this into real dollars so a salary increase or bonus request is marginal and logical. Package this so your manager can tack it on to their request and process it through. Make it easy for them to process your promotion and increases. Do the work for your manager and help her or him help promote you.
You note it is important to understand the grade ranges at your firm.
Many firms have salary ranges by grade levels. For example a marketing employee may be a grade 10 and receive pay at a 65% of the grade salary indicating that they have more to learn to exhibit competency. The pay grade range might be 100,000 at 100%. In this case the individual would receive 65,000 as an individual becomes more seasoned, or experience they may move up the range. If an individual reaches 125% of the pay grade for example or over 100% it would indicate that the employee is ready to move to the next grade level for example grade 11 which may have a higher level title and a new salary range. Ideally the salary and pay is consistent across the firm so all are paid equally. Find out what they are and where you are in the range. Also find out what is required to move to the next level.
Understand the annual/bi-annual percent increases available and how they are calculated
May firms may a have standard for example of 2-3% with extraordinary employees securing a percent or two more. The standard may be higher during optimistic times. Firms might also have compensation tied to business unit performance, overall company performances and or customer survey scores. There may be multiple factors that are calculated into your salary and bonus. Some might be based on you a lot of it may be based on the performance of teams, groups and the firm.
How do you suggest to frame the salary and promotion discussion?
If you feel you are not paid equally frame the discussion as leveling your salary. I would do this if you have ample proof points that you are not paid equally for your grade range or output.
Let your goals be known. Lateral moves, goals, unique assignments, and technology skill development these add put position you as top of mind for an opportunistic job opening that might pay more. There may be a higher paid unfilled opening overseas that you can move into as a lateral promotion move.
So, It isn’t about salary only
You can get a raise but decrease your income if you are bumped into a new tax bracket. Consider other negotiable items that have value to you such as vacation days, flex time, teleworking, and tuition reimbursement, new assignments, leadership opportunities.
You say that change creates opportunity.
Yes I think the most opportunities are created when firms are experiencing High growth, Layoffs and reorganizations. These transitions create position gaps and openings which in turn create opportunities
What do you think about salary transparency in light of the unequal pay discussion?
I think that salary discussion should be a dialog, salaries should not be a secret. The process should be more visible so that employees know where they stand and what they need to do. From a management point of view this transparency can assist you with ensuring that there is gender/diversity equality in pay, no favoritism and that you are building a meritocracy.
In your book Women Lead, your research found that Women were excellent negotiating but not comfortable negotiating for their own salary and promotions. Can you explain?
In my book Women Lead new found that while 85% of the more than 200 women interviewed thought that women excelled at negotiation many were not comfortable negotiating for themselves especially for salary.
What did women say about salary discussions?
Many of these women thought that the word ‘negotiations’ construed negative connotations, behaviors that were aggressive or unfeminine. They had fears of asking for too much and being denied or not asking enough suggesting lack of confidence or low self-worth. I encourage women to think of salary and promotions as a discussion and not a debate or aggressive event. This is where knowing your worth, metrics and the corporate protocols are important.
What about women and business negotiations? You say when women negotiate, everyone wins
However in modern business, negotiations are much more complex and are usually problem solving situations involving multiple stakeholders with a variety of needs. This is why the successful women interviewed thought that women excel in complex business negotiations. Rather than compete to win, women strive to find resolutions that all parties can buy into without losing sight of their own desired goals.
· Women think creatively. They explore more options and expect negotiations to be participative collaborations where participants have a stake in the longer term outcome and in solving the problem.
· Women are flexible. They are not rigid in their approach to negotiations and are more likely to listen and find a way to resolve the concerns of key stakeholders as part of the negotiation process.
· Women dialogue. They are more inclined to dialogue during a negotiation rather than confront or debate. This increases trust and invites the other side to comfortably disclose pertinent information and explore options.
· Women understand the emotional underpinnings of negotiation. They are more responsive to emotional cues and can balance that with data decisions. Women are also more likely to find out what the stakeholder’s desires and concerns are so that they can work through logjams.
· Women see the big picture. They have the ability to see the negotiation in a broader context rather than as a discrete event.
So we have covered internal salary and promotion and what about external salary negotiations and new jobs?
When you are looking at a job outside the firm you may have more or less information. If you are working with a recruiter for example they will have a lot of information about the job and the salary.
When will the salary discussion come up in a job interview?
In fact many times firms will have prescreening discussion with candidates with their HR recruiters to make sure that the expectations are in-line for the job that you are discussing. The topic of salary may sometimes be explored in the first interview. You might be asked what you are making and what your expectations are. It is important that you have done research to know what an appropriate salary for the job is. If you come in too high the process might end.
If salary is not initiated by the employer then it is best not to bring up the topic. You might be in a series of early stage vetting interviews and you may or may not be considered for employment. There may be numerous other candidates also interviewing for the job and you may have a number of interviews at different levels depending on the firm.
What happens if the employer is serious about hiring you?
The actual compensation discussion may happen once the firm is convinced you are the right person for the job and they are willing to make you an offer. You may have many interviews before you reach this point. If an employer is serious about hiring a candidate s/he will explore salary expectations and make a verbal offer.
What happens if you do not like the offer?
Most employers will not expect individuals to respond immediately but will give candidates time to reflect and review the offer. The offer may not be what the candidate expected.
If the candidate really wants the position but the salary offered does not align with expectations it may be worth exploring other ways to reach the expected number.
If you need more time to think about other items (see list below) that might have a value see the list below then ask for how long the offer is valid so that you can think about it.
In other words, don’t just focus on the base salary without thinking through other negotiable items that could have a monetary value. Remember when your base salary increases your taxes might also increase. The large increase you think you have achieved may net to nothing in your paycheck after taxes and deductions.
If you are working with a recruiter you have an additional resource to help you with salary negotiations. Recruiters will know the market, the firms and what the current salary offering will probably be. Recruiters may also have the advantage of working with the firm on other placements and they know what is and is not negotiable.
What are other items to think about during a salary discussion? Grace this can be time filler you state the bold and I can fill in what it is. There are many so we can go on as long as you need.
** Note prospective employees should check and see what is included in employment packages. For example some firms offer tuition reimbursements programs, maternity and paternity leave, food and transportation coverage so these items are already included upon employment and not negotiated.
Sign on bonus– This is a cash sum offered to an employee. If the firm cannot meet your salary requirements they may make up the difference in cash up front. If the salary offered is lower than you requested ask for a sign on bonus to make up the difference.
Bonuses– Ask about bonuses. Companies often have bonus programs based on the firm’s performance and even division, department and individual performance. The bonus may be set against specific financial or customer service goals that are outlined in advance. Frequently an individual may receive a bonus from the firm for meeting an individual target in addition to the company meeting its yearly goals. The bonus number is usually discussed in terms of percentages.
Total cash compensation. Your total cash compensation including salary and bonuses is usually discussed as a range for example: $80K-$110K.
Stock options, restricted stock units, restricted stock awards, and employee stock programs – Many firms offer stock to employees at a discount or as awards. Stock awards usually vest over time or have performance criteria. It is worth asking if there are stock programs.
Vacation time– Some firms have fixed vacation time and some are more flexible. Vacation time is paid time off and has a value.
Paid relocation and housing– If the job you are pursuing is in another state ask for a cash amount to cover your move if you do it on your own. Inquire about coverage for hotel costs or corporate housing until you find a place to live. Firms might also cover real estate agents and loan programs.
Car and car allowance. If your new job requires a bit of driving it is well worth asking if there are company cars for your use, a car allowance, or car leasing programs. This could potentially save you the cost and maintenance of a car in addition to saving on gas.
Tuition reimbursement and paid college programs. Many firms have tuition reimbursement programs and some are directly billed to the college. Some firms will send valued employees to an executive leadership or MBA program. If you need this to enhance your resume it is worth asking for. College tuition is expensive and this can save you cash out of pocket or loan expenses.
Telecommuting- Telecommuting can save you time, gas, clothing, and food costs. If you are comfortable with telecommuting and your job is one that does not require meeting in an office every day it may be worth exploring. Ask about coverage for home internet, phone and office expenses.
Maternity/Paternal leave, Daycare, Eldercare– Some firms offer time off for new moms and even dads for baby care. Others may have onsite day care programs to support employees with childcare or eldercare needs. 401K, Health benefits, discounted stock programs- Many firms offer 401 K programs and will match dollars with the employee. The matching dollars will vary by firm. Also ask about health benefits as these will vary as well.
Dr. Tracey Wilen is a prominent thought leader on the impact of technology on society, work and careers. She’s been a scholar at Stanford University and has held leadership positions at Apple, HP, Cisco, and the Apollo Group. Dr. Wilen has authored 11 books including Women Lead, perspectives from workplace leaders and her newest book is called Employed for Life, 21st Century career trends.