TIPS TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR SALARY NEGOTIATIONS

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      So you’ve made it through the interview process, impressed the hiring managers, and it’s clear that the company wants to hire you over the other candidates. Your next step is salary negotiations which can be a delicate balancing act – how do you avoid generating conflict while securing a fair salary that you’re happy with? Our Recruiters have decades of experience guiding people through the hiring process and know the pitfalls and mistakes to avoid. We’ve polled some of our best Actuarial Recruiters and compiled their top tips to help you navigate your way through salary negotiations.

       

      Before the offer:

      Something important to remember is that you don’t always have to negotiate if it’s a strong offer. Companies typically try to put a strong offer together and there isn’t always room for negotiation in salary depending on the internal structure/compensation, as well.

      – Marianne Westphal

       

      Do not feel obligated to share your current salary. When asked, try to use the wordings such as “desired”, “my expectations fall around ”, or “I am currently considering opportunities within the range of $X to $Y.”

      – Paquita Laurient

       

      When working with a Recruiter, be as transparent as possible – it’s helpful to have a clear understanding of all aspects a candidate is considering and if there are competing offers. Knowing the specifics helps to ensure you are getting the best offer possible.

      – Mimi Fritz

       

      Compile all negotiation questions/items into one inquiry to avoid too much back and forth.

      – Valorie Mulder

       

      Review the paperwork carefully and be sure you understand the total compensation package.

      – Patty Kennelly

       

      Have reasons to negotiate:

      Are you walking away from a bonus or is there something else you’re leaving on the table monetarily? Maybe the position is at a higher level with more responsibility and you’re looking to increase compensation for that reason. As long as you have a reason for negotiating, it’s usually worth a shot.

      – Derek Mulder

       

      If asking for an increase, be sure you can substantiate why; “I have another offer at this level”, cost of living, “This is what it would take for me to make the move.”

      – Ginny Hiteshew

       

      Don’t negotiate just to negotiate. If the offer provided is in line with your expectations and you feel it is fair compensation for the duties of the job, you certainly shouldn’t negotiate. Ideally you accept the offer as-is and not make anything difficult for your future employer before starting.

      – Chip Searles

       

      As much as possible, if you can give a reason why you are asking for something (i.e., you will be walking away from a bonus, or you have more PTO currently, or given the responsibilities of the role are increased you were hoping for an increase in salary) it would be helpful in giving them justification to ask for internal approval sign-off.

      – Marianne Westphal

       

      Have a specific number in mind:

      Propose a specific number in which you are comfortable accepting. This will show your commitment and interest in joining their firm and secure their trust that you aren’t just fishing to get more.

      – Valorie Mulder

       

      Try to have a baseline acceptance number in mind. Think about the entire package and really consider what you would accept the position at before negotiating.

      – Derek Mulder

       

      Be prepared to only go back once. If you are looking for a sign-on to offset money you are leaving behind, make sure you have a specific number. It’s bad form (and makes you look unorganized) to keep adding new information and asking for more.

      – Patty Kennelly

       

      Know your professional value – Look at the DW Simpson Salary Survey and find where you land.

      – Ginny Hiteshew

       

      Be realistic:

      If not currently employed, a sign-on is rare as those are typically to compensate for bonuses being left on the table or to help with relocation expenses.

      – Mimi Fritz

       

      Ask if the role is bonus eligible – this may change your expectation range.

      – Paquita Laurient

       

      Don’t ask for too much. Asking for a significant increase from what the company originally offered (let’s say 10% or more) can be a turn off to your potential employer. As Recruiters, we’ve even seen companies rescind an offer when a candidate asks for much more than what was originally offered.

      – Chip Searles

       

      Express your gratitude:

      Make sure in any negotiations to start by being appreciative of the offer and excited about the role (lead with that, that is the important part!)

      – Marianne Westphal

       

      Be sure to always keep the conversation positive. You want to let the company know that you’re highly interested in the position/company and want to make this work.

      – Derek Mulder

       

      Be grateful of the current offer and share appreciation for further consideration when countering.

      – Paquita Laurient

       

      Strategies to keep in mind:

      Be open to creative solutions. If they can’t go higher on the base, can they do a sign-on or a guaranteed bonus? Will there be exam increases or a promotion in the near future?

      – Patty Kennelly

       

      Sometimes you have to time the most important pieces first (deal-breakers, salary, bonus, PTO) and you can work through some of the smaller things once you get those addressed. That being said, it is good to have a sense of the various things you may need to ask for so you don’t go back piecemeal but can approach this strategically. This is where a recruiter can be very helpful as they can be the middle-person in the negotiation, as sometimes salary negotiations can get emotional. Negotiations can be sensitive, but remember that everyone has the same goal in mind.

      – Marianne Westphal

       

      Working with a Recruiter can take the stress and confusion out of the hiring process, help to highlight your value to future employers, and guide you through your salary and compensation package negotiations. Find us at dwsimpson.com.

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