Compensation Negotiation Workshop Salary Negotiation is often the most difficult aspect of job interviewing. This workshop is designed to help you arm yourself with information and develop a plan for working through the salary and benefits negotiation process. While there are no magic formulas for successful compensation negotiation, current salary data and preparation will make negotiation a helpful experience for you and potential employers. This workshop takes you through the following steps: First, determine the match between you and the position. Know what your skills are worth. Know your "bottom line." Develop a realistic budget to determine your "bottom line." Communicate your worth on your resume, cover letter and in the interview. Remember that negotiation is collaboration, not confrontation. Include other forms of compensation and benefits in negotiation. What to do if negotiation is expected. Establish and document a win-win agreement. First determine the match between you and the position Sometimes job seekers or employers jump too quickly into the compensation and salary questions during interviews without first finding out if the job is right for the candidate. Whenever possible, avoid this topic until a job offer is on the table. If you are asked about salary history -- what you made in previous positions -- you may be required to answer, but always let the employer know that you are looking for a good match and prefer to talk about money later. If your last salary was made in a different market, find out a comparable salary. If you are asked about salary requirements -- what you expect to make from this position -- let the employer know you are open to negotiation for the right position and depending on benefits. Know what your skills are worth Research salaries in your field and geographic area (show examples of websites). Factor in your experience, credentials and expertise as you explore some of these sites which give a range of salaries in occupations and locations.: Homefair.com has salary and moving expense calculators plus community profiles and housing information. www2.homefair.com/calc/salcalc.html Datamasters.com shows high tech salaries by U.S. region. www.datamasters.com/ Salary.com lists salaries for business and technical-related occupations by metro area or search by zip code. www.salary.com/ The Online Occupational Outlook Handbook shows national salary trends within each occupation description. www.bls.gov/oco Wage Web high-tech and business salary ranges. www.wageweb.com/ RealRates gives actual salaries people submit by job title. www.realrates.com/ssurvey.htm JobSmart's salaries by industry. Data is often West Coast-based. www.jobsmart.org/tools/salary/sal-prof.htm Professional Associations on the Web often have salary information. www.ipl.org/div/AON/ Employee benefits survey. www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs Know your "bottom line" Research the cost of living where you reside or plan to relocate. Relocation information. Useful in calculating cost of living differences. www.relo-usa.com/ Yahoo's real estate, cost of living, salary and community comparisons. list.realestate.yahoo.com Develop a realistic budget to determine your "bottom line" Use form below to help: Monthly Living Expense Budget (per month) Housing Rent / Mortgage Electric / Gas / Water / Sewer Telephone / Internet Food Groceries Dining Out Transportation Car Payment Maintenance & Repair Gas Parking / Public Transportation Insurance Auto Medical and Dental Home / Apartment Life Other Insurance (Vision, Long-term / Short-term Disability, etc.) Other Personal Expenses All Other Loan Payments (student, credit cards, etc.) Dependent Care / Education Expenses Clothing Household Goods & Furnishings Miscellaneous Expenses Recreation / Entertainment Job Search Expenses (suits, travel, etc.) Education expenses Savings, Investments Charitable Giving Other Miscellaneous Expenses Total Monthly Living Expenses Total Yearly Living Expenses (multiply above by 12) Communicate your worth on your resume, cover letter and in the interview Focus on strengths and how they benefit employers in your resume. Highlight accomplishments and talk about meeting the needs of employers. Every answer you give to the questions in interviews asked can communicate the value you add to the employer, often without direct reference to money. Listen well for clues to the employer's salary expectations -- clues that tell you how much they want to hire you and whether negotiation is expected. Find out enough about the job to determine if you really want it and tell them how interested you are in the position. Remember that Negotiation is Collaboration, not Confrontation Offers are not cheap for employers to extend, so learn their rules. Ask if negotiation is expected or if the first offer is the best offer. If First offer = best offer A company with this philosophy analyzes the employment market and what they already pay others doing similar work. When they extend an offer, they typically believe that they are being competitive and that the package represents a fair wage and the best that they can offer. Some employers find negotiation distasteful and don't see the point in bringing in underpaid employees. To find out if this is the method the employer is using, ask what the offer is based on. If salary cannot be negotiated, find out about available perks and benefits. A full benefits packet may be worth anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of the salary when leave time and employer contributions to insurance, retirement and other benefits are figured in. Examples of non-salary compensation Health, dental, vision insurance Life insurance Retirement plans or funds Long-term care insurance Vacation and personal leave Sick leave Long-term and short-term disability Tickets to discounts to sporting and cultural events Work at home options Education benefits Relocation reimbursement Signing bonus Pay for performance bonuses Flexible spending accounts Employee assistance Programs Stock options If Negotiation is Expected This philosophy can either be part of the company culture, consistent within an industry (such as sales) or an attitude of one of the hiring managers. If negotiation is part of the job, they may see this as a test to see if you can handle that duty. Trouble arises in the negotiation process, however, when we treat the process like buying a used car. It's important to work together and not be antagonists, which can cause you to negotiate yourself out of the job. If it can be negotiated, ask for a range and counter from there, based on salary and cost of living information. If you feel confrontational about compensation, do exercise visualizing yourself on the battlefield, facing your opponent, then lowering your weapons, shaking hands, joining sides and walking side by side. Negotiation is a process of joining sides for mutual benefit. Don't be the one to name the first figure. Their figure tells you the bottom of the ballpark of what they intended to pay you. Timing is everything. After you are sure the employer wants to hire you, but before you commit to wanting the job. Take a collaborative approach. Balance your firmness with such non-threatening words as "idea," "suggestion," "perhaps," Don't push further that you know you can go. Find out when and how you will be evaluated and by whom; then how the evaluation process affects salary adjustments. Are salary increases based on other factors like cost-of-living increases, seniority, etc. Take notes so you can include the negotiation of benefits or salary in your letter of acceptance. Examples of what you might say "I'm interested in considering any reasonable offer." "Is there any flexibility in the salary portion of the offer?" This question will help you know if it is a "1st offer = best offer" organization or if negotiation is expected. "I feel that my background and experience will allow me to contribute more to your organization and will be worth more to you." "I think my skill level in the _________field is higher than most other candidates. Therefore, I can save you time and money by being specially productive." "I can contribute more to the company than the average candidate." Always use real-life examples. Base what you can on your role in the future of the organization. Even in many "first offer, best offer" companies, they might have some latitude in other areas like relocation, vacation days, temporary housing, one-time cash bonuses, or "hiring bonuses," to offset costs-of-living differences and other setbacks. Make creative suggestions when you find yourself with no flexibility in the area of salary. For example, can the total expense the company budgets for relocation to be converted to a hiring bonus, thus not costing them anything - but allowing you to pack and move yourself while pocketing the savings? People who dismiss lateral moves, or situations that don't earn them an immediate financial incentive, may miss the long-term growth that could occur for them in that position. Confirm the details of the offer Include the negotiation of benefits or salary in your letter of acceptance or get something in writing from the employer. Thank you for participating in the Compensation Negotiation Workshop, offered online by Regis University Center for Career and Professional Development. Career counselors in Regis University Center for Career and Professional Development can help you with your career development needs, including developing your own compensation negotiation strategy. Call 303.458.3508 or 800.388.2366 x3508 to make an in-person or telephone appointment. Please take a few moments to fill out an evaluation of the online workshop Evaluation form. Your feedback is helpful and appreciated.