It is Not All About Salary

Negotiating is not easy; it is not pleasant.  It can leave many candidates feeling like they have been devalued and (quite frankly) taken advantage of.

However, it is part of every hiring process.  Every process.  Sometimes, in those situations where salary is just not negotiable, the process simply becomes one of deciding whether or not to accept the offer.

As the economy grows ever so slowly, some people (who have highly sought after skillsets) are finding companies much more willing to compete in terms of salary.  A recent survey found that 38% of hiring executives are more willing to negotiate pay now than they were a year ago for “top job candidates”.  The keyword here, however, is “top”.

But what if you are a candidate who does not possess leading edge skills, or what if you are interviewed by one of the 59% of those same hiring executives who said that they had had no/less plans to more aggressively negotiate salary.  What if you do not have experience with Oracle Java or Linux or UNIX or JavaScript (JS)?  What if you do not have a certification in Long Term Care (LTC) or Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) or Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)?

The answer is to look at other aspects of the job offer that would appeal to you and fit your lifestyle.  For example, Salary.com surveyed more than 7,5000 workers across the U.S..  They asked them what they consider most when evaluating a potential employer.  The top four answers, ahead of salary, were:

  • Longevity/stability – people  do not want their employment terminated.  Being out of work is not fun, and it can be a debilitating shot to your sense of worth and value.
  • Good work culture – every company has its own unique culture.  It is what sets the tone for the office and guides the daily interactions among staff members.
  • Career advancement opportunities – some jobs are likely to lead to additional responsibilities and/or a promotion within the same company.  Some jobs do not.
  • Flexible schedules – flex time, compressed work weeks, telecommuting and job sharing/part-time work are becoming more popular.  With the average commute being 25.1 minutes, the ability to drive outside the bounds of  “rush hour” and/or telecommute can save both time and money.

The central idea is to look beyond the initial salary.  Salaries change.  Promotions happen.  Probationary periods end.  Look at the full picture when evaluating a job offer.  A strong work culture that meshes with your work style, opportunities to learn and advance within the company, and a flexible scheduling component can all compensate for a lower starting salary.

Negotiating the terms of employment (including salary) through a professional human capital management firm (such as Snelling) makes it easier for everyone involved.  Our staffing professionals bring experience, local knowledge and guidance to your job search.  We can help you leverage your skillsets or assist you in repositioning them in this ever-changing workplace.

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