How to negotiate with the newly found ideal candidate?

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Let us assume a general scenario. One of your employees has asked for resignation and will be gone by the end of one month. The employee was a strong pillar in the organization and has to replaced as soon as possible.

So, what do you do? As expected, you put up a job advertisement on various job portals & social media, ask for suitable candidates via references and give out your requirements to hiring agencies, if required.

You take a couple of interviews and finally, after rejecting a couple of people for a span of two months, there the ideal candidate is, sitting in front of you. You are so close to the finish line.

But, here is the twist. You ask the candidate his/her expectations. The candidate mouths a big number that makes your hand crumble.

Now you have two choices, either to say yes, or tell the candidate to wait till you give it a thought. In the former choice, you incur a loss. In the latter one, you are giving the candidate away and have a big chance of losing him/her.

So, how do you make the right decision at that point of time?

Let’s prepare you for it.

  • Do’s prior to the interview

In today’s times, the candidate who is coming to be examined has already examined you and your company. Even your Facebook profile, perhaps.

The person knows what you will offer, as company review sites such as Glassdoor etc. give a clear idea of what your company’s salary expense is, depending on the role.

Well, you have Internet too! So, you go and research end-to-end about what the market rate is, for the role you are offering. Is there any company offering more or perhaps, less than what you are?

All these salary benchmarking stats you can find will help you, to come to a conclusion as to what you should be offering so that there will be room left to negotiate, if not agree readily or let the candidate go in the worst case.

  • Do’s prior to the interview

Now, you have researched about the market and know very well what price you are going to put forward. But, there are other points too to ponder over before you go and put forth your offer.

Prior to the interview, perhaps on the first interview call, ask for the CTC of the candidate and if they expect anything. This will prepare you for the negotiation when it comes. You already know what the candidate is thinking!

Secondly, ask why they are leaving their current job and scrutinize the answer very carefully. The reasons might be multi-fold. They might be wanting more benefits from you, that they didn’t get at their last job, rather than a salary hike. Try to find out the gap the person is facing and fill it with the reward you can which is not money in every case.

Also, a simple trick is to mention your salary range on the job advertisement portal itself. The way you mention it will be, for instance, for a Graphic designer role, you will offer 4lac – 6lac and not 4lac. The range gives an idea to the candidate that you are flexible. This will save your time and get you a substantial number of candidates to choose from.

  • Benefits are given more weightage

‘The AFLAC Workforce Report reveals that 60 percent of employees are likely to take a job with lower pay but better benefits.’

You can negotiate only on monetary terms if you want but according to the above stats, giving added benefits for cutting down on the compensation & benefit is a preferable option.

Many a candidate just want Saturdays off or the flexibility to work from home. The money does not interest them! Other benefits involve giving ESOP’s, wellness credits, gym membership, calling / traveling compensation or even a company car for instance.

The most asked for benefit is of healthcare insurance. This interests a large audience as many people cannot afford first class treatment if anything were to happen.

You need to identify which category your candidate falls in and negotiate accordingly. There is a 99% chance the candidate will readily agree.

  • Do’s during the interview

You are well researched with what your candidate is expecting and are ready for the interview.

Ten minutes into the interview, you realize the candidate is doing fairly well and the ball is in his/her court. Hence, chances are your negotiating strategy prepared for later might fail.

So, how do you bring the ball back into your field? For starters, give out the attitude that the company does not need them, but they need the company. Do not show disregard or be rude but, just let the candidate know that there are other people too waiting in line for the role.

Also, prepare a questionnaire beforehand to ask them daunting questions. This will help you judge the candidate rationally and when the candidate sees that you know well, and he/she cannot fool you, the negotiation becomes even easier.

  • Know when to stop

After all this compensation management and see-saw of negotiations, if it still does not feel right, then stop right there! We agree that the candidate is highly skilled and the company needs the person but not at the cost of hampering your budget.

Also, not at the cost of making other employees feel threatened. If you offer a base pay that is far more that what you give your employees in the same domain, they will know soon enough and will feel their work is not up to the mark, which may not be the case.

On the other hand, if the conversation ends on a good note and the candidate agrees to your compensation, get it in writing at that moment and bind the candidate. Chances are the person might change his/her mind if a better offer comes along. Also, keep engaging them every week until their start day, one way or another. A team meeting to welcome them, a company lunch or just getting to know them over coffee will keep them bound to you!

Hope you find your next candidate on your terms!

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