Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Why your Salary Offer Sucks

I recently read an interesting blog over at CBS News, by Suzanne Lucas, which resonated with me, as I run a recruitment agency near Cambridge, UK. She lists a bunch of reasons why you might receive a naff salary offer. The key is to always negotiate and I’m always surprised how so few candidates negotiate for a better deal. Perhaps they’re just happy to get a job offer in the current market. Either way, employers often expect candidates to negotiate, so go ahead and ask for an uplift – you’re selling yourself short otherwise. On the other hand, it might just be a naff offer. Here’s the list:
1. They expect you to negotiate. Many job offers are lower than what they are actually willing to pay. They expect you to make a counter offer and negotiate the final salary. People who don't negotiate miss out.
2. HR didn't give the full range. Typically, a salary range is pretty wide, supposedly based on market data - and no one usually gets hired close to the top or the bottom of the range.

3. The offer is terrible. It could just be a really terrible job offer. They happen. The job market still stinks and it's just possible that the manager decided to throw out a low-ball offer to see if you'd accept it.
4. Communication is terrible. This, unfortunately, is often the cause of problems. HR isn't communicating with the manager and vice versa. HR could have looked at the job and compared it to current market data and come back with the figure that you were quoted. However, the manager doesn't have that much money in his budget. Somehow that wasn't effectively communicated and you got told the ideal range instead of reality.
5. The position was downgraded. Just because you already have a master's degree doesn't mean you have all the requisite skills and experience. They may have just really liked you and decided to downgrade the job to fit your skills rather than rejecting you. Downgrades and upgrades happen all the time.
The important this to remember is always negotiate. It's part of the job-hunting process.