Why Salary Negotiation is a Necessity in Today's Job Search Strategies

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Recent events in the international front, the economic crisis in Japan due to the devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami and the air strikes in Libya, are sure to impact the fragile post-recession economy as well as the job seeker's negotiation for the best salary, Chris Pires, professional job hunter and author of the book "Shred your Resume and Find a Job Fast," said.

I also recommend that job seekers don't give the figures first to allow hiring managers to make the first suggestion...

These events affect company operations, especially the automobile industry, here in Toronto and the rest of North America as a huge bulk of car parts and other household electronic parts are manufactured in Japan. Energy prices are also expected to soar with the attacks in Libya. The financial market is on a close watch on this, says Pires, adding that these economic trends might pose a difficulty for the job seeker to get a competitive salary. "It's harder to negotiate when the company's finances are not stable, when it's hurting," he said.

However, Pires said there are principles that will help job seekers in negotiating for the best salary and these are found in Chapter 16 of the book he penned.

As much as possible, job seekers should delay discussion on the salary range until the end stages of the job interview, or until a job offer has been made. Pires said a job seeker should never initiate discussion on the topic as it would show that he is more interested in the financial rewards rather than the job itself.

"I also recommend that job seekers don't give the figures first to allow hiring managers to make the first suggestion. By giving the figures first they close the doors to opportunities of getting higher salaries. They would never know if the hiring manager was going to offer something higher. When prodded for salary expectations, the job seeker can politely answer "Can I ask what is the salary range for this position in your company?" This way the question is thrown back to the manager", Pires further explained

He also strongly advised job seekers not to accept the first figure the hiring manager offers, and come back to the negotiating table and start negotiations for as much as 10% higher of what has been suggested. Not only does this show negotiating skills, but will be most beneficial to them. Studies show that those who negotiate get as much as 5-7% more than what was initially offered, he added. Job seekers have a bargaining chip when another company offers you a higher salary than what is being offered.

However, given the economic trends it might be hard to push for the salary expected for the job. In which case job seekers can negotiate for benefits like more vacation days, stock options, flex time or bigger bonuses. These are avenues that can be explored. But also be aware that because of the fragile recovering economy most companies have opted to cut benefits as an option against laying off more people. Keep all these in mind on the negotiating table, and accept what is a fair deal, Pires stressed.

Pires emphasized that when everything is said and done job seekers should put everything in writing because "promises" can easily be forgotten six months down the road.

However, if job seekers feel that after the negotiations they could do much better then they don't have to accept the job offer and keep on moving forward, says Pires. Salary negotiation should always be apart of any job search strategies.


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