You’ve seen it before – job seekers will throw out inflated figures they’d like their salaries to be, hoping that your company will come close to matching them. But the reality is they’ll often accept a lot less.
Of course, the goal isn’t to lowball a prospective hire, but rather find an appropriate starting point when it comes to negotiating compensation.
So how can you find out what a job candidate will truly accept? Here are three tips gleaned from HirePlateau, an information hub for recruiters and other staffing professionals, to help you find the answer:
- Don’t rule a candidate out because of unrealistic expectations. A job seeker’s answer to a question like “What salary are you hoping for?” usually expresses an aspiration, not a starting point. After all, it’s always easier to get a prospective employer to go down in price rather than up. They’ve got to start somewhere, and reasonable candidates will almost always leave plenty of room for negotiation.
- Find out what else the candidate is looking for. Is money the only thing the candidate is looking for? What about health benefits? Flextime? The ability to work from home once a week? Childcare assistance? Those can be as valuable as money to some candidates and can drive their salary demands down.
- Ask about the dream job. Here’s a question that acts as a great measuring stick, “If you were offered your dream job at $X salary (make sure this figure is lower than the candidate’s desired salary), would you accept it?” If there’s much hesitation in the answer, or it comes back “yes”, than the candidate’s just lowered his/her salary floor.
Source: “Are Raises Back in 2011??” by Tim Giehll, Bond talent, 12/22/10.