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From the coalface: How not to negotiate pay

By Greg Pankhurst

The approach some candidates take to salary negotiations for a new role can best be described as misguided.

Here are three common strategies we see people try to employ, and why they almost always end in failure.

Asking for significantly more money or benefits at the end of the recruitment process.
Companies work to budgets, and by asking for more you can blow that budget and appear untrustworthy and unpredictable.

Being vague.
This is a favourite of senior candidates and interviewers who are scared to ask the money question. Usually you get to the end of the interview process only to discover there is a gap of 20 per cent to 40 per cent between each party's expectations. A real time-waster.

Asking for an overly inflated salary, with the expectation that you can negotiate back.
Companies will pass you over for more reasonably priced candidates before you get to serious negotiations. Even if the negotiations do unfold as planned, it's a weak approach and a blow to your credibility before you start.

It's far more effective to be upfront, transparent and open in your negotiations. And make sure you do some research to understand your worth in the marketplace before starting your job search.

Greg Pankhurst is a managing director at Balance Recruitment. 


Published: 09 June 2012

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