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The question of compensation can be very sensitive and often requires extended negotiations to reach a figure that is fair and acceptable to both the company and the individual. Some points to remember:


  • Most companies want to make a fair offer. They want to bring new employees on board at a salary level that provides incentive to change jobs that also is consistent with the company’s existing salary structure for that position.


  • The days of 20% and 25% increases in compensation are gone. Inflation rates are down; all corporations are more conscious of maintaining consistency in existing salary structures; the economic growth in many industries has leveled off, and the competition for better positions has increased. So be realistic in your expectations.


  • The position/opportunity is the single most important element of your decision. No amount of money will make a poor position/company a good one. A quality position, working with quality people in a dynamic work environment offers rewards that money cannot buy.


  • Be flexible! Compensation packages are a combination of salary, reviews, titles and perks. These elements can be arranged/re-arranged, and sometimes, very creatively to satisfy both the individual and the company.


  • Keep your Executive Search Consultant involved. Part of our job is to handle sensitive negotiations and move both parties to a fair and acceptable compensation package. We do this for a living and can often offer alternatives that will satisfy both parties. (We are also a good buffer. We are able to keep sensitive negotiations on a professional level and not become personal.)


  • If you are asked what salary you are looking for, try to avoid quoting a specific figure. Attempt something like this:  “I am very interested in the opportunity, and I feel I can make a meaningful contribution. I am currently earning $________ per year. I would be open to a competitive offer.” It is best not to name a figure if at all possible. You don’t want to over-price/under-price yourself, so remember to discuss all relevant salary and benefits issues with your Executive Search Consultant.


If you are asked again later in the process, you may want to re-state what you are earning, and ask what a person with your experience level is worth in their company.

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