Salary negotiations are critical in any point in your career. If you are happy working for your current employer, maybe you are reluctant to push for a salary increase you know you deserve. You have received the typical 3 to 5 percent annual increase and know you are increasing both top-line revenues and bottom-line profits in multiples. We speak with managers and executives who feel this daily. Money, especially when it comes to salary raises, has a sense of taboo in the professional world. Most CEOs and business owners are just as eager to know where you stand and what you desire. They do not want to lose key employees by being a few thousand dollars off on their salary assessment for their teams. They want to maintain order, keep their key employees, and drive revenues and profits.
As a search firm, AKA Search Group is on both sides of salary negotiations. We serve as the intermediary to find common ground between business owners and candidates for pay and benefits. There are many things to keep in mind when negotiating salary. At AKA Search Group, we remind employers and employees that it is simply a business transaction.
Hurdles of Salary Negotiations
Salary negotiations typically come naturally to those experienced in business or sales. There are many occurrences where our clients and candidates take control of their salary negotiations. However, many clients and candidates struggle with self-endorsement. Many cannot softly sell themselves to their employees, prospective hires, or employers. Lacking self-endorsement will hamstring you in your efforts to get what you truly want. If you lack this gift, we at AKA Search Group suggest conducting a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis.
Strengths: This shows the employer or prospective hire the areas where you perform above the market average. Have 3 to 5 strengths listed out with actual results backing them up.
Weaknesses: Be humble about where you perform at or below the market average. Have a weakness or two listed out with the actions you are currently, or soon will be, taking to correct these. If not correctable, have a proposed plan to either systematize or delegate these tasks.
Opportunities: What talents or strengths do you have that your employer can leverage to increase top-line revenues or bottom-line profits? Or what strengths does your business have that can boost a prospective hire’s career? For candidates or employees, what can you achieve over the next year or two that will provide multiples to your employer and justify your proposed salary increase?
Threats: This is a critical component. Do you have other employers actively seeking your talents? Have you been thinking of switching careers or starting your own business? As a business owner, have you been thinking of outsourcing or combining this employee’s role? Be very diligent and mindful when discussing or bringing this section to the table during salary negotiations. Threats can only be presented when you have actual backup and the last resort. AKA Search Group does not support the need to play hardball for either an employer or an employee. If both sides want to make it work, threats rarely are needed.
HubSpot has a great article on SWOT analyses and it even includes templates for you to utilize. You can find the article here.
This article is the first in a series of articles discussing salary negotiations from AKA Search Group. Utilizing business basics, such as conducting a SWOT analysis, can be a crucial first step when preparing for salary negotiations. Remember, business is business. It may be hard to limit the number of personal feelings you mix into salary negotiations. Salary negotiation is simply a business transaction. Conduct your preparation and execution as such. We are experts when it comes to salary negotiations for both our clients and our candidates.