How to find the middle ground between salary negotiation and value

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Wendy Weber
Wendy Weber

Many direct marketers have been considering their career options since the job market began to rebound. Some have not received salary increases over the past several years, and they are ready to pursue new employment and “make up for lost time” in terms of compensation. Yet no rational employer wants to pay more than is necessary to secure the best talent.

For job seekers, the most important aspect of an employment search is to choose a position where they can continue to grow professionally in an environment where they feel rewarded and appreciated. However, I advise organizations to gauge candidates by their value as weighed against others, not by their current salary.

For instance, we have a client that identified a job-seeker he thought was ideal for his organization. However, the candidate sought a salary increase of 50% more than his current pay.

In such a case, the client has no desire to compensate for a new employee's previously low level of compensation by doubling his salary, but the candidate wants to part ways with his employer, largely because he knows he is not being equitably compensated. The salary the client wants is the same market value that other candidates require. The client will end up paying a fair wage to someone…why not the candidate he or she already likes?

I encourage both candidate and client to evaluate not the increase over current salary, but the value added to the new employer. Ultimately for the client, it doesn't matter what your new employee used to make, as long as the value they bring is worth the salary you are willing to pay.


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