Part of the salary negotiation process involves arming yourself with knowledge. You, as the employer, want to make an offer that is fair to the skill level of the employee, but you also want to make sure that you’re spending as little as possible.
If you give a number, and the applicant comes back with another number, you need to know how fair that second number is before you counter, because if this is the employee you want, then you want to make sure you offer them a number that won’t cause them to walk away (now or in the future), but also isn’t more than you should be paying for someone of their calibre.
Learn the Salary Sweet Spot
Great applicants arm themselves with knowledge to address the salary negotiation process. They are going to do their research before they talk to you about salary. You should too because you need to know if you’re going to be able to offer them the right amount, when you may need to sell them on your other perks/benefits, and when you should walk away.
For that, you’ll want to look at salary websites – websites that give average salaries for the industry. While these should not be seen as gospel, and may not take into account all of the other reasons to work for your company or other factors that go into salary, they do provide you with a great starting point for your negotiations:
You may also want to do searches that are specifically related to competitors. Find out what your competitors are paying, so that you know how much you need to offer to keep this employee in your company, rather than lose them to the other.
Salary Isn’t Everything
Salary is only one part of negotiation. You can also negotiate vacation days, sick days, family care. You can also use your perks and benefits as a way to offset any salary issues. The websites above are also only estimates. You’ll still want to value the employee yourself by gauging how much they bring in and determining how much you can pay to get a strong ROI.
But arming yourself with knowledge before you negotiate is important, and the above websites will give you some assistance in the negotiation process.