Negotiating Salaries: Landing a Great Candidate Without Breaking the Bank

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Terrific employees are out there. You wouldn’t hire anyone other than a top candidate anyway, would you?

So before you even start interviewing job applicants, here are some tips to help you negotiate salary with your final candidate so that you may land her without breaking your budget:

Start with the end in mind. That is, decide on a top salary number you will — under no circumstances — go over. Come up with a range you’ll pay for the position. Research what other companies pay for the type of position. You can check with your local chamber of commerce, industry trade groups, even websites such as You’ll also want to be sure that your salary ceiling for the position is within range of other workers in your company who hold similar positions. You don’t want to bring a new accountant in at $55,000 when you pay your current accountants $48,000-$52,000.

Describe the job thoroughly. Create a well-written job posting that describes the job’s major responsibilities, which will attract the right candidates. You may want to put the salary range in your ad to prevent unqualified people from even applying.

You also can ask candidates for their salary requirements up front. Should a good candidate not do so, call her before the interview and ask her for her required salary range, explaining that you don’t want to waste her time if the salary isn’t as she expects.

Expect some negotiation. Top candidates will want to negotiate and you should do so in good faith. If you absolutely can’t budge on the this top candidate’s salary needs, see if you can offer her something else of value. You can offer to review her salary after six months (and then put this promise in writing). Offer to pay for additional training or education, more paid time off, additional health benefits or insurance, perhaps even a more enticing job title.

If you’re a company doing business in the Winnipeg, Manitoba area and you need help sourcing executives and professionals for your company, contact Pinnacle Recruiting and Human Capital Solutions. We can provide recruitment and human capital solutions to a broad spectrum of industries. We look forward to helping you recruit only the best!

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