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Wage negotiation: what not to say

The new year brings a new budget and, often, the opportunity to hire more employees. Many companies choose the first quarter as a time to build staff and prepare for a profitable year.

The hiring process is complicated. Current technology means that you get dozens of resumes with varying degrees of qualifications and work histories. Ultimately, you want the person who will do the best job for the lowest cost. You want someone who will be willing to stay and make the training worth it.

As you begin to interview and negotiate salaries, keep these things in mind, so your negotiations are not met with a wage disparity claim.

Research goes both ways

When it comes time to talk about wages and what the position offers, you need to come to the table with more than your budget in mind. The applicant on the other side of the table has likely looked at what similar positions pay at other companies and are looking to find a comparable salary with you.

While you do not necessarily have to match what other companies are offering, you should have a clear understanding of what you are looking for in a candidate and what qualifications you are willing to sacrifice to stay within your budget. You should have a clear understanding of what range you are ready to offer and why that range is suitable for this position.

Likewise, if a candidate is asking for an amount that is outside what your plan was for the position, ask more questions about how he or she got to that number. While it may not change your budget for the job, it can give you some perspective into what other candidates in the market will be looking for.

Employees will talk

Even if you have a policy in place regarding employees sharing how much they are paid, there are still going to be members of your staff who share their salaries. Some may share because they are excited, while others may share because they are upset.

In any situation, you need to be able to defend why one person makes a different amount than another. These conversations are where many wage disparity claims start. Two employees find out there is a difference in pay, and they come to the wrong conclusion. When you are prepared with an answer, you show employees what they bring to the table and how those assets are valued.

Negotiating with job candidates does not have to be a frightening exercise, but there is a measure of caution required to avoid a wage claim.

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