In Depth

3 thoughts that every hiring manager has while negotiating your salary

Sanjana Ray
17th Apr 2017
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Salary negotiations can be tricky. While you may think you have the tougher end of the bargain, you need to understand that for even your hiring manager, the process is like walking on thin ice. After sorting through countless applications and holding a series of cumbersome interviews, he or she has firmly settled on you to be the newest addition to the team. They have probably also spent a good amount of time talking you up to the heads of the department in concern and have initiated all the paperwork, only to have your one decision change the existing balance. After all, if they don’t pitch you the right salary, you could always walk away. And then they’re in trouble.

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From the point of view of a hiring manager, they are always ready with the minimum and maximum numbers that they can offer you. In most cases, the one they pitch to you at the first go during the interview is a middle amount – an L between an A and Z. This is because they expect you to open negotiations regarding your salary, be it during the interview process itself or later when they send you the offer letter.

To understand the psyche of a hiring manager the next time you open salary negotiations, here are a few things that he or she is probably thinking at the same moment.

“I hope they don’t go over the ceiling amount”

Towards the end of an interview, your interviewer will probably ask you how much you expect to earn per month or year, so they can begin deliberations on the same. In most cases, he or she would have already gotten a rough range of the amount that the company is willing to spend on somebody looking to take up this role. While they do expect you to negotiate your salary, they also hope that you do not go over the ceiling amount that the company, at this point, can offer you.

For instance, a fresher in the media line may be looking to start out with a salary between Rs 30,000 and 35,000 a month – which according to the hiring manager is per industry standards. However, if the person they are looking to hire begins to demand a monthly income of say Rs 45,000, then the former will have no choice but to lose out on a promising candidate due to insufficient funds.

“I wonder if they have other offers to consider”

You have to realise that if the hiring manager has taken days and weeks to narrow down the selection process to just you, then he or she really does want you to become a part of the company. This is because they probably believe that you will work out to be a great asset to the company. That is why they are also worried about whether you have been receiving offers from others in the same industry, looking to snatch you up off the market. To this end, you could always make it seem like you’re weighing out your options but are leaning towards the company in question – your decision depending on the salary they are willing to offer. In most cases, this will end up being a negotiation that works in your favour.

“I could try improving her other benefits package”

There could be a situation where the amount you have quoted is much higher than the monthly increment they can grant you currently. However, if your hiring manager truly views you as a worthy candidate and is unwilling to see you walk off, they might try to pull some strings and improve upon your ‘other’ benefits package. This could include the number of vacation days, sick leaves, health insurance, or a signing bonus, which could attract you into taking up the offer anyway.

Putting yourself in your hiring manager’s shoes will help you predict the kind of responses they could give when it comes to opening negotiations regarding your salary, and how to work it best to your own advantage. So don’t forget these for the next time you walk into an interview.

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