We all know the situation: It’s been a tough search with limited quality candidates and you’ve got a severely under-staffed internal team. At last, you find a great candidate who fits the bill and loves the company, and every thing is going fine until at offer stage they drop the clanger that they want a starting salary that was much higher than budgeted! What do you do? As a hiring manager or recruiter, you have to do your best to negotiate with this candidate making sure that if any raise is granted it does not upset the internal pay hierarchy or else you could be facing discord and a spate of pay rise requests leading to unhealthy levels of internal inflation.
We know that this can be an awkward situation that most recruiters and hiring managers will face from time to time and below we have set out eight ways to help you handle this difficult situation.
1. Buy yourself time
Don’t feel pressured into giving an immediate answer to a candidate’s request for a higher-than-budget starting salary, irrespective of whether your answer is positive or negative. Tell the candidate that you will need time to discuss this with your colleagues and superiors; let he or she see that there are barriers, e.g. other people that need to be convinced. Plant a seed of doubt in their mind.
2. Ask the employee if they have any evidence to back up their claims
Ask a candidate, “Do have any evidence to back up your claims for a higher starting salary as your reward department will need to see this in order to even consider a case.” Defer some of the decision making to other parties not present, and put some hurdles in place, so the candidate can see that while you are open, it will not be an easy ride and he or she will need to justify their case. This approach may help to deter the ‘chancers’, but the more determined will keep on pushing.