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How To Answer The Salary Question On Online Job Applications – And Other Common Job Search Negotiation Questions Answered

Just in time for Veterans’ Day, I led a negotiation workshop for female military veterans and military spouses, organized by American Corporate Partnes. ACP is a national non-profit that offers a broad array of career support to veterans and military spouses, so it’s worth checking out! Here are five job search negotiation questions that apply to both military and non-military job applicants:

1 – How do you address online applications that require a dollar figure and avoid being screened out?

Getting the salary question so early in the hiring process is one of the reasons to avoid online applications if you can help it. It’s hard to give a desired salary when you don’t know much about the job. The desired salary should always be about the job at hand, not what you were making before, what you hope to make, even what you think you deserve.

Therefore, if possible, try to get referred to someone and get a chance to speak with people to learn more specifics about the job before suggesting a salary. However, sometimes you don’t don’t have an existing connection into the company, and you want to apply before too many others apply. First, see if you can just skip the question or write a text response (such as “commensurate with responsibilities of the job”). If not, put a nonsensical number like $1 so that you can move past the question. If you get asked about the $1 response in the first interview, then you can mention that you need to learn more about the job fist before estimating the appropriate salary.

2 – How do you avoid mentioning a salary range during your first interview?

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Related to the first question, another attendee wanted to avoid giving a salary range, not just at the application stage, but even in the first interview. While I agree that you want to have as much detail about the job as possible before quoting a desired salary, you don’t want to avoid discussing salary at all costs. Some recruiters don’t move forward with a candidate if they don’t have an idea of target salary because the candidate might be too expensive and it’s a waste of everyone’s time. Refusing to discuss salary may prevent you from moving forward.

Therefore, you don’t want to avoid mentioning a salary range at all – just avoid mentioning a salary target too soon. Too soon is when you’re not clear about the job. It’s also too soon to discuss salary if you have not researched the market and may underestimate or overestimate your value. For that reason, you should be researching salaries now, even before you get into an interview situation. You don’t want to be caught unprepared to discuss salary. Your lack of readiness is a problem for you, not the employer.

3 – When during the interview process do you start negotiating the job salary?

Ideally you don’t mention salary until you are clear about the scope of the job. That said, mentioning a salary target is not the same as negotiating that particular job’s salary. Sure, it puts a number or range of numbers out there as a starting point, but you’re not bound to it. If you learn different information during the interview process that changes your view of an appropriate salary for that job, then you can still negotiate a different salary.

But don’t start negotiating a particular job’s salary until the employer has given you an offer or confirms that an offer is being put-together. Until the point you know that an employer wants you, your salary talk is all hypothetical. The majority of your interviews should be spent on the scope and responsibilities of the job, not any part of compensation (whether that’s salary or other type of compensation, such as bonus, benefits, time off, etc). You want to demonstrate that you’re interested in the role and making a contribution to that company, not just the salary or whatever else is in it for you.

4 – How do you negotiate differently for public sector v. private sector jobs?

When you do negotiate a particular job’s compensation, your approach should always be customized to that job, in that company and in that industry. Change the job, and you change the compensation and therefore the negotiation. Similarly, go from public sector to private sector, and you change the compensation and therefore how you should approach the negotiation.

One important difference between public and private sector jobs, in particular, is how compensation may be structured differently. A private sector job may offer equity or profit-sharing potential. That type of ownership element is not possible with a public sector job. Knowing this, you may take a lower base salary at a private job that’s offering equity compared to a similar public sector job that won’t offer that. Understanding the different elements available to your potential employers enables you to negotiate on those different terms. Negotiations at different employers will be different because you need to do customized research for each opportunity, consider different compensation structures for each and possibly propose different terms. This is true, not just for public v. private sector, but also start-up v. established company or companies in different geographies. Change the job, the company, the industry or sector, and you change the compensation.

5 – How do you negotiate salary when returning to a corporate position after consulting independently for several years?

When you’re making a career change, in this case consulting to corporate (but it could also be one industry to another or one role to a different one), it should not impact the compensation you receive. Tie the compensation to the scope of the job. Your background enables you to land the job or not. Once you are the one they want, your compensation should be what makes sense for that job, even if you have an atypical background by virtue of your career change.

This requires, of course, that you know what the job should pay. When you have been consulting for several years, you may be out of the loop on what in-house compensation looks like. You need to do research on current compensation, including salary, benefits and other perks for being in-house.

Negotiating a corporate position after consulting for a while also requires that you’re willing to stand your ground and negotiate. If you are too anxious to land an in-house position and get out of consulting, you might settle for less. This is where research can help again — set an appropriate target and don’t underestimate yourself. Having multiple job leads in your pipeline will also help you stay confident in the negotiation.


Remember, you can negotiate

The exact strategy or approach to best negotiate a job offer varies based on what you want, the job at hand, where you are in the negotiation and who you are negotiating with. However, even these general tips show that there are many actions you can take during a negotiation. With some research and preparation, you do have influence on the compensation you receive.

During the ACP workshop, we covered even more questions. In the next post, I’ll answer five more negotiation questions, this time about career management:

  • How to negotiate for flexibility
  • How to renegotiate when you accepted a lower salary years ago
  • How to keep your salary competitive after years in the same job
  • How to negotiate for fairness when your boss plays favorites
  • How negotiation changes when you go from employee to business owner

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

As a longtime recruiter and now career coach, I share career tips from the employer’s perspective. My specialty is career change — fitting since I am a multiple-time career changer myself. My latest career adventures include running SixFigureStart, Costa Rica FIRE and FBC Films.

I am the author of Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career and have coached professionals from Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, Tesla, and other leading firms. I teach at Columbia University and created the online courses, “Behind The Scenes In The Hiring Process” and “Making FIRE Possible“.

I have appeared as a guest career expert on CNN, CNBC, CBS, FOX Business and other media outlets. In addition to Forbes, I formerly wrote for Money, CNBC and Portfolio.

Source: How To Answer The Salary Question On Online Job Applications – And Other Common Job Search Negotiation Questions Answered

 

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HOW TO ANSWER THE SALARY QUESTION ON A JOB APPLICATION // Do you come across a job you really want to apply to, only frozen by the question ‘What is your salary expectation?’ You’ve probably heard the first person to give a number loses – and you’re absolutely right! On top of that, your last salary or desired salary is none of their business until both parties agreed they are equally excited about one another. So how do you politely deflect this question? Watch this video for the answer! [RESOURCES & LINKS] FREE RESOURCE: Free worksheets, guides, and cheat sheets for your job search https://cultivitae.lpages.co/newslett… FREE STRATEGY SESSION: If you are interested in learning about career coaching (seeking a career transition or career advancement) book a free strategy session http://www.cultivitae.com/call FREE WORKSHOP: How to Snag Your Dream Job or Promotion THIS Quarter https://cultivitae.lpages.co/newslett… FREE COMMUNITY: Join our community, “Ultimate Career Support for Ambitious Corporate Professionals” Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/culti… Say hi on social: Twitter: https://twitter.com/CultiVitae Instagram: http://instagram.com/cultivitae Facebook: www.facebook.com/cultivitae Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/emilycliou Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/cultivitae CultiVitae’s homepage: www.cultivitae.com Blog URL: http://cultivitae.com/2018/06/28/sala… YouTube URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eKbv…

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8 Fears That Prevent Honest Employees From Telling Managers the Truth

Do you ever secretly feel like your team is withholding information? That you’re only getting half of the story? Or that employees are just telling you what you want to hear?

You’re not alone. According to a SimplyHired survey, more employees fib to their supervisors than to their co-workers or subordinates. Combine this stat with those employees who don’t say anything at all, and you’re looking at a wide-spread lack of reliable information.

So why do employees feel like they have to lie?

The truth? They’re afraid of repercussions. They’re scared of the exposure that comes from being open and honest, especially with managers.

Little white-lies about staying home sick are one thing, but when employees consistently withhold the truth from their managers and teams, engagement suffers, and productivity is stifled.

Root Inc., a management consulting firm that’s worked with many Fortune 50 companies, sees this issue surface most frequently during times of organizational change. As companies go through cultural, procedural, or structural shifts, employees are afraid of what telling the truth might do to the status of their jobs.

The issue is that as truth-telling declines, cost, bureaucracy, redundancies, and a lack of confidence in the future all rise, warns Root.

They specifically called out eight common fears that drive employees to guard their words.

  1. The fear of indictment for past performance
  2. The fear of being branded and punished for not being on board
  3. The fear of offending a teammate or colleague
  4. The fear of not being accepted by the team
  5. The fear that speaking the truth will zap valuable time and energy and never be resolved anyway (don’t open a can of worms)
  6. The fear of not being valued if I say what I really think
  7. The fear that it is just not safe to talk about the truth
  8. The fear of letting them know you don’t have it all figured out

Managers: Provide air cover and encourage employees to be authentic.

Regardless of how hard you try, organizational change cannot be morphed into an industrial process. It’s not a mechanical nor formulaic system where you’re guaranteed a positive outcome by sticking to a script. Change is a very human experience; it’s organic.

To encourage employees to open up and be honest, and to support change momentum, managers have to provide the right conditions. In the words of Sir Ken Robinson, British author, speaker, and advisor, managers have to shift their mindset from “command and control” to that of “climate control.”

Regarding honesty, we’ve all been in meetings and, due to the fear of seeming incompetent, have held back questions or ideas. It’s unnerving to feel like you’re in an environment where everything you do or say is under a microscope. Understandably, it keeps you from disclosing information and feelings.

But imagine a different setting. A situation in which everyone is safe to take risks, voice their opinions, and ask judgment-free questions; a culture where managers go first, provide air cover, and create safe zones so employees can let down their guard and speak up.

That’s the goal.

Michael Schneider Human capital specialist, Welltower

Source: 8 Fears That Prevent Honest Employees From Telling Managers the Truth

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** Please Like the Video and Subscribe, Thanks ** So what’s the right strategy to dramatically increase employee engagement in your organization? Well let’s first talk about the wrong strategy… Usually, someone from HR has to convince the CEO to spend money on an employee survey. And when the results come back, the data is hoarded by the senior leadership and a committee is formed to brainstorm ways to improve engagement. The committee implements things like an employee appreciation day, an awards program and perhaps even a tweak to the benefits. But the problem with this approach is that over seventy percent of the variance in engagement correlates to the manager. In other words, who your boss is. Front line leaders are the regulators of engagement. So all those top down ideas don’t matter if you’ve still got the same boss, and if your boss hasn’t changed his behaviors. The right employee engagement strategy instead of being top down, is from the bottom up. First, if you want to improve something, measure it. So you do need to conduct an employee engagement survey. Second, make sure each manager gets her own score report. What is the engagement score for her team, and how does it compare with the average score throughout the company. Finally, third step…have managers shares their results with their own teams. It’s not an HR meeting, nothing fancy or formal. Grab a pizza, get in a conference room and do it over a long lunch. The manager is the facilitator, not the problem solver. What areas did we do well in? What should we focus on for improvement? Because the front line workers are the ones who completed the survey, THEY are the only ones who can tell you what needs to change. The answers can’t come from above. -~-~~-~~~-~~-~- Most Recent Video: “How To Talk ANYONE Into ANYTHING | Negotiation Tips From Former FBI Negotiator Chris Voss ” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jqj3…

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