Negotiation in Compensation Management

It is impossible to talk about compensation management without referring to the process of negotiation and bargaining that is an integral part of compensation management. As anybody who has worked in the formal or even the informal sector knows, the process of negotiating one’s salary and perks is fundamental to the process of hiring and selection. In this article, we look at some of the strategies employed by professionals’ world over when they negotiate with their prospective employers regarding their compensation.

Have a Plan in Place

The first element of negotiation is to plan for the process by deciding on how much more you want and how much you think the employer is willing to give. The fine art of knowing how much you should ask for and at what point should you strike the deal is something that experienced professionals know and rookies should learn. Without having a clear idea of the target level of compensation that you are aiming for, the negotiation process would turn out to be an exercise in futility.

Communicate Your Needs

Once you have arrived at a figure that you think you deserve, the next step is to communicate the same to the prospective employer without delay. The important point to note here is that the way in which you articulate your needs is as important as the need to drive a bargain. For instance, without expressing yourself clearly to the HR manager of the prospective employer, there is little chance that he or she would understand your needs and respond appropriately. Hence, once you have sorted out the target compensation that you want, you should also have a strategy to communicate it to the employer.

Timing is Everything

You need to remember that there is something called being too early when you negotiate and too late as well. Hence, the timing of your articulation forms the basis for a successful negotiation. For instance, if you start your demands early on in the hiring process, the prospective employer might stall the process or even put a stop to your hiring. On the other hand, if you put forward your demands as you are about to join the firm, there is precious little anyone can do about your demands. Hence, you should have a keen eye for when you should communicate your demands.

The three aspects of having a plan, communicating the need and then timing it in such a way as to derive maximum advantage are essential to the negotiation process. Of course, there are many firms that do not entertain any sort of negotiation and there are firms that put up pretence of negotiation when in reality, they do not budge at all. In these cases, it is better to adopt a wait and watch policy and make your move once they get into the details of your compensation.

In conclusion, a successful negotiation hinges on the willingness of both the parties to hear each other and an ability to arrive at a common denominator in a spirit of accommodation. Hence, do not be overtly rigid and at the same time do not give in to the employer totally.


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