Now I realise this title may seem controversial as I work for a recruitment agent and yes, we advertise new jobs every day, we place candidates into new jobs all the time and we help them achieve their desired salaries. However, there seems to be a general misconception that these salaries are dictated by us, the recruitment consultant. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
The myth goes because of earning commission; commission that’s worked out from our generated fees which we work out based on a % of the candidates’ basic salary. Therefore, (just to state the obvious) if the basic salary is higher, we get a bigger fee. So yes, it will be in our best interest to negotiate the most suitable salary for the candidates’ level of experience but only if the salary is realistic. If it isn’t realistic, the repercussions are not only detrimental to the deal but highly embarrassing too.
Think about it… if we bumped up every candidates’ salary by a couple of thousand pounds just for the sake of it, there are several possible outcomes, for example:
- In a shortlist of similar candidates with the same level of experience, the candidate will stick out like a sore thumb earning significantly more.
- The recruiter looks like an absolute fool introducing a candidate to their client that is not in line with the industry average – a good recruiter knows their market.
- The employer may wish to proceed with the candidate under the illusion they are well qualified because of their inflated worth; the candidate is then under constant pressure to perform ahead of their years.
Get it? See how detrimental this would be for us Recruiters to pluck numbers out of the sky! So, how is your salary decided?
Step 1 – The Requirement
Once the employer has assessed a need to recruit a skillset or personality, the requirement is understood within the companies’ organigram and existing salaries will be factored into consideration. This will help determine a salary range no larger than their line of report and no smaller than their mentee.
Step 2 – The Market Map
The employer will instruct their recruitment agent who will assist in mapping the wider market, competitors’ that hires could come from etc. to help decipher if your salary range is competitive and whether a job move will prove worthwhile for the individual.
Step 3 – The Recruiter
The recruiter will then get to know you – the candidate – and will advise around the market values whilst acknowledging your current earnings and the amount of knowledge you’ve acquired within your field. It is crucial you are honest about the minimum amount of money you could survive on and the maximum you would like to achieve for the recruiter to leverage this; meet with your recruiter and prove to them just like you would the employer why you’re the best candidate for the role.
Step 3 – The Interview
Sell yourself and set the record straight. Everyone seems to hate discussing salary, yet it is one of the largest deciding factors when accepting or declining a new role. Stand up for yourself, demonstrate your worth and be confident when asking for your desired figure.
Step 4 – The Practical
Prove it. Not every interview process will involve a practical but those that do give you a very big opportunity to shine! This is your chance to show them your passionate, your committed, and you can do what you have told them you can do.
Step 5 – The Offer
Just because you have the offer doesn’t mean you have got the job! Offers can change, they can be withdrawn, and they can be countered! When you have an offer, be humble and be grateful. If it is not the desired figure you want, go about asking for it in the right way so that you don’t blow it at the final hurdle! Candidates will sometimes become impatient and play offers off one another to achieve the highest possible salary; this won’t last! Once you have found the job that is right for you, negotiate your preferred salary so long as it is realistic and realise that your starting salary could and should change after your first 12 months!
Step 6 – The Negotiation
Remember, it is you – the candidate – who should be negotiating your salary alongside your recruiter. You should be equipping your recruiter with the right bits of information about yourself and representing the best version of yourself for your recruiter to portray. Your recruiters don’t decide your salary but once you have, they will help you achieve it, so long as it is realistic!!