Negotiating Salary : Tips for HR
When it comes to recruiting and hiring, HR is the one who has to handle a lot. They are the ones who are taking care of screening candidates, scheduling interviews, and finalizing potential employees based on the company’s needs. But one thing that doesn’t fall under the usual HR responsibilities is negotiating the salary of a potential hire. HR tasks are ensuring that all new employees are compensated fairly for their work; however, the role of negotiator is mostly left to the individual job applicant. However, when it comes to negotiating a candidate’s offer—and getting them as close to their ideal salary as possible—the role of an HR is even more apparent than usual. Here are some tips for effective negotiation when it comes to hiring a new employee.

Know Your Company’s Objectives

Before you even approach the table to negotiate, you should be aware of the objectives your company is hoping to achieve when hiring a new employee. This will give you a starting point, a way to gauge whether or not the candidate’s expectations are even in line with your company’s goals. This will also help you to determine a general salary range that your company can feasibly afford; salaries are usually based on a candidate’s previous experiences, but what you can afford is ultimately up to you. Your company’s financial situation will also dictate how much you can offer the candidate.

Offer A Demo-Day Or Trial Period Before The Final Hiring Decision Is Made

When you’re negotiating with a candidate who is expecting to be offered a salary above the average for the position, offering a demo day or trial period is a good idea. This gives both parties a chance to see what the other party has to offer before the final hiring decision is made. With a trial period, both you and the candidate have an out if either party feels that the first few days of employment have been unsatisfying. This is a great option for candidates who might have a high salary expectation, but you might want to be wary of candidates who might be looking for a reason to quit.

Establish Benchmarking For Future Reference

While salary negotiations are all about what the candidate currently has to offer, it’s also important to keep an eye on the future. By establishing a benchmark, you’re able to gauge whether or not a candidate is growing with your company. If a candidate is being paid below the average for their position, they will have the opportunity to grow, gaining a higher salary as they prove themselves. If they’re being paid above the current average, they probably won’t be able to grow as quickly.

Check For Requirements During The Salary Negotiation Process

When you’re having your negotiations, you’ll want to make sure to ask the candidate about their needs. Specifically, you’ll want to ask about benefits, vacation time, and other perks. If a candidate is driven by certain benefits, like medical insurance, you can use that as a bargaining chip when negotiating the salary. Evaluating what the candidate wants and needs will help you come to a mutually beneficial agreement. This is especially true if the candidate is looking for benefits beyond those listed in the job description.

Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Away

Negotiation isn’t a one-sided activity; it’s a discussion between two individuals who should each walk away feeling satisfied with the results. If a candidate is being incredibly unreasonable in their salary expectation, it might be time to walk away from the deal. If the candidate is asking for a salary significantly higher than what you’re able to offer, you might want to walk away from the deal. This is especially true if you feel the candidate is being unreasonable with the benefits they’re asking for.

Check In With Current Employees

You might not get the chance to check in with current employees when it comes to negotiating with a candidate, but it’s a good idea to do so if you’re having trouble coming to a settlement with a candidate. Employees who have proven their worth and contributed to the company’s success over the course of their employment might be able to offer insight into what a candidate is looking for. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to settle on a fair salary that falls in line with industry standards.


Salary negotiations should always be seen as a cooperative effort between HR and the candidate. If both parties are able to walk away feeling satisfied with the outcome, then the negotiation was likely a successful one. You should keep in mind that even if a candidate doesn’t accept your initial offer, they might be willing to negotiate. In fact, most job candidates will attempt to negotiate the terms of their offer. If a candidate is being too unreasonable or doesn’t fit your company’s objective, then it's time to evacuate the deal.


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