The right compensation package can help ensure that you’ve got the best people working for you. Here are practical tips to negotiate salary if you found the right candidate:

1. Know the law and how to negotiate salary

There are states and provinces where it is illegal to ask candidates about their salary history or what they are earning at their current job. If you are in a state where it is legal, it’s extremely helpful to know the candidate’s current compensation. However, in states such as California where it’s illegal, it is always a good idea to ask the candidates their salary expectation so that you can align their expectations with the salary range for the position.

2. Discuss compensation early in the recruitment process

It is always a good idea to talk about compensation when you first pitch the job to a candidate. And keep on repeating it during a telephone and in-person interview.

Discussing with a candidate the compensation early on before reaching the offer stage prevents the candidate from getting too far in the process before realizing that their expectations don’t match up.

3. Check salary data

What’s the job worth on the market? It’s important that you have access to reliable market salary data so that you can properly balance the salary you are currently paying that job for. This will help you determine how much to offer to attract good candidates.

4. Sweeten the pot with other perks

When you can’t match the salary expectations of a candidate, you can throw into the deal non monetary benefits to convince the candidate.

Things like extra vacation or work from home option is always a good option to try if you want to hire someone for a lower salary number. Other options include relocation expenses and a signing up bonus.

Flexible working hours as well as the ability to work remotely are also a huge plus. This means that employees do not have to work 9 to 5 but can have their own hours set when they work.

Things like flexible work hours and extra vacation will also help with employee retention.

Some companies also offer to pay for additional training or continuing education as part of their compensation package.

5. Consider a trial period

In situations where a candidate wants a higher salary but you can only offer a lower amount, you may consider asking for a trial period with a promise of increasing the salary after a performance review at the end of the period. 

During the trial period, you’ll be able to see the technical skills and work attitude of the candidate and there will be no guessing game. From there, you can determine if they are worth the extra pay or not.

6. Incorporate bonuses and commissions

If you can’t tweak the salary, bonuses and commissions might help you get a candidate. With these two monetary benefits, you can have more freedom to pay a candidate during a highly profitable year, or if the candidate earned it while keeping their base salary within a range.

7. Follow up on rejected offers

If you are getting a no for a job offer despite doing things correctly, find out why if you can speak with a candidate and candidate is not ghosting you.

Neese mentioned that following up to see why a candidate rejected an offer is critical information when moving forward with other candidates. It helps you identify what went wrong. 

Salary is crucial for winning over candidates for a job opening, but it doesn’t have to be the sole determining factor. With the tips we listed above, you should be able to stay in control to negotiate salary with candidate.