So you did your research on the average salary for someone in your position.
You framed your request for a higher salary in terms of what the company is gaining.
You forced your best friend to practice the negotiation with you until midnight.
And still, you can’t get the hiring manager to offer you the number you were hoping for. Don’t despair — there’s more you can do to make that job offer more attractive.
That’s according to Ramit Sethi, author of the 2009 bestseller “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.”
Sethi tapped Justin Wilson, a former management consultant, for his top negotiation tips and learned there are two key steps to take after the hiring manager tells you there’s no more flexibility in terms of salary: Negotiate other modes of compensation and request an accelerated salary review process.
Sethi and Wilson role-played a conversation between a hiring manager and a job candidate, with Wilson as the candidate. Initially, Sethi had offered Wilson $50,000 a year and Wilson had asked for $65,000. Sethi countered with $57,000, citing the tough economic circumstances.
Here’s how Wilson responded: “One of the things we didn’t talk about is some of the other modes of compensation — so stock options, bonus. Would it be appropriate to talk about some of those?”
He added: “Understanding that you guys may be constrained from a budgetary perspective right now, if there’s more flexibility around stock options or bonus,” he’d like to discuss those issues.
When Sethi and Wilson unpacked what was happening in the conversation, Sethi pointed out that Wilson gave the hiring manager a little bit of power by asking whether it would be “appropriate” to discuss other forms of compensation.
Moreover, Sethi said, Wilson expressed sympathy for the hiring manager by saying that he understood the company’s financial constraints.
When Sethi agreed to offer Wilson a greater number of stock options, Wilson said, “I think that goes a long way to closing the gap. … The one other thing that I would love to talk about is what would the review cycle be for my performance in terms of evaluating my candidacy for a promotion or a raise?”
He went on to ask for a review after six months, in which they could revisit the topic of salary. The hiring manager agreed.
Sethi said it was meaningful that Wilson showed appreciation by saying that the hiring manager had nearly closed the gap.
And asking for an accelerated review process is perfectly reasonable, Sethi said — in fact, if the company doesn’t agree to it, you might be right to get slightly suspicious and probe a little more.
The takeaway here is that you can almost always find some common ground between you and the hiring manager, even if it requires getting a little creative.
Don’t get discouraged when you feel the company has hit a wall in terms of salary — stay open and flexible and you’ll likely be able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
The video of the conversation between Sethi and Wilson is featured in Sethi’s Ultimate Guide to Getting a Raise & Boosting Your Salary. Watch it here: