GET IT RIGHT: Youve been shortlisted for that coveted job,and youre on cloud nine.But you have one critical stage to cross: working out your pay package.Tread with care this is where it can roll,or break completely.ETs Devina Sengupta & Mahima Puri list the common errors candidates make at this stage,and get a few tips from industry experts on what you could do to sail through
1 Homework Not Done
CANDIDATES ARE often clueless about company and salary structures,and walk into traps they have themselves laid.Biotech firm Biocon was once looking at hiring a highly qualified candidate from a rival pharmaceutical firm for a new level,recalls HR head,Ravi Dasgupta.Soon after the candidate was told his salary,he emailed Dasgupta saying he found out the salary on offer was less than what others at the same level were getting.Dasgupta,in turn,told him he could not possibly know anyone else's salary as he would be the first in that grade and level.The candidate apologised,and was subsequently hired.
Understand the hierarchy of a company before you get down to salary talks.Grades in two firms may not be same.A Sudhakar,HR head,Dabur Always research the minimum - median - maximum a candidate with your experience,qualifications,achievements and industry exposure can ask for.Kunal Banerji,ED & CEO,Absolute HR International Before joining,check what the company's performance pay was in the previous year,how much increment and bonus they paid.Varda Pendse,Director,Cerebrus
2 Obsessing over Take Home
TYPICALLY,YOUNG managers are focused on take-homes
and companies on total cost.During talks,candidates forget about perks and benefits.And companies focus on getting the right talent at the best possible cost.Candidates need to compare an apple to an apple when it comes to benefits,says K Gopal,ED at Omam Consultants.For instance,if an executive gets a car as an incentive,he can ask a new employer for an updated version,but not an upgrade,which might cost much more.Companies like to defer payment and add long-term incentives into the package to make it seem bigger.
Understand all components of the cost to company.Find out what was actually paid out on the variable components in the past two years.Consider the total value proposition and not only the compensation element.Adil Malia,HR head,Essar
3 Asking For The Moon
NEGOTIATION IS a subtle art,and you need to get the timing right.Ask for too much,too soon,and you can ruin your case even before you've begun.Dabur has come across candidates who ask for an over 100% rise in salaries,says A Sudhakar,HR head.That's when the HR team has to gently explain that the candidates will be included in a salary bandwidth right for their grade,and cannot jump to the upper limit straightaway.Understand what is expected of you,before you take the plunge or ask for an hike in salary.
Let the company make an offer first.E Balaji,CEO,Ma foi Randstad Wait until late in the interview before negotiating a salary.This will give you more leverage since the number of candidates will be smaller and the firm will more than likely be convinced of you.Kunal Banerji,ED and CEO,Absolute HR Intl
4 Throwing Attitude
A FORTUNE 500 company was once keen on hiring a candidate from competition for a potentially life-changing opportunity,says Banerji.But the candidate,a senior executive,demanded confirmation of a minimum 60% raise before meeting the employer.Naturally,he was written off.He then came back saying he would accept whatever he was currently being paid,but the prospective employers didn't even want to meet him.This isn't as uncommon as it seems.
The candidate should not push too hard in a salary negotiation.Ravi Dasgupta,HR head,Biocon Express appreciation but ask for time to consider the offer.Never be aggressive in your communication.Kunal Banerji,ED & CEO,Absolute HR Intl
5 Driving Too Hard
NEGOTIATING TOO hard could break the
table.At times,when placement consultants get in touch with candidates,young managers do not show signs of flexibility,says Shiv Agarwal,CEO,ABC Consultants.The client is put off."Don't sound like a troublemaker.Instead,carry the process forward in a dignified manner,"he says.
Ask for a reasonable hike.A bigger hike will mean more responsibilities and higher targets K Gopal,ED,Omam Consultants Be prepared to stop.But,if you must accept the job,do not set ultimatums.Be clear about your expectations and acceptance points.They have to be modest.... Kunal Banerji,ED & CEO,Absolute HR International
6 Chasing the Money,Not the Career
THERE'S NEVER ean end to how much money you can ask for,but remember,greed isn't always good.A career,growth prospects and an opportunity to learn and grow are just as important as salary.It's when everything is in balance,that it clicks for you.
The candidate must see how his skill sets will improve a few years down the line with the new employer. Varda Pendse,Director at Cerebrus Consultants