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Discuss Compensation Upfront or……………..Depends??

27 December

Many candidates we speak with believe that once they get in the door and distinguish themselves from others, due to their unbelievable capabilities, charm, personality, and wit, that they will then speak to their compensation requirements. Read into this statement – regardless of what the compensation plan is, these candidates believe they will negotiate it bigger and better and certainly in their favor.

This is not poor thinking but it is old thinking. In today’s recruiting environment clients are seeking very specific skills – narrow skills sets – from candidates. Clients are granular in their requirements and therefore, unless a candidate meets or exceeds the client requirements, we will not, that is NOT, present them to the client. The client will not consider a candidate who does not have the necessary skills to be successful in their environment.

So if there are fewer candidates in the pool, then those that are qualified are worth more then the client may be offering!

Wrong – the client and recruiting firm have already done their homework and know the compensation ranges. That is not to say that there are not special circumstances.

There are special circumstances and some of these may be:

– a required start date that requires the candidate to leave commissions or a bonus on the table.
– a candidate moving from a company with a stock plan to a privately held company without stock participation.
– a candidates present performance bonus program that does not have a ceiling to one that does have a ceiling, albeit: perhaps a high one.

These situations will become evident after discussing compensation requirements. Many candidates believe that these nuances will be taken care of, once they become the candidate of choice. That may be the case. But in the situations we have seen, this is not the case. As a matter of fact, these nuances create hesitation, create distrust, and to the candidates detriment, the client begins to wonder if the candidate is really a good fit? If the candidate is not strait forward with their new employer going in, how will they manage in the clients culture with colleagues, supervisors and equally as important with clients?

As a candidate for a position, if you are interested in pursuing the position, then compensation disclosure and desired compensation needs to be placed on the table early and if there are considerations that you want to describe, describe them now or possibly be disappointed later. There are several interview stages and it is imperative that whenever compensation is discussed, the candidate makes known their requirements. No one likes surprises, so do not be in a position where you are the surprise and there is no one in the room to enjoy your surprise.

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