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Negotiate for Higher Pay

The reason for this is because it is very hard for companies to find good people to hire. Just think about how many resumes the hiring manager receives (hundreds for a sales position), and think about how many of those are no good (for one or many reasons). Again, 80 – 90% of the resumes a company receives are not qualified for the position.

Next, think about all the interviews a hiring manager has to deal with. First, anywhere between 20 to 30% of interviews don’t even show up! No calls of explanation – just a no-show. Next, of the people that do show up, many of them are disqualified in person for one reason or another.

And then think about how excited the hiring manager is to finally meet you. First, your cover letter and resume put you at the top of the list. Assuming that you have taken some time to write out sample cover letters, and have invested the time to customize your resume to the job(s) you want, you have no doubt landed interviews with the kinds of companies that can further your career. If you have interviewed well – in other words, if you carefully listened to each question the hiring manager asked, and then responded succinctly and on point (without over talking), and you were upbeat and confident – then you probably have several offers from competing companies.

The hiring manager is praying that you are even half as good as your resume, and if you are, then you are going to get an offer. And after you do, the hiring manager will be praying again that you accept it. This will save her/him all the time of searching through and screening unqualified applicants again.

So once the hiring manager has met with you, and you aced the interview, this is your best chance to begin negotiating for either a higher salary, a better comp plan, or both – or more! There are several areas you can negotiate and they are listed below. Be confident, recognize that you hold all the cards here and that all they can say is no. In fact, in many cases, they will make you a counter offer which means you still win!

#1: As for a sign-on bonus. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, more than two-thirds of companies have trouble recruiting full time talent. And because companies have trouble finding qualified candidates, once they find one, they will often go out of their way to land them. In fact, according to WorldatWork, 76% of all companies now offer sign-on bonuses. And they are not just for CEO’s or other executives either.

The way to ask for a sign-on bonus is pretty straight forward. After the hiring manager has laid out the compensation package, if no sign-on bonus is offered, you simply ask (in an assumptive way):

“And what type of sign-on bonus do you offer?” And then sit quietly and let them talk.

As you noticed, I said to ask for it in an assumptive way, not ask: “Do you offer a sign-on bonus?” This is important. Asking in an assumptive way tells them this is something you expect or perhaps might have been offered from other companies.

If they say there isn’t a sign-on bonus, then you can calmly come back with,

“I see. Well there are other opportunities I’m meeting with (or have met with), and if all things are equal, one of the deciding factors for me will be a sign on bonus. So let me get back with you after I’ve completed my interviews.”

If they still aren’t willing to at least see if there is a bonus, then just leave cheerfully and tell them you will be in touch with them. Believe me, if you made as good of an impression as your resume and cover letter did, then that hiring manger is going to go to the powers that be and talk about what they can offer you as a sign-on bonus.

If you decide – even if they don’t offer you a bonus – to take a job with that company, then you will have set them up for the next discussion which is to receive more pay.