Human resource employees are the people who hired you but they can also be the ones to fire you in case something goes wrong. Moreover, besides handling staffing needs, administering benefits and establishing salaries, the HR department has a lot of power in the company.
In addition, the human resource department works in the best interest of the company and chooses what’s best for it, not for you. Read on and keep in mind these 10 tips from human resource experts, you will definitely need them when negotiating your salary with a potential employer or your current boss!
You shouldn’t trust salary websites
Salary websites really get to the nerves of human resource employees, even if they won’t tell you that.
“There’s one website that drives all HR people crazy: salary.com. It supposedly lists average salaries for different industries, but if you look up any job, the salary it gives you always seems to be $10,000 to $20,000 higher than it actually is. That just makes people mad.” —HR director at a public relations agency
Always think twice before accepting a salary
You don’t have to say “yes” if you’re not ok with something, especially when it comes to your monthly paycheck. Take some time to really think about the offer.
“On salary, some companies try to lock you in early. At the first interview, they’ll tell me to say, ‘The budget for this position is 40K to 45K. Is that acceptable to you?’ If the candidate accepts, they’ll know they’ve got him or her stuck in that little area.” —Ben Eubanks, HR professional in Alabama.
Learn to negotiate
Everything can be negotiated, even if a human resource employee won’t ever tell that to your face. Don’t be afraid to ask for more!
“This includes your salary and raise. Far too often is that potential candidates are presented with a job offer and salary that aren’t satisfied with but are too afraid to ask for more. This also applies for raises at performance review time.” —Nikita Lawrence, HR business partner and professional
You might not be as good as you’d think
Even if they won’t say it to your face, HR people have seen it all and know how things work in the company.
“You think you’re all wonderful and deserve a higher salary, but here in HR, we know the truth. And the truth is, a lot of you aren’t very good at your jobs, and you’re definitely not as good as you think you are.” —HR professional at a midsize firm in North Carolina.
Know what you want
You should always be careful with headhunters, as he might negotiate for something you don’t want.
“Be careful if a headhunter is negotiating for you. You may want extra time off and be willing to sacrifice salary, but he is negotiating hardest for what hits his commission.” —HR professional in New York City
Don’t be shy. Negotiate during the interview
The interview is the perfect moment to negotiate, even if it won’t seem like it. Make yourself clear and express your desires and expectations.
“It is significantly harder to negotiate perks after you’ve been hired than it is during the interview process. Know the industry standards—and specifically, standards for your region before you make requests for more vacation time, travel expenses, professional development training, flex time, working from home, or moving costs.” —Sarah Johnston, former corporate recruiter and job search strategist.
Never let others negotiate on your behalf
Letting others negotiate for yourself won’t do you any good. As adults, we need to speak for ourselves, so you must never ever let your mother/spouse/friend negotiate for you.
“I once hired someone, and her mother didn’t think the salary we were offering was high enough, so she called me to negotiate. There are two problems with that: 1) I can’t negotiate with someone who’s not you. 2) It’s your mother. Seriously, I was like, ‘Did that woman’s mother just call me, or was that my imagination?’ I immediately withdrew the offer.” —HR professional in New York City
You can ask for an early performance review
“I always recommend at the ‘hiring event’ that the new hire asks, ‘When will I have my first performance review?’” The majority of responses is annually, next year. I suggest that the individual ask, ‘Is it possible to have my review six months from now?’ Over 50 percent of the time the HR individual or hiring manager will say yes thus shortening that first raise by six months.” —Elliott Jaffa, behavioral and marketing psychologist
Always ask more
It’s important to ask for more than you want, who knows, maybe you’ll even get it.
“Negotiations involve some back-and-forth, not simply a yes or no. Leave yourself some wiggle room to ‘concede’ to what you really want. Collect enough information ahead of time to know you aren’t selling yourself short.” —Alexander Lowry, a former hiring manager.
Understand that not always is the best time to ask for a raise
Timing is essential in every life aspect, especially at work. However, don’t expect that someone will tell you when that time is, is something you need to figure out for yourself.
“People in HR will NEVER tell you when it is the right time to ask for a raise in your salary. This is a job that you must do when you are looking for the appropriate moment for your increase request to be accepted. There are many circumstances in a company that, regardless of your work performance, will determine if they will give you a raise or not. For example, if the company had a decrease in sales in the last three months by a new competition that is operating with low prices to enter the market. Finding the right time to ask for a raise is key to being able to achieve it successfully.” —Cristian Rennella, HR director.