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  #21  
Old 01.12.2011, 10:36
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

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Why it it reasonable to think of what you want and then increase it? What if their maximum is your desired salary and then by adding 10% you put yourself out of the running? Why not just tell them honestly what you want?
Employers rarely tell you their salary range, unless you explicitly ask. When moving to a different employer, that is often the best time to get a substantial salary increase since, in my observation, once employed you usually only get tiny cost of living increases I've bumped up my salary substantially in the last 15 years by changing employers 3 times. To be honest, unless I was unemployed, I'd ask explicity what their salary range was before they ask what my current salary is. That way, I know if I want to bother.
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  #22  
Old 01.12.2011, 13:46
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

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Bank ABC needs a customer service clerk. Pitch yourself at CHF 7.5K, 13 month salary with pension scheme for example. Anyone brave enough to see if it would happen?
Honestly: No.

For several reasons:

a) I have been here in many posts very open on both positive as well as negative experiences in the work place. I do not want anyone in my companies to know who I am. So I would never drop the names of the companies I worked at before or any company I know well... I will give nothing away here that would get the attention of some colleagues who were just googling a company name or similar.

b) Sorry to say it directly: The quality of those discussions is usually too bad on EF. On the one hand are there always some clueless newbies asking the outright stupid 120k question and on the other are there plenty of students/housewives and similar giving you the "I can live on half of that" talk.

For me is talking about money absolutely no taboo, but an anonymous internet forum just won't work. I talked openly at EF drinks or would only do so in non-open forums where I know the other members. And I don't think EF is the right place for locked up forums... that would establish some sort of first and second class users and it would not be long till the closed part is used to bitch behind the second class users' back... (but that discussion is "really off topic" )
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  #23  
Old 01.12.2011, 14:04
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

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Most recruiters appreciate if you send them an excel sheet drawing a comparison with current and expected and before doing that always reach out to people in the industry to understand what the similar role is being in a competitive market.


Now that's a nice one. According to your profile are you a recruiter. So do I get it right that you want me to not only do the market research for you, but also give you all arguments why you should pay me less than my expected salary?

Honestly: If you play cards like that and always show all of them before the betting starts.... I'll invite you to my next poker night.

This is a very stupid strategy unless you happen to have a straight-flush. Even then do you not throw the cards on the table and shout "I win"...

Please explain me why my current salary should have ANY impact on my salary for any given client. The Client gives you a salary range and you try to close deals as fast as possible...

On a serious note: The only reason I talk to recruiting agencies is the exact opposite of what you wrote - I don't give them my market insight, I harvest theirs. Some months ago I moved to a new country, Singapore. As I did not want to screw up with potential employers did I first talk to some recruiters. They will give me a low ballpark figure what the jobs I was looking at go by. Add 10-20% and you are at the market median... turned out to be pretty exact and made the real life negotiation an absolute non-issue. I knew what my employer would be willing to pay and just asked for it. No need to discuss anything.
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  #24  
Old 01.12.2011, 18:37
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

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Simple answer: It is a negotiation. Starting it with the lowest salary you'd possibly accept would be a stupid move.

I have both been interviewed as well as interviewed myself candidates for jobs. A ten percent too high expectation does not kick you out if you are otherwise a good candidate. If you come with some completely unreasonable numbers you might, but if you ask for 125k instead of 110... the recruiter will simply tell you "that's over our budget, would you consider an offer of 110?"
I think that maybe we are getting tied up over terminology but basically agreeing. I think that there is a difference between "expected salary" and "lowest possible you'd accept". So I agree - if they say, what is the lowest salary you'd accept, you won't go low. But if the question is "expected" - then I'd always be honest. Although your point about being unlikely to lose the job for 10% is probably true.....there is always a breaking point. Might be 20%, might be 21%, might be 9%.


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Please explain me why my current salary should have ANY impact on my salary for any given client. The Client gives you a salary range and you try to close deals as fast as possible...
This is my own opinion, and I know that you won't agree, so I'm not going to try to persuade you However, I think that it is relevant. If I'm offering a job and two people apply - one who earns 10% less than the posted salary and one who earns 80% less than the posted salary, then that tells me something. Either - the job is too big, OR they aren't valued highly, OR they haven't worked for serious businesses. It won't tell me everything, but it is a useful data point
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  #25  
Old 02.12.2011, 17:34
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

Back to the original question:
* I'd give a range and justify it - for instance - by referring to indications you've received from headhunters
* I'd also state that it depends on the conditions (location, bonus, car, etc. etc. etc.)
* In principle I agree that a company has no business knowing your current salary (just like companies typically would decline sharing their salary grade structure)... but it does tend to piss off HR if you'd decline answering the question i think. Refusing to give current salary is something that I sometimes do with headhunters when they call me - it comes across a bit cocky but sometimes that's just fine (makes them feel you're not looking to jump at first available job). Besides... current salary + 5% is not really a motivator to jump jobs anyway...

I recently gave a range to somebody and the person was surprised. Then I explained:
- cost of living adjustment
- FX rate
- Incentive to move (country and company)

...and it was difficult for the person to disagree. It is a negotiation in the end - whatever you say, you have to be able to back it up with good arguments.
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  #26  
Old 02.12.2011, 17:34
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

"what is the maximum you are prepared to pay?"
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  #27  
Old 02.12.2011, 17:40
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

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"what is the maximum you are prepared to pay?"
That will almost never go down very well. Can work if you are approached in which case it's perfectly reasonable to flat out ask: "what's the salary range we're talking about?" just to get clear whether you're wasting your time talking or not.
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  #28  
Old 02.12.2011, 17:43
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

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"what is the maximum you are prepared to pay?"
"You said that your most valuable asset are the employees and that you are looking for top talents... why are we then discussing average market rates?"
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  #29  
Old 02.12.2011, 17:58
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

Any job that says market rate I do not even bother applying for.
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  #30  
Old 02.12.2011, 18:13
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

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"You said that your most valuable asset are the employees and that you are looking for top talents... why are we then discussing average market rates?"

Good one. Another is:
* then you've graded the role too low
* or, then I guess the role must be smaller than it seems in which case it may not be appropriate for me in the first place
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  #31  
Old 02.12.2011, 19:01
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

Some decent advice on here OP. You should thank people while you're at it...

My 2 cents, having been on a negotiation course (oooh) paid for a previous employer that has helped me lots at subsequent employers - though don't think that is why they sent me on the course

Useful strategy is to have 3 benchmark positions in terms of salary.

1. Walk away position: you would not accept the job below this amount and would refuse to agree on terms
2. Realistic position + incentive
3. Dream offer position

Ideally you want to be between 2&3. FWIW, i've always negotiated a move to another job at 20% or more. There is no doubt a limit on what you can do depending on function or industry. But you should always aim for maximising your earnings, as the employer should always aim to minimise their costs. Hence this is clearly a negotiation. If you are too honest, be prepared to sit next to someone who gets paid more than you and suck it up.

Couple of other points (and I have an interview this week, so this is timely). He who speaks first loses. If asked how much, say you would like to negotiate if successful. This saves the tasty salary conversation to the end. And you are at your strongest negotiation point once they have made the offer. The trick is to get them to make the offer and i'm going to pull the negotiation book I got with this out of the drawer (was about 10 years ago now). The tip about the salary range from X to Y is a good one. Another one that was silence. And then a hmmm. And then a wait. And then waiting for them to fill the gap as people (even interviewers) feel uncomfortable. Probably a bit more to it than that, will be reviewing my notes again, but it worked last time. Don't forget to negotiate on other terms if salary is a no go (especially in this environment). Holidays, perks, training, parking space, whatever.

The common theme if I recall rightly was to engage in win-win. This involves the use of 'if-then' a lot. For example, if you can't get them to your target point at first, you can try the if I am successful in the job and meet my XYZ targets during the first 6 months, can we review salary with the aim to reach ABC amount. Be as specific as you can.


There is plenty more on this, but plenty good advice has already been given above and my battery is running out!
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  #32  
Old 03.12.2011, 00:26
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Re: What is your strategy on answering "expected salary"?

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Depends - if head hunted - ask them to offer first. If not, then state what you think you are worth*.

*after posting the obligatory EF "how much does an XXX earn in CH?" thread
And, of course, if this is a move to CH from elsewhere, once you have an offer, you must without fail start a new thread here asking if it's possible to live comfortably on that amount. Especially if it's near the 120k mark.
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