Currently in the United States, the job market is intense with more jobs available than willing workers. This means job seekers have a lot of power. They are in a position to be selective, pitting one offer against another to secure the best possible package. Employers, on the other hand, are being forced to get creative in order to win the war on talent.
This creates a unique challenge. How do employers creatively entice talent with a robust salary, benefits, and perks while keeping business goals and the bottom line in mind? For new hires, how do you get what you’re worth, without asking for more than the company can justify?
The overarching question is this … where is the middle ground between the best offer possible and what is sustainable for the employer and business overall?
New hires have the power
The very nature of the job market and the fact that there are nearly two job openings for every individual currently seeking a new role means new hires have more leverage than ever before. In addition to compensation, they want better working conditions, more flexibility, and all kinds of extras.
If you are looking for the next opportunity, it’s important to find the best job fit. The best fit is one that leverages your strengths while compensating fairly for what you bring to the table. Also, you may want to consider the sustainability of the role and compensation over the long term. There is nothing worse than negotiating to the top of the salary range with no opportunity for future increases.
Secondly, you may want to consider not just what you can get from a job or employer but also what you have to offer. The job market is dynamic and the demand for talent ebbs and flows. This reinforces the need to understand the organization’s mission and goals, and how your role contributes to those goals. From there, you can balance your asks with what makes sense for the business. Because when you ask for too much, you set an incredibly high expectation about what you can bring to the table. You may feel the pressure to immediately add value and contribute in a meaningful way.
The employer running a business
For employers, on the other hand, the goal is to advance organizational objectives with the best talent. Good people contribute to the success of the business, the culture, and workplace dynamic. Finding the best talent isn’t easy. There can be the temptation to hire quickly and cheaply or to overpay beyond what is feasible and affordable to get someone in place.
At the end of the day, the employer must always consider the business first. What does the business need? What can it support? Who will most contribute to its overall success? Instead of accepting the demands of a new hire because you need talent, a business must weigh those demands against its goals. While this can be challenging, you can find the middle ground where everyone is happy and everyone wins.
The middle ground in this job market
So how do employers and candidates find a middle ground? It’s by approaching negotiations recognizing that it setting a foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship. Part of building a relationship is being cognizant of what each party needs to feel valued and be successful. This is the tipping point where everyone wins.
And when the employer and new hire approach the negotiation process from a place of mutual respect and understanding, all parties win because they feel both valued and understood.