Friday, September 4, 2009

Cost is just a negotiation tool!

Yes, it is. Especially when hiring highly skilled talent and its true in a good market or otherwise. Agree? No? Read on.

The reason I bring this up is because as much as we deny, cost is a major driving factor in hiring. And needless to say, managers want the best bang for the buck. That’s understandable. But don’t we know that you always get what you pay for? Yet for some reason hiring managers aren’t willing to buy that reason. If you believe that’s right. It’s easy to understand why a candidate will not take a sub-standard offer even in a bad job market. If you still persist with a sub-standard compensation, the candidate might eventually relent, but only until such time that the market improves. And when that happens, you can be sure that he’ll be in the first one out.

Think about any product you recently purchased that you felt was overpriced. Then you started using it only to realize that the benefits were so awesome, you even recommended it to your friends. That’s the ROI on cost. It works the same way with hiring too. The initial high price is long forgotten once performance kicks in. The tough and laborious part is in identifying who makes that cut, a.k.a, the selection process.

The flipside is obvious. Things don’t work out and you’re forced to move on. Now, far too many hiring managers take that path since it’s a safer option to assume. Have you ever known a manager who’ll pass a chance to tell, “I told you so!”? Never. It’s also the very reason that many hiring managers generalize the selection process and avoid taking that extra effort in hiring right. The ones that take it get the rewards. They hire high caliber candidates who go on to build better products/services.

So how do we resolve this issue?

As a candidate:

Understandably you are looking for a job real bad. But wouldn’t hurt to take a step back and evaluate your career too.

- Don’t accept that offer just because you want that job. Really. When you realize its not what you want to do (maybe a few months into the job) you’ll end up hurting your career in more ways than one.
- Your ex-colleague got paid more. That’s not reason enough to ask for the same amount. Build your own case.
- Taking up a job offer to let go later has its own consequences. It could range anywhere from burning bridges to hurting future references. Absolute no-no.
- Prepare yourself with enough information which will help you decide better. Make a checklist of things that you cannot give up, while others maybe you can. Which bucket does cost/salary fall under?
- When you go prepared with enough information on how much you are willing to negotiate, it helps to stay away from low-balling yourself!
- Also, it’s critical that you sell your value. If you can’t communicate your worth to them, they’ll do that assessment for you! Really.

As an employer :

Answer this.

- Does the role really need very high caliber candidates?
- Or are you hiring high caliber candidates just because they are now easily available at lower cost?

Your real answer will determine whether you have a problem on your hands or not. If you ignore it now, it will catch up sooner than later. Maybe a few months down the line. The only person getting fooled otherwise is still you.

Here’s the final take: Cost is just a negotiation tool. The one who knows to use it well, ends up getting the better end of the deal.

It’s now obvious. right?