I’d like to give a small hint to job seekers and, for that matter, anyone out there who is selling their services: When you meet a potential recruiter, hiring manager or client for the first time, don’t talk about how much money you want until they actually show an interest in engaging with you.
You have to get to first, second and third bases before you can get any further. Otherwise the chances of you getting a metaphorical slap and a red face are pretty high.
If a candidate walks into a first interview with me and insists on immediately finding out full details of the potential offer, the package and any stock options that there might be, for me, it is an immediate red flag.
They are not interested in whether they are a fit for the role; they are not interested in the company culture or their future plans. They are not even interested in being in the room with me exploring things. If the figure I say is enough for them, they will carry on, if it is not, they will switch off.
Thankfully these types of people are in the minority.
Believe it or not, a significant number of the people I have placed over the past few years have moved for similar and on occasion’s smaller compensation structures. The trading technology and information security markets are developing at a rapid pace and people are far more interested in the challenges of the role rather than how much will appear in their bank account every month.
I understand that money becomes more important as you move down to middle management roles, but it still should not be the key motivator. Companies want you to be bought into them and not their salary. If money is so important to you, there is always a risk that you might want to jump ship for a bigger paycheck. They will sense that – be careful how you handle the negotiations.
There is never a definitive answer to the money question in any case.
You might be a great hire for the company, you might have the perfect skillset and the market conditions may make you indispensable. Firstly, they need to understand that, then they will be more flexible than you think when it comes to any discussion about money.
If you are safe in the knowledge that you can do the job for the hiring company, if you are able to communicate your added value, and if you feel that you are a good fit for each other, the money discussion should actually be easy.
You will come to an agreement that is mutually satisfactory. You both want it, and you won’t leave the room until you have agreed something. Let them get to know you first.
It is so much easier to refuse a stranger.
Written by Alex Turner, Edited by Paul Drury