News & Resources

Image 2022 11 10 T08 20 17 Artboard
Back to Blogs
Blog Img

​How to talk about money in the recruitment process

Assessing potential salary, when to negotiate and when to walk way

​In this 5-minute read find out the best way for candidates to talk about salary during the recruitment process.

Ah, the dreaded money talk…

For all the awkward, nervous, anxious candidates feelings during the recruitment process, talking about their compensation remains the most unbearable. And for the most part, I get it. You’ve made the short list, perhaps one of two, and you are revelling in the fact that your experience, skills, and personal attributes means you are one of the most impressive. But now you need equate that to dollars.

How much are you worth? It’s a question that feels like it calls your modesty, ego, and self-worth into question. But talking about money needs to be normalised, as it is an expected part of the recruitment process.

Here are a few things I recommend to my candidates to help them become more comfortable in talking about money.

Talk about it early

Okay, so it’s probably not the first thing to ask, nor will it be the first thing your future employer wants to talk about, but it shouldn’t be the last, either. In fact, leaving it too late may reflect poorly with your future employer, as they have likely expended extra time in you as the preferred candidate, only having to revert to their shortlist in the instance that you don’t accept their offer.

If you are not expressly asked (or have not been asked to provide your expectations during the application process), I recommend raising it in the first meeting when you are invited to ask questions relevant to the role. Just as you want to know more about the organisational culture, the team, and the work you would be doing, it is completely acceptable to want to know what the possible compensation for that work is.

Understand the industry and where you are in it

Depending on what industry you work in, there is likely a common compensation structure across most employers. In addition to basic salary, most large organisations will also include benefits as part of their compensation structure, such as salary packaging, car or travel allowances or additional super. If you looking to move within an industry, your basic salary today is likely comparable to others and some quick online research can help you in understanding which end of the salary band you currently sit. Additionally, if you are considering a change in industry, it is important to consider whether your role or existing skills are transferrable, or whether you will be starting at entry level.

Most job ads will give an indication of salary and determining whether you are currently at the top of the band, in a high paying industry or a low-paying role will help in managing an employer’s expectations as well as your own. Armed with this information, look to discuss what ‘room for movement’ there might be. Are you able to come in at the top of the range? Is a skill assessment, performance review period or standard yearly increase applied? And what other benefits might be on offer? If you are looking to upgrade your personal vehicle and the option of salary packaging is available, that might be the difference (between a 2-10% increase, for you).

Be prepared to walk away

This is perhaps one of the hardest decisions to make, particularly if your financial situation is not-negotiable. But sitting down and planning for this outcome at the beginning of your job search can help.

Consider what is important to you. Are you looking for new skills or experience? Maybe you want increased flexibility, or different benefits and employee perks. Or perhaps you just need job security, today. All these things are meaningful motivators and can vary depending on where you are in your career, your personal commitments and financial position. Taking the time to consider what is most important for you in finding your next role will help you to more confidently, and authentically, express this and be better prepared to negotiate the terms of your employment accordingly. But perhaps most importantly, you will also know when it might be time to walk away.

The Reimagine Talent team are always here to assist you find and negotiate your dream role, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch or register as a candidate to join our talent pool.

Register With UsSearch JobsAsk A Question