Articles & Insights

Recruits, don’t be so anxious! Slow down.

Several executives recently shared with us their dismay at potential recruits who negotiate with little attention or clarity in their salary negotiations.

Why do you think that is?

Our research has discovered that job seekers often focus too narrowly on the tangible pay structure and forget about the intangibles recruiters are looking for.

After many decades of coaching and consulting with executive recruiters, our Quantum Negotiation team (Quantum Negotiation publication now available in eBook) has explored the best preparation strategy for those of you negotiating for new career opportunities.

It’s pretty clear that understanding and benchmarking the tangible value of your talent in the marketplace are fundamental. Employers are, however, often surprised how recruits don’t put this into context – that is, the size of a company or industry disruption does matter. It is also helpful for you to determine your potential benchmark salary along with your previous relevant intangible (i.e., experiences, networks, leadership, and responsibilities) resources you can offer.

While you may be focused on the tangible pay for a new job, an ideal benefit package, and range of counteroffers, prepare to slow down and engage in exploring the needs, aspirations, and job performance expectations of your new organization.

Remember to look at your negotiation as a relationship of interdependent needs between you and your new enterprise. By stepping back from the independent way of thinking about your negotiation as a win or a loss, the relationship provides you with the opportunity to view a negotiation as the best outcome for all parties involved.

The intangible resonance or satisfaction with the relationship created between you as a new employee and your employer is the result of a collaborative learning, problem solving and value creation mindset.

If you enter into a salary negotiation with solely a protective mindset, you are not looking through a lens that benefits your new organization. It is easy to simply look at a salary negotiation as something that must benefit your own interests. However, if you prepare to enter into a negotiation with an interdependent mindset, you are actively looking for joint benefits which increase the possibility for more positive outcomes.

Through this shared interests preparation, you will then behave as if your self-interests are mutual. This behavior to mutually partner gives you a source of connection and respect you can then communicate to your new employer. If you think that the new employer has power over you and you need to protect and defend yourself, the chances are you will have a harder time of meeting your own intangible needs to be validated, encouraged or invited back.

By remembering that your new employment is fundamentally an interdependent situation, you can demonstrate positive leadership and communication skills in creating power with your new potential employer and team members.  Employers appreciate not only your self-direction, strengths, and clarity in goals and commitments, but also the quality of your social interaction skills.

Its natural and easy to live in a state of anxiety during a job search while your value is constantly questioned. However, slow down, manage your own nervous system with calm, and prepare to explore interdependent needs and goals. This way you can create more confidence in yourself and employers who need you to achieve their aspirations and goals.

Author – Karen Walch PhD – C.O.I. Advisory Board Member/Partner – Clair-Buoyant™ Leadership, LLC and Quantum Negotiation™