Fair compensation is a high priority for anybody, in any profession. It is especially important for those employed in executive positions that require a high-level of expertise, time commitment, and personal responsibility. Those who are in a spot that allows them to consider employment offers for such positions understand the importance of negotiation, but may not know how to best approach to negotiating their own compensation agreements.
When it comes to compensation, salary is certainly an important piece of the picture, but it is only one piece. Those considering executive level positions should know, first of all, their current compensation situation, not only with respect to their base salary, but also with respect to bonuses, stock options, and any other benefits they are receiving. Understanding and clearly presenting these benefits is important to be able to compare and negotiate compensation for the desired position.
Carefully communicating one’s compensation goals is another important aspect of compensation negotiation. Depending on the circumstances, one may be making less than desired and needs to make it clear that additional compensation is warranted by the individual’s expertise, experience, and so on. In some cases, the compensation range may be lower than the applicant is seeking, but the position may be desirable enough that the applicant is willing to take a pay cut. If the applicant’s desired compensation is higher than is possible to negotiate, it’s important to get that on the table right away.
Another important tip in compensation negotiations is to be consistent with what one is requesting. This isn’t to say that obtaining additional information about the position can’t change the level of compensation requested, but that there should be some rational consistency to the negotiations. This gives a better impression and improves the odds of being offered a fair level of compensation for the position.
Another piece of the compensation puzzle that needs to be negotiated, though at the other end of the employment relationship, is severance. In a future post, we’ll say more about this topic.