There is always hesitation about how to negotiate compensation, especially when interviewing for a corporate position. Chester Karrass famously coined the phrase, “In Business as in life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” It is so true. Oftentimes, compensation is not about what we deserve or have worked for, but on what it says in the contract we had negotiated. There are keyways to approach the compensation conversation before you accept a position.

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Know the #MarketRate

The best-case scenario is not to be persuaded by the hiring manger or the HR department. One may love the position along with the company and the people, but it is best to think long term and ponder on what is being asked of you both on a mental and physical workload. Knowing the numbers helps. What are other people in the similar positions around the industry making and is the total pay consummate with the package you have been offered? At times, pay is not aways about a dollar value: it may be stock options, benefits, and tuition reimbursement all of which have a dollar value that may not be reflected in a paycheck. It is also good to take in the geographic location as some markets have a higher cost of living that should be reflected in the pay.

Working with a #Recruiter

If a corporation can save money on labor, they will do it. It is good to have a representative present to help ensure the candidate’s best interest. The HR person and hiring manager are all working for the company, but a recruiter may be hired and compensated by the company as a 3rd party representative. Normally the fee is not paid until one accepts the job and has been working for a period.

Recruiters are also a great resource to ask about market numbers and review your compensation package. They have a vested interest in your success not only in this position but also in building a good report with the hiring company for future business. And they have experience working with other organizations most likely in the same field.

#Hire an Attorney

A lot of people cringe at the idea of hiring a lawyer given the cost. A well-informed employee attorney can guide you through the pitfalls of a bad agreement. Some contracts contain language and clauses that can be misconstrued and confusing. Thus, it is very uselful for someone who works with these issues to be called in. Yes, the cost can be high, but in the long term, it affords peace of mind, knowing that you have a professional looking over your paperwork.

You get what you negotiate. It is helpful to know the market to be comfortable when accepting a position with a total compensation package. It is also helpful to have a trusted advisor. Recruiters are there to ask questions , get answers, and understand the company. It is, an asset to hire an employment attorney, who will read over contracts and go through the language of the agreement. In the end, one should be happy with their new position, the organization and the pay so they can take steps to excel in their career.

By @Dane Flanigan

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