Thursday, May 7, 2015

Office: Office – Salary negotiation

Office: Office – Salary negotiation

After close to five months of a self- imposed sabbatical (it sounds cooler that way, though the truth is I had blogger’s block combined with several moments of introspection..erm.. laziness, actually),  I was finally rankled enough by what I experienced recently while interviewing candidates for a role on my team. Salary negotiation. 

I am aware that typing “salary negotiation” on Google can give you 50 Lakh + results (in 0.26 seconds). But no matter how many articles one reads, one will inevitably end up having a mind numbing moment when they experience any of the below tactics.

1.    I am wallowing in deep shit but a rope to pull me out won’t do. I need a Jacuzzi of a life saver: An ex-colleague I knew for 3 years was desperately (at least, that’s the impression I got when she called me every few days yielding me to accelerate the hiring process) looking to move out of her current role. She fit my team’s requirement and would have received a 20% hike over her current salary, until she called to say, “You know I am 30 and don’t have a house yet. Unless I get at least 60% hike, I wont be able to buy one.  I know you will consider that when you make the offer.” I was left muttering “You don’t know me very well then”.


2.    I don’t care about money or designation. I only care about quality work. Of course, it will take a quality ‘me’ to produce quality work: After asking this candidates 6 timesfor her salary expectations upfront (once bitten, twice shy) and receiving the same answer, I did make an offer, only for her to reject on the grounds that it wasn’t ‘quality enough’. I discovered that quality referred to 30 paid leaves a year, free grooming sessions at a parlor, discount arrangements with five start hotels, and work related travel by business class. The pitfalls of hiring someone high maintenance haven’t been clearer.


3.    I don’t know how much I want, but this doesn’t seem enough: I paused for 2 minutes when I heard this answer. And then said “Ok. I’ll come back to you,” and never did.


4.    What will give me more money?:  For the first time (in my 9 years of working life) I encountered a candidate who was disinterested in the role he was being offered.  Instead he wanted to know what more he could do to get a ‘batter package’. “My friend does BD, Sales, HR and at times Marketing. He makes like XX Lakh. If you can offer me more than the current role and a batter package to go with it, I will close my eyes and accept.” Even if I closed my eyes, I couldn’t make such an offer.


5.    Show me the money: The person in consideration went out of the consideration set, when he insisted on me depositing a part of his joining bonus, PRIOR to his taking up the offer. “I get crank calls all the time you know. How do I know this is for a genuine position?” It explained why he got only crank calls.

For those taking inspiration from these tactics. STOP. Right now. You don’t want to get featured on a blog like this.