Re: Salary, Negotiation, and Salary Requirement/Total Compensation

Subject: Re: Salary, Negotiation, and Salary Requirement/Total Compensation
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 19:19:43 -0700

On Dec 30, 2008, at 7:03 PM, TECHWR-L Administrator wrote:

> Forwarded anonymously on request--please reply to list only. Thanks!
> &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
> Questions:
> * When you are interviewing for a job, and someone asks you how much
> you are looking for, do you give them a salary requirement or a total
> compensation?

In my experience, all negotiations are based on a raw salary--although
total compensation would be an interesting way for all to look at it.

In most cases, "total compensation" is pretty fuzzy. E.g., at my
day job, I have pretty much unlimited flexibility to work where,
when, and how I want--as long as the job gets done. I'm sitting
in a coffee shop right now, and could easily be working. How does
that flexibility count toward total compensation? It's certainly
part of the comp package, and explicitly used as a recruiting/
retention tool, but you cannot put a dollar value on it...and the
value would be different in different circumstances. E.g., a
single parent with kids would value it differently than a
50-something empty nester.

> * When you are interviewing a candidate FOR a job, and you ask them
> how much they are looking for, are you expecting a salary requirement
> or a total compensation?

Salary requirement unless they specify (additionally) what they think
the total compensation should be.

> * If $20,000 extra per year is going to be that major a concern,
> should I just start running now?

Depends on how small the company is....

> * Do you have any suggestions for handling this? I have a list of
> points I want to make written down, and I've found a salary report on
> SimplyHired that shows the average salary in this area. It is a bit
> lower than my stated requirements, but not by that much. I am also
> considerably better than "average" as a technical writer.

Well, in the current economic situation, your options aren't as broad
as they once were...

My gut tells me that "I thought you meant total compensation" is
likely a bit disingenuous. Particularly as a proven asset, which
you obviously are, or they wouldn't try to retain you, getting higher
than average in the area isn't much to ask...

I think I'd likely to be pretty blunt, and just ask if things have
changed since you last spoke about the topic. Perhaps this is just
a ploy to restart the negotiations?

I think this would be a warning flag to me...


Eric J. Ray, ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com


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