4 Avoidable Salary Negotiation Mistakes
Avoid making four simple mistakes that can cause a salary negotiation failure.
Not every employer wants to negotiate salaries, but hotel or restaurant job seekers with extensive experience and good credentials shouldn't have to take poor compensation, even in this economy. Many times, failed salary negotiations come down to one of these simple failures.
1. Not researching the job position.
Hotel clerks earn a yearly average of $21,960 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); it may help to look through the BLS archives for location specific salary information. It's important to understand what to expect for the area. Areas rich in tourism will obviously pay more while a hotel or restaurant in a small unknown town simply may not hire a candidate with high salary expectations. A job seeker who fails to research the job position will demonstrate ignorance of the job and inexperience by asking unrealistic compensation; he or she may even allow him or herself to be shortchanged by negotiating something too low. Consider also the size of the establishment: according to the Georgia Department of Labor, small businesses are much more likely to negotiate than giant resort establishments.
2. Relying on oral communication.
Only written word works in court. While no restaurant or hotel job seeker hopes to pursue legal action against a prospective employer, written emails and notes provide a record so employers cannot back down from previously high figures. Make sure written agreements include information about tips, and confirm all verbal negotiations with friendly follow-up emails.
3. Talking about salary expectation first.
Don’t make the mistake of initiating the talk about compensation. No employer wants to hire someone who's only in it for the money. Employers like team players, so make sure to communicate how you can help the organization succeed. Wait for the employer to talk about the job’s pay until you can describe what your valuable skills are worth and how you are the perfect person to fill this specific job at the hotel or restaurant.
4. Accepting the first offer.
Some employers see negotiators as high performers, people who promise great things and therefore expect great things. As such, it is critical for the job candidate to communicate what he or she can accomplish for the organization. Begin with enthusiasm about the job, and tell the employer what those excellent services are worth. Don't accept the first offer unless it's exactly what is fair. If the employer declines your proposal for a higher salary, politely express excitement, say what your skills are worth, and then say no more. The employer may be impressed with your research and come back to you with another offer.
Know that employers set salaries based on what they currently pay people to fill similar roles and what they believe competitors are paying. They may also have a certain budget or a predetermined range. Information is power in negotiation so the more you know about the job the better. Remember to always do your research.
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