The great salary debate: what to do when expectations don’t align

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So, you’ve found the perfect candidate to fill a role within your dealership, but their pay expectations are very different from what you had in mind. Do you try to negotiate to find a middle ground, or do you go back to the drawing board in search of the next best candidate?
 
If you’re not sure how to handle a misalignment between salary expectations with a prospective new hire, here are some helpful tips that will help you navigate your way to a mutually beneficial outcome.

Find out what the rules are

Your ability to negotiate on pay and conditions may be restricted depending on what the company policy is in your dealership.
 
In smaller dealerships, there may not be any formal policies in place that dictate how remuneration is determined. It may come down to internal discussions with the business owner to see how much flexibility there is in terms of what the dealership can afford relative to the skills the candidate can bring to the business.
greatsalarydebate | Teamrecruit
In contrast, many larger dealerships will have firm policies dictating how salary and remuneration packages are calculated. It’s not uncommon for large organisations to classify roles into various pay grades based on the requirements of the role to ensure fairness among all employees.
 
If the role has been classified at a particular grade or level, unless you can make a good case as to why the role should be reclassified, you’ll be restricted to negotiating within the specified salary range.

Check what the going rate is

Do you know what other dealerships are paying for similar roles? If you don’t, you need to do some research to ensure what you’re offering is in line with the going industry rate.
 
Even if a candidate wants to work for your dealership, if you’re offering $10k less than your competitors for the same role, you’re going to have a tough time getting them to choose you.
 
Checking the salary range listed on similar roles advertised on job boards is a great place to start, but should you want a more accurate assessment, you can get in touch with us. We’re always happy to have a chat about what the current industry rates are and the salary expectations candidates will likely have when they apply for a position within your dealership.

Put it into perspective

If you have an idea of how much you want to offer but your ideal candidate is asking for a salary $5,000 higher than what you wanted to pay, your initial reaction may be that your expectations are too far away from each other—but it’s important to put it into perspective.
 
While you shouldn’t overpay for a role, if you’ve been through a lengthy recruitment process and found that perfect candidate that ticks all the boxes, you should give their request some serious consideration before writing it off. After all, an extra $5,000 in their annual pay packet will only equate to an extra $2.50 per hour. Surely that would be worth it for the perfect candidate!

Look for other ways to negotiate

If you want to secure the top candidate but genuinely don’t have the budget to meet them where they want, see if there are other elements of the role you can negotiate on to sweeten the deal.
 
Things like a company car, salary packaging, higher superannuation payments, additional paid leave, flexible work hours or an agreement to cover or subsidise professional development or advanced training expenses can all be very attractive benefits that may help get your favourite candidate over the line.

Know when to call it quits

Sometimes what you’re willing to pay and the salary expectations of the candidate are simply too far away from each other. In that case, the best outcome for both parties is to abandon their attempts to find a middle ground, and respectfully walk away from the negotiation table.
 
Even if you’ve found that needle in a haystack employee and decide to pay far more than what you were initially willing to, you’ll always be expecting that employee to go above and beyond to justify the additional remuneration. However, if you view it from the perspective of the employee, they’ll continually be feeling like they’re being paid significantly less than what they’re worth and may feel less inclined to give the dealership their all.
 
In any case, it’s important to tread carefully and come to an agreement that both parties are genuinely happy with, or you may find you encounter issues down the track as the employment relationship progresses.
 
Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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