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How will you approach negotiation?

Be prepared to negotiate. Or be certain that you won’t. Job applicants are more informed now than ever before. Thanks to the gifts of the internet, it’s easy to collect data about your organization, your current employees, competitive salaries, and the field in general. Market analysis and benchmarking are easier than ever to conduct, and recommended by any coach who supports or advises those engaging in a job search. This is an intermediate step on the way to full wage equality, and that benchmarking salaries in a market analysis is one part of the effort to rebalance power relationships between employers and employees. If our workplaces were truly and fully equitable, negotiation would be unnecessary. Until that time, we offer these recommendations.

If your organization does not have a salary negotiation ban, clear salary bands or an articulated, shared and distributed compensation philosophy, know that you’ll likely have to negotiate with prospective employees. When you are ready to make an offer, be prepared to engage in a negotiation about salary as well as an entire benefit package that complements a prospective employee’s employment agreement. This helps begin a working relationship on the right foot. We encourage the creation of salary bands and a compensation philosophy, and encourage you to consider how you might weave this into your plans as you contemplate growth. And even if you have these structures in place, know that folks will want to clarify where they are in their assigned band, how the bands were determined, and how you used credentials, skills, education and other experience to determine their placement in a band and the resulting financial offer.

We all negotiate, every day. Let’s normalize negotiation, particularly for women and other historically underrepresented groups. Let’s support negotiation not just as a part of our professional practice, but as a part of helping our employees begin well. You may choose to be bold and invite candidates to negotiate by narrowing the “ask” gap and making an offer. Or, you can ask them to think about your offer and get back to you with their thoughts; this is one helpful step in the negotiation process. Remember that salary negotiations will be easier for everyone involved (including you) if you include a salary range with your job posting. Model transparency and responsible, ethical behavior for your prospective employees.

But…if you as an employer have gone through an exhaustive, thoughtful process to build salary bands and a full compensation philosophy, you may want to consider offering positions with one listed salary, no range, and no negotiation. Yes, you read that correctly, no negotiation. This is powerfully equitable and represents an honest and accurate reflection of your budget and your values. You may choose to document that the salary you’re offering is $100,000, and as a part of your organizational commitment to equity and transparency, and in an effort to eliminate the wage gap and to acknowledge implicit bias, YourJewishOrg has embraced a no-negotiation policy. If a candidate does not fit into the bands offered based on credentials, experience, or other criteria, your organization may consider offering a higher starting salary. This requires having engaged in salary banding and a dialogue about compensation, and we recommend doing careful due diligence in the planning of this policy prior to its launch.

We’re pleased to offer one-on-one coaching for folks who are ready to articulate their value and negotiate from strength. In addition, we regularly offer our Ask For It Negotiation Workshop, which can be designed specifically for a team, group or community. Let us know how we can help.


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