5 Ways How HR Managers Can Be Successful in Salary Negotiations

By hrlineup | 23.04.2021

Wondering how HR managers can be successful in salary negotiations? Well, as an HR manager, you’ve been on the other side of this process. You know that the negotiations feel like a battle, and potential employees don’t want to come off as pushy. But now that you’ve crossed over, you understand too well the link between an employee feeling valued and wanted in the company and their productivity.

For an employee, the goal is to get fair compensation for the effort they bring on board. At the same time, you are focused on remaining within the company budget and getting the right talent. Therefore, even as employees learn salary negotiation tips from HR, you should too.

Salary Negotiation Tips for Recruiters

Both the employer and a job applicant should understand how to negotiate salary. This process is not always an easy one. Therefore, HR professionals must take it upon themselves and offer compensation to keep both parties satisfied. To get you started, below are some tips for salary negotiation with a candidate that you can employ to get you started.

1. Research on the market

Never go into salary negotiations blind. Always research the market and get a feel of the economic climate in your region. Use a similar-sized company in your industry and area as a yardstick for negotiating a job offer.

You can collect relevant information on salary surveys from fellow HR managers. Yes, your network will come in handy during this process.

2. Open the negotiation with a competitive offer instead of low balling the candidate

Unfortunately, getting the right talent for a company is not a walk in the park. Anyone skilled enough for the position knows what they are worth and aren’t willing to settle for less. Moreover, offering fair compensation for what they bring to the table makes them feel valued and are more productive.

As such, instead of undercutting the candidate, make a competitive offer less you risk losing them to your competitors.

3. Leave room for a counter-offer

HR professionals need to consider negotiating a job offer with a counter-offer. Depending on the position expectations and the initial offer, the candidate might table a different figure in mind. Listen to their desires and accommodate them where possible. Alternatively, there is always room for appraisals.

4. Be prepared to ask tough questions and understand their constraints

Prepare a list of random questions like “Do you have any other offers?” or “Are we your top choice?”. Such questions aim to try and throw the candidate off-balance and see if they land on their feet. Here, honesty is key.

5. Close the deal

If the HR negotiations go well and you agree on a salary package, close the deal right there or send a follow-up email welcoming the candidate to the company.

HR managers and recruiters must learn salary negotiation skills to place the right candidate successfully. There is a lot at stake during salary negotiations, and you shouldn’t give in to candidate demands. However, you need to find a middle ground for the company and the candidate. Then you will see that everything will fall in place. Remember, it’s your job to find a win-win salary package.


  • What are five tips for negotiating salary?

  1. Job market research
  2. Make on offer
  3. Expect counter if there is room for it
  4. Discuss the offer and answer questions if any
  5. Reach an agreement and close the negotiations
  • How do managers negotiate salary?

HR manager negotiation skills are different. However, in many cases, it starts with an offer. Most HR managers will accept counter-offers, while others will be firm with their original offers. 

  • Does HR decide salary?

Yes. The HR department will decide the salary an employee will be paid based on the position and roles in that particular job. 

  • Should I tell the recruiter my salary?

Yes. Disclosing your expected salary to a recruiter will help them determine if you are fit for their open position.