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How to Counter a Candidate’s High Salary Expectations

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How to Counter a Candidate’s High Salary Expectations

Salary negotiations can be stressful for both the employer and the job candidate. Applicants want their career move to boost their income. Employers seek the most qualified candidate at the best value. So, do high salary expectations put the perfect candidate out of reach?

Not necessarily. Even smaller companies can offer a variety of less-tangible benefits that candidates might find just as valuable. Consider the following ways to satisfy their expectations without busting your company’s budget.

What to Say to Counter a Candidate’s High Salary Expectations


Health and wellness. Quite simply, health care costs. Health insurance cushions employees against the high price of doctor visits, prescriptions or a sudden medical emergency. Taking care of them and their family with a well-rounded health care plan can mean more to an employee than a larger paycheck. Even better if you can offer wellness perks, or help with other family concerns, like parental leave and childcare costs.

Plan for their future. In a recent Betterment for Business survey, 68% of respondents said the pandemic has made them more aware of the need to save for retirement. Offering a 401K plan – especially one that adds employer contributions – demonstrates your interest in their well-being over the long haul.

Higher ranking title. “Depending on the position and where the person is in their career, you may be able to lure them with a more advanced job title,” says Insperity. “It can be worth a few dollars to a candidate to get a director or vice president title on their resume.”

Invest in their career. Recent surveys show employees are interested in career advancement. They value (and expect employers to provide) opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge. Mentorships, internal training, continuing education, tuition reimbursement – even the lure of working with experts in their field – can tip a candidate’s decision in your favor.

Non-Salary Perks

Creative solutions. Consider less conventional non-salary perks. Commuters might appreciate a commuting stipend or free parking. Signing bonuses, flexible hours, and remote or hybrid work opportunities are popular enticements these days.

“You also might consider offering additional paid time off, a company car, profit sharing, a shorter vesting period, or a bonus tied to company performance,” notes Monster.

Good work culture. People want to like where they work. Your company’s biggest appeal might be a positive culture that aligns with their interests and priorities – whether that means work-life balance, career growth, or community involvement.

Be open about your budget. List a salary range in your job ad. Those who don’t find it acceptable won’t apply. Further, if the “price tag” on your unicorn seems out of reach, let them know. “He or she might be flexible enough to go $10K lower but not $30K lower. So if you’re opening a dialog, you want to give them some information they can work with,” notes Inc.

Not every solution will appeal to every candidate. For the right prospect, however, when you don’t see eye-to-eye on salary, other creative offerings may sway their decision in your favor.

Did You Counter Offer Your Candidate?

For help finding the right candidate for your staffing needs, contact Pro Resources Staffing Solutions.