How to Negotiate The Best Salary and Benefit Packages

Salary and Benefits Negotiation

One of the most difficult aspects of job searching for many people, especially those who are just starting out or who are making a mid-career change, is actually the salary and benefits negotiation aspect. This is true partly because some people are just naturally uncomfortable with negotiation in general and also because they may not feel knowledgeable enough about the job market to be able to effectively negotiate for better pay and benefits. In other cases, certain job seekers may not feel confident enough about their talents and skills in order to attempt salary and benefits negotiation.

For the most part, employers expect that there will be some negotiation regarding salary and benefits packages. Today, this tug of war has become somewhat of a game where both sides take pride in honing their skills. In a small number of cases, employers have absolutely no room to maneuver regarding the salary and benefits they offer and therefore negotiation will not be effective. That said, however; you will never know unless you ask and give negotiation a try.

If you are unsure how valuable your own particular skills and experience are to the current job market it is worth it to take the time to perform some research. A number of job market and labor statistics are now available on-line to help you determine just exactly how valuable you are to a current or prospective employer. The figures are generally listed according to low, average and high; depending on the area of the country in which you live and the exact amount of experience you possess.

Individuals who are a little on the shy side and feel uncomfortable with trying to negotiate for a higher salary and benefits package can work out some of their anxiety by practicing with friends and relatives. It can be quite helpful to write out a sample script ahead of time so that you can work your way through it as you take a practice run. Take a look below at one way in which a salary and benefits negotiation might be handled:

Ms. Employer: “I’m really impressed with your skills and experience. We would like to offer you the position at a starting salary of $45,000 per year.”

Mr. Job Seeker: “Thank you. I’m excited at the prospect of working for Rutherford Enterprises, however; my salary needs at the $55,000 level. As you know, accepting this position will require that I relocate to the Seattle area. Accepting anything less than $55,000 would simply be far too costly given the moving expenses.”

Ms. Employer. “Hmmm, I can understand your position; but I simply can’t offer you more than $45,000 per year. Our company policy is to bring all new hires at this management level in for $45,000 per year. We are looking at raising salaries on a cost of living adjustment sometime next year….”

Mr. Job Seeker. “I’m afraid that simply would not work, as I would need to make the move this year in order to begin by your requested hire date.”

Ms. Employer. “I really hate to lose you. I believe we need someone with your experience on our team. Perhaps we could work out something else. As I said, I can’t start you out any higher than $45,000 per year, but I could possibly offer you a $3,000 sign on bonus. That would help to defray your moving costs. Would that be acceptable?”

Now, obviously all conversations are not going to go exactly as the one in the example did. In some cases, the employer will remain adamant that they simply can’t pay any more and they won’t offer any other type of compensatory benefit on their own either. In this situation the job seeker will need to come up with a creative idea and nudge the employer. Just keep in mind that not all of the money you bring home is tied up in your paycheck. Sometimes you can do as well as or better than a higher salary by negotiating for sign on bonuses, moving expenses, company stock options, better retirement benefits, extra time off, etc.

Employers will rarely offer you everything you need and want with the first job offer. It’s up to you to define the parameters of the negotiation and determine whether or not you will simply accept the offer on the table or sell the employer on your unique skills and experience and thereby obtain the best deal possible.

The Benefits of Litigation Presentation Software

Whether your case is one of the few that will find itself in the courtroom or settled outside of court, litigation presentation software puts all of the documents, transcripts, photos, and videos at your fingertips. Sure, you could store these crucial files on your computer and call them up as needed, but without a solid system in place, you’ll waste precious time trying to find what you need. With litigation presentation software installed on your computer, you’ll be able to call up testimony, documents, and videos quickly and efficiently.

Dozens of litigation presentation programs are available. One of the best is Visionary, offered by Visionary Legal Technologies. This product was designed by litigators for litigators. In other words, the designers know what’s important to legal professionals because they have spent their fair share of time presenting cases.

Visionary allows you to store, organize, and call up documents quickly. The standard version of Visionary, which also happens to be free, is a discovery management tool as well as a presentation tool wrapped into one solution. It contains a customizable database with 250 user-defined fields as well as tools for searching, finding, and presenting “on the fly.” The professional version, which costs around $600, offers many additional features including those found in the free version as well as hierarchal “issue builders,” electronic Bates stamps, live chat support, a high capacity (support for over one million documents per case), optical character recognition for finding and identifying crucial information, export options (HTML and PowerPoint), cut and paste tools, and more.

You can even use the “objection editor” to edit objections and portions of a transcript that should not be presented. You can do this for text as well as video objections.

Other neat tools include the “Facts Database” and the “Facts Digest Wizard.” Use these tools to organize and analyze facts. The graphical display helps you to determine which facts help, and which facts hurt, your case. Facts can be associated with specific sections of a transcript. When viewing the transcript, the Facts window displays facts related to events, issues, and people associated with that portion of the testimony. Because the facts are listed in a database, you can easily filter and sort them as well as create queries and reports.

Clearly, Visionary offers a host of useful features. By organizing your case documents and taking advantage of the discovery management, databases, and presentation tools offered in the software, you will have the information that you need at any given time. Finding data is a snap with the OCR search tool. Simply enter a keyword or phrase and call up all related documents. Not only will you be more efficient in hearings, mediation, meetings, depositions, and the courtroom, you will also appear more organized, knowledgeable, and credible.

Lawyers have long been admired for their ability to present information quickly. Now, you have a tool available that delivers the information that you need – including videos, transcripts, and exhibits – with just a few keystrokes. With a solid litigation presentation software solution in place, you’ll spend less time fumbling in search of supporting documents and more time presenting your arguments.

How Leaders Should Negotiate?

Nearly everything, we do, involves a certain degree of negotiating. We negotiate, at home, at work, and during all our activities. However, perhaps, never is negotiating skill, experience, expertise, and ability, more necessary and needed, than, in being a quality leader. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly examine, consider, discuss, and explain, how and why, it’s so important, for a true leader, to negotiate, and why, it is a leader, who determines, whether negotiations are successful, or less satisfying.

1. Learn the skills and necessities: The first thing, one must understand and clearly, know, is successful negotiations, are not about, merely, winning, but, rather, the best results arise from a win – win, mindset, process and approach. While lying/ distorting, making over – stated claims/demands, might get immediate gratification, in the longer – term, results will suffer, unless/ until, both sides depart from the process, believing they have achieved, what they needed, to do, for the interests of their organization, etc. Begin by learning to effectively listen, and learn, what the other side, is needing, and stating, and gain knowledge, and expertise, from every conversation and experience. Do extensive homework, and seek, to create a meeting of the minds, by identifying mutual, cost – saving areas, concept, and plans, and realizing, when you create a new benefit, for the other side, there’s more, they might be able to offer you.

2. Examples: If you are negotiating, for example, with a venue for an event, which includes food, discuss ways to reduce the venue’s costs/ expenses, and ask for them to share those savings, with you. Think outside – the – box, and determine, how communicating, with integrity, from the onset, and clearly, explaining, what you need, and your limitations, and you will improve your results.

3. Don’t lie!: You need a meeting – of – the – minds, which requires mutual trust. Doing so, requires significant efforts, and time, to create, but, one lapse, will usually destroy your efforts.

4. Clarify and organize, using a Request for Proposal (RFP): Make yourself clear, from the beginning, by beginning the process, with a Request for Proposal, or, RFP, and make it, as thorough and complete, as possible! Pit one venue, against another, and select the one, which meets your needs, and budget. Know your budget, from the onset, so you might properly plan, and negotiate. The responses to the RFP, should be included, as part of the final contract.

Negotiate, like a leader, and do so, from strength, expertise, experience, and maintain absolute integrity. Are you ready to lead effectively?