Tips on Handling Compensation Questions

As you progress through the job-hunting process, questions about compensation are bound to come up. How you handle these queries can have a significant impact on the outcome of your job offer. In this article, we’ll explore valuable tips on navigating compensation questions during the stages of leading up to a new leadership role in shared services / Global Business Services (GBS). 

 Delay Answering Direct Questions 

Your first tip for handling compensation questions is to try to avoid answering direct inquiries about your current or desired compensation for as long as possible. In some jurisdictions, it’s even illegal for an employer or recruiter to ask about your current salary. Instead, encourage the recruiter or interviewer to provide a compensation range. By doing so, you keep your negotiation position flexible and allow yourself to gather more information about the role. Request details not only on the base salary but all components that make up the total compensation package. 

 Consider Total Compensation 

In the realm of shared services and GBS careers, the base salary is just one component of the total compensation package. It’s important to understand that revealing a very high current base salary upfront can potentially scare away a recruiter. However, later on, you might discover that other components, such as cash bonuses, equity and other benefits, could more than make up for a lower base figure. Be open to exploring the complete picture. 

 Expat Assignments 

For those considering expat assignments, remember that the base salary may appear lower, but when you account for additional components like housing, bills, transportation allowances, per diems, and more, the total compensation can be quite generous. Additionally, the cost of living may be lower in a typical shared service center location. Always seek a comprehensive breakdown of the compensation package to make an informed decision. 

 Recognize the Role of Retained Search Firms 

In cases where jobs are marketed by a “retained search” firm, keep in mind that there is an incentive for the recruiter to secure the highest possible salary for you. They should be willing to help you highlight the value you bring to justify higher pay. Be sure to collaborate with them effectively during negotiations. 

 Leave Final Negotiations for the Offer Stage 

While learning the compensation range early in the job search process is important, it’s advisable to leave the final negotiations until you receive an actual job offer. At this point, the employer has indicated their desire to have you on board. It’s the right time to ask for what you want and even consider requesting a bit more. Always take a few days to carefully evaluate the offer before making a counterproposal. 

Handling compensation questions during the offer stage is a crucial aspect of securing the right job on the right terms. By following these tips, you can navigate the process with confidence and maximize your total compensation package in shared services and GBS careers. Remember, the key is to maintain flexibility, consider all components, and leave final negotiations for the point where you receive an offer. This approach will help you secure a position that not only matches your skills but also aligns with your financial expectations. 

Tips on Handling Compensation Questions