Monthly Archives

March 2018

What is the best Strategy when a Recruiter asks About your Current Salary Before Making an Offer?

By | Answers, Blog, Career, Interview, Job, Questions | No Comments

 

What your strategy shouldn’t be: go in with a mindset that goes something like “I wonder what they’ll offer me” or “they should be paying me more than I make now!”, “I’ll negotiate up from whatever they offer me.” That’s a recipe for losing this important part in taking on a new role.
Be straightforward about your current compensation, and ready to talk about your top 3 reasons why you should be paid more in your new role.

Here are some pointers to help you figure out what they are:

1. Research how your current salary stacks up against your peers (i.e. Glassdoor) in the industry. Is it less? Then probably you are being underpaid while still having awesome results – that’s a sound reason to switch. Is it more? Then that might be a sign that your company values your skills more than other companies do! Use that to your advantage.

2. Research the typical salaries for the new role, considering company size, location, seniority etc. If they are lower than your current one, then you need to ask yourself whether this is a kind of position you want to take. However, listen to what they have to say/offer. If it’s higher, then it becomes a valuable piece of info in your discussion for the new position.

3. What’s the difference in responsibilities between the current and the new role? If the new position requires more then there’s a strong reason for you to ask for more salary. If it’s about the same or less, then think about different factors.

4. Is this new role going to challenge you and require more time than the current one? That’s great and you’re ready to go the extra mile, but your potential new employer should too, so consider that as well.

5. The standard of living – if you are moving to a new city, region or country for the new role, then you need to factor the cost of living in, but don’t forget about expandable income. If at the end of the month you’re left with less than what you previously had, and it’s important to you, then think twice.

6. What are the other components of your compensation package? Do they stack up against your current one? If the hiring organization doesn’t have comparable components, you should quantify their value and include that in the salary discussion.

7. Be creative about asking for a higher salary – if the hiring organization has good reasons to not give you a higher salary right off the bat, then fall back to asking for an incremental increase that’s time and legally bound (shows up on your employment agreement). I.e. after 6 months in the role 5% increase, and after 12 months in the role another 5% increase.

Keep in mind, your approach should always reflect (and come from) a genuine desire for both your and the hiring organization’s win.

Photo credit: Photo by Jessica Sysengrath on Unsplash

What Motivates Someone to do Their best, and how can a Manager best Motivate his team/Employees?

By | Blog, Leadership | No Comments

Motivation has a lot to do with a few factors: source (why), time (when) & space (where), and outcomes (what). The first two are for context and in my view are important to get a deeper understanding of what motivates people, and if you’d like to have the “what can I use now “ part, you can just skip to “3. Outcomes”.

  1. Source

It would be superficial to assume motivation is just external – i.e. I give someone a bonus that will motivate them, if I create the right environment, everyone will be motivated to be productive, etc.

In our experience, intrinsic motivation comes prior to external motivation. Take for instance the case of a person going to work from 9am–5pm. Why do they do it? Is it the salary? Yes, and why are they motivated to have a/that salary? It’s the level of comfort given by an income, not having to worry about tomorrow. It might be that the person is motivated to start their own business and needs the assurance of a fixed income until the business is up and running. Yes, and why are they motivated to have their own business? It can very well be a sense of independence, fulfillment, and happiness.

That’s why before you can pinpoint at someone’s motivation, think of what is their true (intrinsic) motivation. Most of us don’t go flaunting these hidden motivations around. Someone else (say a manager) will not have access to them unless you see in them a genuine interest in what motivates you. In essence, not unless they win your trust first, the basis of human relationships.

External motivation is typically tied to an action/outcome that can be more or less evident.

For instance, the less evident one is when you try to motivate children to walk and you applaud them at every step they take so that they feel the happiness of having progressed. Although they might not be aware of the connection between the applause and their increasing ability to walk, they instinctively pursue the external motivation by repeating what caused it. (I’m not a psychologist, we just have kids!)

The obvious one is clearly defined with cause and effect (finite as opposed to the intrinsic such as happiness). When our annual revenues reach a certain amount, you get a certain bonus. If your performance assessment indicates that you’ve reached all of your goals, you will be provided with an award and a cash bonus. You’ve done well in the past couple of years, and your manager tells you that you’re being promoted (recognized) for your hard work.

Understanding the source of motivation is pretty straightforward, and there are plenty of books and research done on this topic.

However, a simple strategy is to just ask “why” until you have a hard time providing an answer, or know that there’s no deeper level (i.e. like happiness).

  1. Time and Space

Throughout our career, motivation changes with each time period and place we are in. The first job after graduation might be all about making ourselves valuable, earn a good salary, building our knowledge and expertise beyond a piece of paper, and gather as many wins in a renowned organization. Once we go past our second or third role, we first start thinking about where we could have the most impact, how long it would take to grow enough to become the next best version of ourselves and finally it would be great if we could earn an even better compensation. You’ll notice people taking time periods of 3–5 years to plan their career.

Time and space influence what motivates us. As a manager, you must be aware of the kind of time period and space that each person in your team is in. Some might have just joined your team right out of school and some others might be experienced professionals that can already bring a certain set of knowledge and expertise. For instance, the recent graduate employees might be motivated by working with the more experienced professionals in your team. And the more experienced professionals might be motivated by the possibility to coach and mentor some of the young team members.

  1. Outcomes

Whether intrinsic or external, motivation always needs to be tied to outcomes.

However, understanding the time and space helps you correlate the right outcomes with the right motivation. When someone new comes in, be aware of the fact they are not going to be with you forever. They could be there for 2 years or 5 years. But for them to be motivated to give their best, you need to commit to helping them be their best, regardless of how long they’ll stick around.

  • Create a personal development path (i.e. not related directly to company performance requirements) for them with the sole purpose of enabling them to reach their potential and beyond. Make their job about them first, and your company second. It’s a counter-intuitive approach, but when your employees and teams are motivated by their own personal growth first, they will thrive in their jobs and bring results to the company. I like to call that “owning your job.” Even if they work for you today, when they walk out to take another job or open their own business, they leave with all of what they’ve learned, whether you like it or not. So better use that knowledge today to build a win-win situation. Meet regularly to review with the employee the progress of their personal development. This will help you discover the deeper way that feeds your employees’ motivation.

People are motivated to do their best when managers help them know what their best is.

  • Open up problem-solving and decision making to all of your team. Its double effect is a tremendous gold mine, that managers tap into so rarely. The first benefit is, of course, the potential of crowdsourcing ideas which can bring so much creativity to the table. Brainstorm, talk about them, turn problems around, and be ready to discuss any apparently crazy idea. The second benefit is the team’s motivation through empowerment. Your team will feel motivated because their manager acknowledges that everyone can contribute, can voice their ideas and be part of the solution. If you can, allow the winning idea to be implemented by the person in the team who came up with it!

People are motivated to do their best when managers give up on trying to be the best by themselves.

  • Set, measure and celebrate your team’s impact on your key indicators like client satisfaction, quality of service, a decrease in product returns, process improvement, and even your bottom line. Take time to quantify what performance impact looks like, and challenge them to get there. Start measuring and let them know when you see progress/milestones being achieved and where things didn’t go as expected. Recognize their effort, and challenge them to reach the next milestone. As you quantify the impact, people understand the connection between doing their best to the nitty-gritty details of an organization’s performance.

People are motivated to do their best when they can see or envision an outcome. It’s a manager’s responsibility to paint a vision of that outcome in as many details as possible, and let them know when they have gotten closer to it and by how much.

A motivation that isn’t aligned with your team members in mind is bound to be short-lived, and of little impact.

If you are already a manager or own a company, and have not considered motivating your team, switching to a culture of motivation might seem impossible.

The great news though is that you can tackle some of the possible and apparently impossible things in the real world. And I’m an advocate of starting small.

Start with building trust and transparency with your employees, without expecting anything in return. They will be skeptical at first. Repeat it every month, start writing down what you hear, holding them accountable to their own words (again, not performance items, but rather what they are good at, what they appreciate about the team, or environment or not, etc.) just by asking (not imposing). Then find out whether there’s anything you can help them with: to either help them grow or integrate some of their personal objectives in what they do at work (if possible). And finally, when you are able, help them see their potential when they can’t.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”

― Theodore Roosevelt

 

Photo credit: Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

What do Interviewers Expect when Asking: “Do you have any Questions for us?”

By | Blog, Interview, Job, Questions | No Comments

We’ll start with one statement: The interviewers expects you to be genuine.

We know there are probably hundreds of online and printed articles about the smartest questions you can come up with. It all comes down to you and the opportunity in front of you.

Let’s start with you.

There are a lot of things that are important to you, and only a handful that is crucial. Those are typical aspects that reflect what you expect of your life, career, the people or things that make you happy and fulfilled, and not least your health (this is a shortlist, you certainly have your own). You are there because in one way or another the job opportunity you’re interviewing for contributes to what’s critical to you. Once you’ve figured that out, think about what kind of questions you could ask that will clarify whether pursuing the job opportunity will contribute to what’s critical to you.

For instance, you may think: “In the long run, I want to be an outstanding business consultant, however, I don’t have any experience right now, so it’s crucial I get a job that helps me grow towards that ideal role.” so your question for the interviewer might be: “How does the company plan for professional development/growth?

Or you may think: “it’s crucial that I work for organizations that value a healthy culture that encourages creativity, instead of a top-down” so your question to the interviewer might be: “Could I meet some of the people I’d be working with?” If they are open to the idea, it will be a good way to tell what kind of culture you’d be dealing with.

Then continue with them

In the same way, think about what’s important to the company, why have they even posted this job? Is it because they’re growing? Is it because someone left? Is it because someone got promoted? Is it because it’s part of their strategy? Some questions you may ask:

How does this role help the company?

What made the person before me successful in this role?

Why has the person in this role decided to leave?

Or you can direct your question toward the interviewer himself:

What do you like most about working here?

If you were to change anything for the better at this company, what would it be?

Why did you decide to work for this company in the first place?”

You also want to get a clearer understanding of how they thought the interview went:

How do you think I and my qualifications match the company’s and hiring manager’s expectations?

Do your homework

Employers do spend the time to put Job Descriptions together. But that’s not all that they have on their webpage that can give you an idea of who they are and what they do. Their “about” page will help you know how they think, what they value (value/principles), where they’re going (vision), and how they’re going to get there (mission/objectives). Then review their “products/services” section of their website. Is there any aspect in particular that intrigues you? Is there anything that you think might be related to your job?

Ask a few specific questions that will help you have a complete picture:

How do you measure the effectiveness of that product or services?”

I noticed one of your values emphasizes the importance of people. How do I pursue this value?”

How often can someone get involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives?

Notice most of the questions are open-ended. This approach ensures you get the most out of your of conversation with the interviewers.

How they respond is an important indicator of that organization’s values. Did they provide honest and meaningful answers? Were they specific or generic/quoting from a “textbook”? Etc.

So be genuine, be yourself!

 

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