Money is one of the key motivators for all job seekers. I have seen extremes of money mindedness in job seekers, while few jobseekers look for benefits beyond money right from their early years. It is not right on my part to judge either of them, as opportunity to earn more along with other benefits is always the best bet. However, the attitude of keeping only money ahead of you is not the best policy and may not carry someone too long.
A few years back, I was interviewing a candidate for a role of head of recruitment. The person was good at his job and had all the right credentials. It took me almost three months to get him interviewed and selected. My US counterparts too interviewed and liked him. All along, the candidate was very smooth talking when it came to remunerations. His constant answer to queries related to salary and benefits were a standard one. ‘ I should be given in line with market standards. Anything more will give me happiness while I join.’
I was in hurry to close this position as my company was starting large-scale recruitments and I had very few hands to help. Moreover, I had no one to help me in recruitment process.
I had deliberately worked a package that was double his last salary drawn. I was sure that it would delight him and we will start with a very happy note. On the fateful day, just forty-five days before my mass recruitment event, I handed him over the offer letter. I knew that he could join me in just 30 days and I was excited to bring him on board.
He took the offer letter and gave me an unusual smile. ‘I think, this offer is not what I was looking for. As I am joining a new company and I am coming from a big company, the minimum raise has to be 300%’. I was shocked and mumbled with my words. I tried to convince that
double salary itself is a big deal and even my company is not a new one but I am opening its new India office. Moreover I tried to convince him on the benefits of coming on board as part of first few employees that would certainly give him better growth in the growing company. He was adamant and left telling that he would come back tomorrow and take a final call.
This attitude left me tired and shocked. I could not believe that my three months of hard work came to such an outcome. Did I pick a wrong person or what that guy was talking had some substance. I was in a bad situation with so many things depending on filling that position quickly. Over the night, I spoke to few of my friends in HR field and within few hours I was given reference of two other candidates who could fit the bill. Right in the morning the next day, I met both the persons. While one was not the best I wanted, the second one had something special.
I asked him what salary he wanted. He was clear. The raise he asked was modest. On my question of why he would come with a modest raise, his answer was something that was music to my ears. ‘I would get opportunity to work with the CEO of the company. Moreover, I am being hired to grow this company; so obviously, I will also grow and learn a lot. It is not the salary that is my key driver but the opportunity that is exciting me. However if you feel, you can add few mode dollars, I would be delighted.’ He cautioned with a smile, ‘ I wish to work that is challenging and will help me hone my own skills. I hope you would give me that for sure.’
The offer letter to this new person was prepared in next one hour and I gave him far more raise than he was expecting along with a good joining bonus.
In next few hours, Mr. Greedy arrived and waited to meet me in the reception. While I was unwilling to see him initially, I could not resist the temptation of giving him a shock of his life. As soon as I broke the news that I have already offered someone else in his position, he could not understand what I really was talking. He tried telling me that he was fine with two and half times increase and after sometime he was even agreed to the original offer. I did not budge. I could clearly see that he was shocked and upset at this opportunity slipping away.
The selected candidate worked great with my company for many years. He did earn a good increase and bonus year on year due to his good job. On the other hand, the greedy one lost his job a few months later due to his company issues. Last I knew about him was that he was struggling to find a good offer.
You have to understand one thing for sure, going back on your word and promises is the worst thing one can do while changing jobs. On top of it, if this promise is because of the lure of money, somewhere it will hound you back. You must be clear of your expectations and be clear in expressing them, else the biggest looser in this entire cycle would be you.