Negotiating salary

Let me give you an example of how salary works:

When I was a entry level retail salesperson we all got paid the same, about $12 per hour. Why? Because I was easy to replace if I wanted more money. They could post another ad online or wherever and get 10 more people would come in next week who are willing to do the retail job for $12 per hour.

You see if Bob came in and he only averaged selling 8 cars per month and asked for a raise, John the manager would tell him to take a hike because he knows he can hire almost anybody who can sell 8 cars a month.

Now if Jenny came in who averages selling 20 cars a month and if she wanted a higher commission percentage then John’s going to be in a real pickle…. You see, Jenny helps John bring in over 50K per month in sales. If he loses Jenny then his bonus goes bye-bye. John gives Jenny a raise. Jenny is happy and John is happy.

And that is how raises and salary works. You might be saying “Well that works for commissioned sales people but what about salary workers who don’t work on commission?” I’m glad you asked because I have another story for you.

Jeff is a HR recruiter for a big medical company. Jeff gets paid a fair salary of $65K per year. He fills on average 25 positions a month for his medical company. He thinks he deserves a raise so he asks his boss Charlotte for a raise.

Now Charlotte being a “Minute Manager” and fresh of a SPHR conference tells Jeff that according to the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics he is paid in the top 25th percentile of recruiters in the Medical Sector. But come next year they will have a new contract with a large medical group and she will revisit his request for a raise.

Sammy also works as a recruiter for Charlotte. Sammy is awesome because he fills between 40–50 jobs per month. Sammy makes 65K like Jeff because that’s what the “industry” norm is for Medical HR recruiters. Sammy gets a phone call from Megan over at ABC Medical.

“Sammy we just landed a huge contract with HCA and we have over 200 positions to fill. Would you consider coming to work with me? I know the kind of work you do for Charlotte and I promise you that I will take care of you?”

“I’m pretty happy where I’m at. Charlotte takes us to happy hours, and we go on retreats that involve team building exercises and trust falls. I feel like she really gets me.”

“Sammy, I can pay you $95K per year. I will make you a Recruiting Manager and you will have two generalists working for you? We have 200 positions to fill in 90 days and I know you’re the guy that can help us!”

“When do you want me to start?”

The salary Sammy and Jenny can command is in direct proportion to the results they can produce in their role.

The more you can produce the more you can confidently negotiate in salary.


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