As ironic as it may seem, my career “heritage” as one might call it, hails from corporate America. I’m a former rehab director/corporate manager; and, from that perspective I’ve become a part of many discussions regarding hiring, firing, talent acquisition, etc. etc. etc.
One thing that always comes up is negotiating compensation. Now, I need to qualify this with two points: (1) some organizations just have “no wiggle room” due to their corporate structure, and, (2) organizations that can wiggle are more than happy to wiggle so long as the benefit is mutual & makes business sense.
With that….here are…!
5 Negotiation Points That Will Make Them Smile
1. Don’t Ask For Money. Ask About Value.
I think the biggest killer here is that a candidate arrives at the negotiation table & comes across as in that negative the “E” word… “entitlement.” Or, “as entitled,” per the proper grammar above. It’s both generation & culture clash, when it comes to this. BUT…!
Let me lay it on the line. Earning is an attitude. Effort is an action. Entitlement is bad attitude + no action. Excellent is good attitude + great action. There… I said it!
And, with that said, perhaps the best thing a candidate can do at the negotiations table is to NOT ask for money. Ask about VALUE. What value is being added? What value is needed or appreciated at this particular business? What *IS* valuable to this business unit? After all, negotiating pay is a basic equation:
Negotiated Salary Accepted <= Break-Even Point and/or Job Market Price Point Sensibility
The candidate wants as much as possible. The employer wants to pay as reasonably low as possible.
The employer is pretty much willing to pay as much between $0/year upwards until either the break-even point or until it no longer makes marketplace sense as they could otherwise fill that same labor void with “cheaper” alternatives (ie. another candidate).
And, the candidate is more likely to walk on a deal if they have better offers elsewhere or thinks they can get a better offer elsewhere… which they are quickly discovering exist in plenty.
So… instead of demanding more money. Offer more value, ASK the prospective employer their thoughts on a proposed exchange of value in the most respectful manner possible.
How??? By killing a pain, making a gain, or getting the job done. This leads us to…!
2. Kill A Pain.
One of the biggest pains in all of healthcare is scheduling and/or staffing. If you want to add value right away, kill one of these pain points that are all too common in healthcare. Offer to take on shifts that no one wants. Offer to be a weekend regular.
It’s all fair trade for a bump in pay as this will not only eliminate a direct headache for management, it’ll also decrease any likelihood of blow back from lead sources, referral sources, or any associated departments that rely upon the physical therapy team being properly staffed.
Whatever the case, if you can eliminate a pain point, you will not only make them smile… you’ll get them to say “Yes” to more competitive compensation package as well.
3. Make A Gain.
Whether it’s a new service line, a new program, or capturing opportunities left untapped… making a gain means you’re adding value. And, if you’re adding value, then justifying higher pay for a new hire employee will not be a difficult sell to middle and upper management.
Gain makers, while less smiley than pain killers, is still a very powerful negotiations platform. AND, it serves to actually grow business units rather than merely remove costs… the more common result of “pain killers.”
Ultimately, business that thrive learn to “win more”… rather than “lose less.”
4. Ask About THEIR GOALS.
Ultimately, you need the person across the table to like you, hire you, and pay you more — or, at the very least, something equitable & competitive to the job market. To make that into a reality, you need to fill the needs and desires that THEY have in mind. What are they trying to achieve? Do they want their business to grow? Do they have redundancies to kill? Are they in need of certain focus points of clinical excellence? Perhaps they wish to develop a legacy strategy for their practice.
Whatever it may be… you’ve got to ASK them about it. It’s not just a strategy. It’s a genuine way of demonstrating that you actually care about this opportunity. If you care enough, then they will care enough to consider you as a good teammate to have.
Automation is a big deal these days, because… automation insinuates efficiency and cost savings. Now, while this is generally true, businesses need to make sure they automate the right things. THIS, is where you can provide value as a prospective candidate.
Automating the wrong thing is terribly costly. Automating the right thing is very advantageous.
Do your research before you go into the interview. Check out their digital footprint, scout out their intake process, scan for opportunities where technology can make their business operations just that much more efficient. The solution could be as simple as an email auto-responses or online scheduling requests. Whatever the case may be, by doing your homework and presenting them an additional point of discussion, you are communicating that you are invested… you already “in” per your mindset. And, you are willing to go above and beyond “the job.” You, want to add value on levels beyond that of warm body with a license to bill.
AND… most importantly, their response to the topic will let you know if they are a good match for you as an employer. If they are a strong match, you’ll get some pretty positive and impressed responses that you are that invested, so early in the application process and even in the company… just as a candidate. #SmilesAllAround
If not… well, that’s why it is called a job market. Move on. Keep shopping!
A Special Message For Employers
When we launched, UpDoc Media set out to bring “The Content You NEED To Know, Delivered With Clinical Precision.” Of our viral pre-launch content pieces, such as our PT Job Market Outlook of 2015 (2.0), was one of our biggest website crashers (Yes, those of you who viewed it… you crashed our website, LOL)… as well as our current efforts with the PT Job Market Pulse.
As the job market and healthcare market evolves moving into 2020, both employers and employees will need to be each other’s champions.
The game has changed. It’s no longer sustainable nor beneficial to have a “versus” mentality. Employer vs. employee. Provider vs. patient.
Everything is part of an ecosystem.
Strong employee cultures will lead to strong company values and deliverable excellence in service. This will in turn, attract future talent to sustain and grow this pattern. In the same vein, strong operational profits allows for the margins required to hire top talent… and, so the wheel continues to spin.
We have a passion to help our fellow PTs win.
To help business owners, corporate managers, employers all across our industry, and anyone in physical therapy wanting to cultivate a business oriented mindset… we created the PT Business & Entrepreneur Accelerator. It’s a free group, connecting colleagues with a growth mindset for accelerated success and mutual growth.