Sometimes, a company just won't pay you what you want. It's easy to get angry and immediately jump to the conclusion that they're just being cheap ... but that's rarely the case. Quite frankly, most recruiters and hiring managers know that they need to pay competitive rates, or their turnover will be so high it will cost them dearly in other ways.
Another mistake candidates make is to assume that they just aren't good enough ... and that's why the company won't pay them what they are asking for. That is rarely the case!
There is usually some other reason why they won't pay you what you want (or what other companies might be willing to pay you). Here are the 6 most common reasons:
1. They don’t have the money! Budgets are normally set a year in advance ... which means even if you are their #1 pick and they know you're worth what you are asking for, they may simply not have enough money to pay you. They are going to have to settle for hiring someone less-qualified than you.
2. They don’t know what competitors are paying (they think they are paying really well). This happens often. If a company has not hired someone with your skills recently, they can be very out of touch with what their competitors are paying these days for someone with your level of skill and experience.
3. You’ll be getting paid more than everyone else at your level. This is a serious concern for them. Perhaps they have had a few rough years and have not given big raises to their current employees. If they bring you in at significantly more than they are paying your peers, it could cause their best employees to leave. It's easy to say "So, give your employees a raise!" Look back at reason #1 - they probably don't have the money in the budget to give any big raises right now.
4. You’re already at the top of their pay scale and they will not be able to give you a raise next year. This is really dangerous for a company ... because you will NOT be happy if you work hard, but don't get a raise next year. Most companies have "pay bands" ... ranges they pay for certain positions. Again, they set their budgets and even policies around these. If they bring you in at the top of their pay range for your position, they won't be able to give you a raise unless they promote you. You will not be happy if they tell you "no raise for you this year - we already pay you too much."
5. They don’t really know what makes you a stand-out (they don’t know why you’re worth more money than their other candidates). Interviewing is tough. Some outstanding candidates really have a tough time communicating their skills and value during an interview. Unfortunately, this often leads to a perception that the person is less-qualified than he or she really is.
6. They don’t think you’re worth that higher rate or salary (based on interviews, they really think they are paying you a very fair wage). This is a follow-on to the problem in #5. If you want to avoid this awful situation, jump to our interviewing section and follow our strategies for success! You CAN learn to interview very well ... and show them that you are worth top dollar.