How to negotiate a salary with the top talent?

As we all know negotiating salary can be the make or break moment when attempting to recruit the top talent within IT Sales for your vacancy. A lot of the hiring managers we work with struggle with how to secure the hire while meeting the financial restrictions of the hiring budget.

Our three directors between them have over 30 years’ experience as recruitment consultants and have shared below their top recommendations on how to manage this process and have the best possible chance to secure the hire.

Paul, Managing Director & Founder:

“With candidates who you love and that are a great fit for your business I recommend setting a low expectation during the interview process, then offer them slightly higher. That way the candidate is delighted because they expected less. Avoid at all costs the opposite scenario when the hiring manager informs candidates about high salaries during the process and then offers them less! This happens regularly and is because the hiring manager doesn’t always have authority to set the package by themselves. It often includes others stakeholders like HR/MD etc”

James, Director:

“Find out at the beginning of your process what salary the candidate is on and their last two p60’s (you can ask them or the recruiter).  Also make sure to ask your recruiter to find out what their expectations are and reasons for moving roles at the beginning of your process too so you are armed with what the most important things are to them.”

Simon, Director:

“Be prepared to have a call with a candidate after they have received your offer so you can discuss your expectations of them in the first year.  I have often found that this really is the ‘killer’ call.  If you are prepared to spend a bit of time speaking with the candidate about expectations in their first year and how it will all work I find 99 times out of 100 it will secure the deal.  Often because other business don’t bother and it leaves the candidate feeling cold.  Go one better than your competition and pick up the phone to them to discuss the contract and what their first year will look like.

Candidates are often just as concerned about the expectations likely to be placed upon them and will want to understand what support you will offer by way of internal sales support/lead generation, ramp-up period, do you offer any guarantee, any spending accounts, any outstanding benefits of working with you – for example flexible working, mentoring you will give to them etc

Basically they just want to feel so confident they should be joining you that they are not at all nervous about going to resign from their current employer.”

If you’d like support with securing the top talent for your IT Sales vacancy we’re happy to help! Contact ESP on or reach out to any of our consultants on LinkedIn!