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Negotiating Money in Your Animal Health Career

When it comes to negotiating money in your Animal Health career, you can do so either with your current employer by asking for a raise or negotiating money with a potential new employer. Below are three steps for doing the latter:

  1. Interviewing with a potential employer
  2. Negotiating salary and compensation
  3. Leveraging the resources of a recruiter or search consultant

Employers no longer frown upon candidates who have changed jobs every three to five years. They used to term these candidates as “job hoppers.” Now they view them in a positive light, and believe it or not, it’s the candidates who have worked for the same company for extended period of time that they sometimes view with doubt.

Changing jobs in your Animal Health career

Consider this fact: people who change jobs every three to five years earn more in compensation and benefits than people who stay at the same employer for 10 to 15 years. How can this be the case? It’s a matter of motivation.

In order to hire the candidates they want for their open positions, employers must make those positions attractive. This includes offering a salary and compensation package that is more than what the candidate is earning at their current employer, and in some cases, significantly more.

Not only that, but let’s say someone changes jobs on a consistent basis, about every three to five years, in search of better opportunities and career advancement. Each time they move, they receive a salary increase from their new employer. That has a cumulative effect throughout their Animal Health career.

What does that mean? It means the “job hopper” could be earning $20,000 to $30,000 more per year in salary after making four job changes in 20 years than someone who’s worked at the same company during those 20 years.

Consequently, people who actively strive to enhance the scope of their Animal Health career by seeking new opportunities for advancement every three to five years earn more in salary that those people who do not. In terms of maximizing their earning potential, this is a shrewd move on their part.

Let’s say that you’ve increased your value with your current employer and you’ve attempted to negotiate a raise with your current employer. But your employer did NOT give you the raise that you were seeking. Obviously, your earning potential will not be realized, at least not as quickly as you were hoping.

So it’s time to explore other opportunities.

(Find out more about who we are at The VET Recruiter and discover how our leadership team can help you grow your Animal Health career.)

‘Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty’

In order to realize your earning potential, seeking an employment opportunity with a new employer could be in order for you. That’s when you should start interviewing with potential new employers. That’s because the best time to look for a new job is when you already have one. It’s not when you don’t have a job and you need one.

Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by bestselling author Harvey Mackay is a book that every professional needs to read. By most estimates, you can only live three days without water. So in a literal sense, you’d have to dig your well before you were thirsty or you run the risk of death.

In the figurative sense, when you’re unemployed, you need a job now. However, just like digging a well, it takes time to find a better job. A job is not going to “fall into your lap” just because you’re suddenly unemployed.

The worst time to look for a job is when you find yourself unemployed. The best time to look for an opportunity is when you have a job and you can strategically advance your Animal Health career. You have more leverage in that situation.

Approaching the interview process

Interviewing with a potential new employer is one way to increase your earning potential. And when you are interviewing, it’s important to approach the interview process in the correct fashion. That approach should include three things:

#1—How your skills and experience line up with the job responsibilities

What do you bring to the table in terms of skills and abilities? Do they fit into the position that the employer is attempting to fill? Look for opportunities to point out how these things mesh together. This will increase the chances that you’ll be seen as a fit for the position.

#2—The goals for growth that the company is trying to achieve

When it comes time for you to ask questions, be sure to ask about the organization’s goals for growth. Ask how you would be able to contribute to reaching those goals if you were hired. Once you start discussing the future of the organization, it will be easier for hiring managers to see you as part of that future.

#3—The value that you could bring to the employer

Focus on what you can do for the organization, in all areas. Talk about your value and how that value could help the company. Make the conversation about them achieving their goals, not about you getting the job.

It always comes back to value—the value that YOU can bring to the organization. During the interview, focus on the needs of the organization and how you can help solve their problems. The job offer hinges on how well you interview and your negotiation skills.

How to negotiate salary with a new employer

Now we’ve reached the point where you negotiate salary and compensation once an organization has made an offer of employment to you. If you’re working with a recruiter, they can help you negotiate a fair package. Before we address the role of a recruiter, though, below are three important tips for negotiating salary and compensation.

#1—Do not emphasize money TOO much.

If an employer is going to offer you a job, then the subject of money will be brought up eventually. The purpose of going to an interview is to get a job offer, and you don’t want to jeopardize your chances of getting the offer. After all, you don’t have to make a decision until you have an offer in hand.

If you focus too much on money before the offer is even made, then you might not receive the offer at all. That’s because company officials do not want to hire individuals whose top priority is compensation. It’s kind of like dating. When you go on a first date with someone, you certainly don’t want to receive a marriage proposal. That same holds true for the interview. Don’t act as though you want to talk about money too quickly. If hiring officials believe that’s the case, then they’ll also believe that you might accept a counteroffer from your current employer or that you’ll leave as soon as another organization offers you more money.

#2—Do not bring up money first.

Wait for the employer to bring up money. Your job at the interview is to “sell” yourself as being both qualified and interested in the position so the employer will want to make a job offer. If the employer is interested in you, then they’ll talk about compensation at some point.

When the employer brings up money, the best way to answer this question is to say something like the following:

“Obviously, I’m looking for your best offer, but career opportunity will weigh heavily on my decision. You have a range in mind that you’re planning to pay the person in this position. I’d like to be somewhere within your range based upon my qualifications and what I bring to the table.”

This does not sidestep the question. You’re answering the question without giving a specific number. This is a good idea because if you give a number that’s too low, then you’ll leave money on the table. If you provide a number that’s too high, then you’ll price yourself out of the range. Ask the employer to make their best offer so that you have something to consider.

And remember, you will ultimately be compensated for the value that you bring to the organization.

#3—If you’re negotiating your own compensation, then there’s a good chance you ARE “leaving money on the table.”

When you’re working with a recruiter, they’ll make sure that you don’t “leave money on the table.” A recruiter can make sure that you receive the best offer possible. The recruiter should know what your expectations are and what the employer’s range is and will be able to negotiate a fair compensation package.

It is in the recruiter’s best interests that both parties are satisfied. The recruiter should ask their client to make their best offer and be able to accept it on your behalf if they already know what you need. It’s much like buying a house. When you buy a house, there is often a realtor (or sometimes two) that works to make sure that both parties are happy and comfortable with the offer being made.

If you’ve negotiated the compensation phase of the offer stage well, then you’ve not only landed a new job with all of the challenges and growth opportunities that go along with it, but you’ve also maximized your earning potential.

There is something else that could happen at this stage of the process, and that something is a counteroffer. In a counteroffer situation, your current employer makes an offer to you in an attempt to retain you.

(See The VET Recruiter’s mission statement and core values for helping job seekers and employers, and also read and watch candidate and client testimonials about our services.)

Using a recruiter in your Animal Health career

There’s an X-factor involved with this entire process. That X-factor is the role that a recruiter can play in your Animal Health career. According to several studies, about 64% of executive-level positions are filled through recruiters. This makes sense, since the more important a job opening is to an organization, the more it wants to ensure that the opening is filled with the best and most qualified candidate possible—and that is certainly the case with executive-level positions.

So viewed in this light, there are five ways that a search consultant could help you during this process if you’re working with one:

#1—Recruiters may have direct access to the hiring manager and the employer where you want to work.

#2—Recruiters have a relationship with the hiring manager, and chances are good that you may not.

#3—Recruiters possess inside information about the job opening not necessarily listed in the online job posting (if there is an online job posting). Once again, chances are good that you do not.

#4—A recruiter’s endorsement of you means more to the organization than you “tooting your own horn,” so to speak, since their reputation is on the line and company officials may not even know who you are. They’re going to listen to the search consultant if they’ve enlisted the services of the search consultant.

#5—Recruiters know how to navigate the Human Resources department better than most individuals, who risk getting stuck in a “job search black hole.”

Recruiters and the counteroffer

Recruiters can also help in a counteroffer situation. The problem with accepting a counteroffer is that you’ll be viewed as a flight risk by the company even if you accept the offer. In some cases, the organization is just trying to retain your services until they can find someone to replace you.

Remember that the counteroffer was only made because you submitted your notice. Will you have to submit your notice every time you want more compensation or better working conditions? One would hope not, but the evidence shows otherwise.

Not only that, but if you accept a counteroffer from your current employer, you’re also essentially breaking your word with the organization that agreed to hire you. When you do that, you’re damaging your reputation within the industry. Company officials remember things of that nature, and you are doing your Animal Health career damage by going back on your word.

It are issues such as these that a recruiter can successfully guide you through. They’ve seen what can happen in these situations, and they can point you in the right direction and give you the guidance you need to be successful.

How to get on a recruiter’s ‘radar’

Now that you know some of the benefits of working with a recruiter, how do you get on a recruiter’s “radar” and get noticed? There are two main ways:

#1—Be known in your field.

Here’s the good news: the things you do to get noticed within your industry are the same things for getting noticed by a recruiter. They include joining industry associations, writing articles for trade journals, and participating in social networking sites, especially business ones such as LinkedIn. If you’re not on LinkedIn, I would recommend that you join. If you’re a well-known entity, search consultants and hiring officials will seek you out.

#2—Seek out a search consultant.

While you wait for recruiters and search consultants to seek you out, you can seek them out, as well. You’ll want to find an experienced search consultant with a proven track record of success in your industry. In other words, it doesn’t make sense to send a resume to a recruiter who places lawyers or accountants if you work as a veterinarian. You can also ask your colleagues and friends to provide referrals of search firms they’re worked with in the past.

According to Hunt Scanlon Media, search consultants are part of a $10 billion a year executive recruiting industry. As mentioned above, 64% of all executive-level positions are filled through search consultants. These statistics shows why it’s important for you to have a relationship with a search professional. It’s truly one of the most important and rewarding relationships that you can have in your Animal Health career.

How a recruiter can help your Animal Health career

Specifically, a recruiter can help you in one of two ways. First, when the time is right, they can help you find a stronger employment opportunity for yourself. Second, if you’ve advanced to a position of management with your employer, then they can help you recruit talented people for your organization.

The key is to be proactive. Remember, don’t wait until you need a search consultant before you reach out to one and build a relationship. And of course, always focus on the value that you can provide to people. That includes when you’re working with search consultants.

Sometimes a recruiter will have a job that you’re not interested in and for which you will not be a fit. If that’s the case, provide them with the names of colleagues or other people you know who are a fit and might be open to a new opportunity. The recruiter will remember that you provided the referral, and they will keep you in mind in the future.

This also represents the Principle of Reciprocity. When someone gives us something, we feel compelled to give them something in return. In this case, if you give a referral to a recruiter, that recruiter will feel compelled to give you something in return at a later date. That something could very well take the form of a potential new Animal Health career opportunity, one that’s a better fit for you.

So providing a referral is certainly an example of the value that you can provide in such a situation.

Maximizing your earning potential is a never-ending process. No matter where you are, you should be doing everything you can to maximize your potential with your current employer and also doing what you can to maximize it for future employers. Organizations want employees who provide value, and in the majority of cases, they will compensate the employees who provide that value the most.

That means you must be willing to take the steps necessary to increase the value you provide as an employee. The good news is that you can start taking those steps today. You can follow this blueprint, grow your Animal Health career, and move closer to realizing your full earning potential.

The VET Recruiter can help your Animal Health career

For more than 20 years, The VET Recruiter has helped job seekers and candidates negotiate salary and compensation with a potential new employer, thereby enriching their Animal Health careers. And we want to do the same for you!

That’s because we at The VET Recruiter have access to what is known as the “hidden job market,” which contains confidential job openings that are not advertised through the traditional means. This means unless you’re working with a recruiter who has access to the “hidden job market,” you won’t know about these openings and won’t be able to explore and pursue them.

So contact us today to find out how we can help you grow your Animal Health career!

Check out The VET Recruiter’s successes working with job seekers and candidates. We also invite you to submit your resume and create a profile on our website.

You can also call (918) 488-3901 or (800) 436-0490 or send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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