How to Successfully Negotiate Pay for Care Positions

by freelance writer Riley Herder

 

In a typical interview, caregivers and housekeepers are expected to discuss a number of topics—experience, availability, flexibility just to name a few. Perhaps the most awkward to discuss—for every party involved—is the topic of compensation.

Learning how to professionally and confidently discuss your pay range is an incredibly valuable skill that can help you avoid working for less than you deserve. Talking about salary is almost never comfortable, but it is less intimidating than many people think. Follow these tips to guide your pay negotiations to be polite, smooth, and effective.

 

>> Find a job as a sitter, housekeeper or tutor on Care.com!

 

Be prepared to discuss pay during initial interview

The last thing you want to do is procrastinate on discussing salary. If you fail to discuss it during your first interview, then there may already be unrealistic expectations from both your perspective and the potential employer’s. This can result in either wasting both of your time and efforts, or in you settling for a lower pay rate than desired.

In your initial discussion, aim to bring up the topic of pay, or at least be well prepared to answer if asked. Here are some things to consider helping you prepare for this conversation:

  • Study the most recent market rates.
  • Talk to others in the profession to find out a reasonable amount.
  • Decide on a range, not just a single number.
  • Make a budget so that you know how much your bottom line is.
  • Practise discussing your expectations with a friend or loved one.
  • Know the kind of schedule you’re willing to work and don’t let it become a bargaining chip to lower your rate.
  • Factor in benefits you’d like to receive, and be prepared to discuss time off policies.
  • Have a contract handy and familiarise yourself with the terminology.

 

Be clear & firm

Even the best prepared pitch can be sabotaged in an effort to be overly nice or flexible. While it is important to be respectful and polite, be ready to state clearly what your expectations are. Don’t get talked into starting at a lower rate and then “seeing how things go from there,” or any other kind of vague terms like that.

Avoid defensiveness or inflammatory reactions to unfavourable counter offers. Be ready to politely say no to too-low offers, and focus your efforts on how to work with the family to meet or exceed your bottom line figure.

Mastering this not only helps you stay the course and work toward an agreement on a salary that best suits you, but it also establishes respect early on which is a valuable part of any working relationship.

 

Demonstrate confidence in what you bring to the table

There is no point in pushing for an upper market pay rate if you cannot effectively present yourself as the perfect fit for the job. How you carry yourself in the rest of the interview can positively influence the salary negotiations. Before you bring up pay, make sure that you have had a chance to present your best qualities and anything that showcases your desire to go exceed average expectations.

 

>> Find a job as a sitter, housekeeper or tutor on Care.com!

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