I’m in the midst of hiring and, like most, I have a budget in mind. I’m also, like most, getting overworked, worried about meeting client commitments and getting in the bad habit of working late nights and weekends.

Fortunately, I know the hiring process – which we’ve qualified and improved for years now to a predictable, results-producing method. However, it’s also VERY hard to apply the process to yourself. It’s difficult to be objective when it’s YOUR business and YOUR stress and YOUR 4-year-old asking, “Mommy, do you have to work late again?”

I followed the process pretty well until I got to the candidate I liked best. We’d already initially discussed money – that’s right up front in the process, because there’s no sense in falling in love with a candidate way out of your price range. So at the tail end of the conversation, when we agree to give it a trial run, the candidate put a twist on things. She mentioned that she really was looking for $5 more than I was offering, particularly since it’s a 1099 position, but that she really wanted to work with us and would still come aboard even if I couldn’t increase the pay.

Many of the business owners we’ve helped with hiring would get really irritated at this point – some would even refuse to consider the candidate. I wasn’t irritated at all; it’s a valid request. It was still in my ballpark – it wasn’t like she wasted my time and then required double what I said the position paid. She was just honest that she really wanted to be $5 per hour higher, particularly since she would be paid as a 1099 employee. I’d much rather know this now than hire her and have her quit in two months, after I had invested time in training her, for someone offering $5 more. And I respect an employee’s courage to negotiate salary – we as business owners negotiate and have to quote fees equivalent to our value all the time – so I have the utmost respect for an employee who will do the same.

Yet, as a classic business owner and Kolbe Quick Start, I immediately go to “Hmmm, maybe we can do a bonus system, or perhaps we can increase your pay in 90 days.” (After all, that need to negotiate is hard to turn off. And I had worked on my budget for this position.) Then I heard my son’s little voice saying, “Mommy, do you have to work late again? You can’t play trains with me?” The $5 request was acceptable ? and playing trains with my son was worth $5. Why complicate it with a bonus structure or staggered pay raise? She’s hired. Let’s get started.

(Bonus structures ARE a great way to afford candidates who are out of your ballpark by creating a way for them to make more money when YOU are making more money.)

If you need help with the hiring process, or you need a blueprint for when and how to compensate your team or ask your boss for a raise (in a way they can qualify and respond to), consider our Smart Hire Solution™  or The Team Empowerment Academy™.

Laney Lyons