So, Who Holds the Real Power in Your Job?
Real power in your job only comes with time. Recently, Superman star Henry Cavill announced he was quitting the role of the Man of Steel due to the producers not meeting his demands. Warner Bros claims any actor can play the role. As of writing this, our feeling is that this is a powerplay by Cavill and his agents and he will continue in the role with a salary befitting his rising status as a major player in the industry.
Cavill is sure of his perspective and can afford to make a demand like this. But many of us are simply not in Cavill’s position.
Striking the Fine Balance Between Arrogance and Confidence
When employers are assessing which candidates to hire, they too can be influenced by signals of approval from other people. Psychologist Robert Caldini calls this phenomenon ‘Social proof’ and explains that human beings are “naturally inclined to follow the lead of similar others.”
So, in employment terms, this means that hiring managers are likely to be more interested in a candidate who is getting attention from rival firms. If other companies are looking to hire you, that may back up a prospective employer’s assumptions that you are a strong candidate, thus boosting their confidence that you are a good bet.
What is more, if a hiring manager has reason to worry that a rival company may snap you up, they will be more eager to speed you through the hiring process and take you off the market before anyone else can. Finally, being in high demand can also give you more power to negotiate a better compensation package when it comes to the offer stage. Which is precisely what Henry Cavill is now doing after the runaway success of Mission: Impossible Fallout.
There are steps that can help you create this impression in a strategical yet tactful manner –because done wrong; it can make you seem arrogant or uninterested and backfire.
The Subtle Approach
The first step toward convincing recruiters that you are in demand is to project some signals during the earliest stages of your approach. During your cover letter, or initial phone or email conversation, you should discreetly reference any interest that you are generating in the job market.
Mention just one or two employers that you are in talks with simultaneously, even if you have only just begun the process with them, but do not overdo it. Name-dropping too many firms at such an early stage might seem like you are making it up and tip you over into arrogance.
Time to Turn up the Heat
As a candidate, it is crucial to create a sense of urgency among the people reviewing your application. If your resume is not processed by the key decision-makers within the HR department quickly enough, you may find that another candidate gets the job before the recruiter even sees your resume. So, when competition is high, it pays to get your foot in the door as early as possible. This means that you must keep abreast of opportunities in your industry. LinkedIn is a great way to do this as networking will increase your eyes and ears on the state of your market.
If you feel that your application process is dragging, then a polite email chaser reminding the recruiter of your in-demand status can help to move things along. But that message has to be diplomatic too, in order to maintain good relationships and avoid seeming overly-ambitious.
Don’t Overdo it!
You will probably get away with a gentle exaggeration about your demand, but definitely, do not overstep the mark. If you mention some vague interest from another company, then it is unlikely that any recruiter will contest that information.
But if you go as far as constructing a high-salaried offer from a named rival employer in an attempt to negotiate a higher compensation package, this is something that most recruiters will investigate. And even if they do not, your integrity is absolutely crucial to your employability and overall professional success – don’t compromise it for short-term strategic gains.
Leap Long Job Queues in a Single Bound!
This brings us back to the Cavill story. He has proven his worth and can demonstrably show his increased demand. This “quitting Superman” ploy is just that – a ploy to persuade Warner Bros to make them realise he is worth keeping and at a rate that befits his standing. If you want that role, create a scenario whereby your skills and experience can be demonstrably shown to make you a desirable and in-demand commodity.