My approach to negotiating staff contracts at FC Saxan is as follows.
- The wage demanded by the candidate is typically well above the maximum that Saxan, as a small club, permits. I therefore tend to offer the maximum allowed straightaway.
- In Moldova, some staff work on part-time contracts. It can be easy not to notice them switching the terms from full-time to part-time, so I make the full-time status unconditional from the outset of negotiations.
- I also lock the role so that I can be sure the contract offered is for the role I wish them to have, rather than necessarily the candidate’s preferred role.
- I then attempt to bridge the gap between their wage demands and our offer by improving other terms and conditions. At the outset I offer a pretty sizeable bonus for avoiding relegation. The logic here is two-fold. First, although we’re favourites for the drop, we did avoid it last season, so they might believe they will actually get paid the bonus at the end of the season. Second, staff can certainly have an influence on whether or not we avoid relegation, so I want to incentivise them. I figure that if we avoid relegation, I’ll keep my job, so I’m happy to use the club’s money to further my career.
- In each round of the negotiation, my approach is, where possible, to improve any bonus already offered and to add a new one. I rapidly increase the ‘avoid relegation’ bonus to the maximum. I also offer the ‘waive managerial compensation’ clause quite early in the process (typically in round two). I’ve noticed that candidates often value the clause, even when their profile suggests they have no prospect of being offered a managerial position. Then I move to offering them a bonus for reaching the third round of the cup, not because members of staff are likely to have much direct influence on whether we achieve that but rather because they’ll believe they have a reasonable chance of seeing the money.
I’m not very impressed by the quality of staff available but think that, once I’ve been here a while, I might uncover better candidates – so to begin with I offer only one-year contracts.