Calling it win-win makes this a cliché and while I hate using clichés, unfortunately this is the best description. Too often in the process of salary negotiation, both sides get too focused on themselves and as a result are too rigid. A great deal for company and candidate can easily fall apart by focusing on things that are of little importance.
If the hiring company gives a little is that better than going to the candidate who is second best?
If the candidate gives a little is that better than staying in a job that has no opportunities for career advancement?
For the candidate it is important to remember that you only want to negotiate “go” or “no go” items. Too often candidates confuse questions with negotiation points. For example, healthcare is not a negotiable item, so you only need that information to help you make a great decision. Ask for benefits related information in a separate conversation from you salary negotiation. Keep the salary negotiation focused and simple.
Take a second to realize that while this is just business for you, it is very personal for the candidate. You are working to fit the best candidate into you salary range and have internal equity, the candidate really wants to feed their kids.
Video courtesy of Ramit Sethi