Updated: Aug 18
Salary negotiations can be daunting for many. That's why one in three job seekers do not even ask for more than what the recruiter is offering. However, it is important that you prepare for negotiations on the most important purpose of your job, your salary (sometimes this may not be the most important thing to you if you are an entry-level employee or you value other benefits more, but you get my point). Ultimately, you need to follow the strategies described below to get what you deserve.
1. Assess what you can offer the company.
When you begin salary negotiations, you must first determine your value to the company. A variety of factors influence salary: consider the impact of your residency in a particular geographic region when making this selection. For example, since the cost of living in San Francisco is often much higher than in Minneapolis, you might seek a higher income.
Since 3 to 5 years of work experience is often required, you could get a better salary if you meet this requirement. If your company values management skills and you meet or exceed their standards, you could ask for a raise based on those skills. Your academic background, which could include a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree and perhaps other specialized qualifications, can affect your salary depending on the job or industry.
In the broadest sense, you can expect to earn additional income as you advance in your profession. If you have specializations, professional qualifications that are more difficult to obtain, or expertise in areas that few workers have, you have a better chance of convincing your boss to give you a substantial raise. Your company may require or want certain permits and certifications. If you already have these, you may be able to negotiate a higher salary. When you begin salary discussions, explain why you are an asset to the company and justify your salary proposal with the above points.
2. Be prepared to answer difficult questions.
Many job seekers have been asked questions they really wanted to avoid: Do you have any other special offers? Would you accept a position with us starting tomorrow? Are we your preferred option? If you are not prepared, you could say something unpleasantly vague, awful, or wrong. Never falsify in a business deal. It usually hurts the person, but most importantly, it's unethical. Another problem is that you can lose your power if you are too aggressive in trying to get more money. The idea is that you should be prepared for requests and concerns that put someone on the offensive, make you uncomfortable, or expose your shortcomings. Your goal is to respond candidly without appearing unsympathetic and without losing excessive negotiating power. Regardless of whether you have planned in advance how you will respond to challenging requests, it is unlikely that you will abandon some of these goals.
3. Set a day and time for the meeting.
Contact the employer or recruiter to arrange a phone or in-person meeting. While you can also negotiate by email, it is better to at least have the meeting over the phone. On the phone or in a face-to-face meeting, you can have an engaging conversation, say thank you, and present your reasons appropriately. Try to be straightforward and polite, because the recruiter or potential employer will be interested in your compensation and will use it as the basis for their final decision.
4. Put it on paper
Request formal documentation after you and the recruiter have agreed on a compensation plan. In addition to salary, this plan could include special conditions such as reimbursement for relocation expenses and a list of duties for the position you are seeking. Make sure you and your employer sign the paper. For some companies, this is a standard part of the job description, but they require certain types of unofficial paperwork.
5. Demand the best you can.
An important principle in salary negotiations is to ask for an amount slightly higher than your desired salary. That way, you risk ending up with a salary proposal you are happy with, even if they offer you a lower amount. If you negotiate a salary range, the company will almost undoubtedly lean toward the more favorable side. So make sure that the lowest number you propose is actually a number you think is reasonable.
6. Describe any labor-related costs you have accumulated to date.
Another argument you can use to request a raise is to compensate you for the costs you incur in accepting the position. For example, if you are moving to another location for work-related reasons, you should consider moving expenses and any costs associated with buying or renting your previous home. If you decide to accept a position that is farther from your home, you will also need to consider commuting costs, such as train tickets or gas and car maintenance. It is not uncommon for applicants to request an adjustment to their compensation to offset the costs associated with accepting the position.
7. It is important to be adaptable.
If the company does not refuse to pay the income you want, they may be willing to offer other types of compensation. To compensate for a long drive, you could negotiate higher but delayed pay, more vacation days, a bonus, or the ability to work from home. Be prepared to look for alternatives if your boss tells you right away that they would not agree to your salary request. This strategy seems to be just as helpful (or even more desirable) than a salary in certain cases.
8. Make sure you know when it's time to quit.
A reasonable manager will not withdraw a proposal just because someone tried to negotiate. However, if you drag out the salary discussion, it could irritate the hiring manager and set the tone for your connection. If the company can not meet your demands after a few conversations, you should politely give up and focus on options that best meet your salary expectations.
9. Take a step back, but do not be afraid.
In certain situations, a boss may not meet your salary expectations or offer additional perks to offset the cost of your application. Or, the company may turn down a salary that is higher than the original proposal, but still not as high as you would like. Therefore, in this scenario, you must weigh whether the job justifies the lower salary. You might be willing to accept a lower salary if the job is more hectic than your current career, closer to home, or offers more mobility or free time. Otherwise, you will likely step aside and look for other opportunities.
Recruiters often need to participate in salary discussions. Recruiters will be more likely to recognize your value if you make it clear why you think you deserve the money. Pitching will improve over time, as will any new specific trick. These ideas can help you approach salary discussions confidently and willingly so you get paid what you are worth.