Money is the reason we ‘go to work’ and is also the reason many people leave jobs. Feeling valued and being paid a fair salary is integral in having a strong feeling of self worth and job satisfaction. What can you do, and what do you need to bear in mind, when you are negotiating an offer?
Here are 10 tips to consider when negotiating to get paid the salary you want:
1. Know what money you want when you commence your negotiation
If you walk in to a salary negotiation without a number, both your desired number and your walk away point (if it is a new employer), you’re already on the back foot and at the mercy of the hiring manager who is automatically in control.
2. Know what benefits you want and what you’ll trade
There are an array of benefits that could be on offer including flexible working, work from home, part-time hours, bonus, commission, holidays, training, travel, insurance, health benefits, car, mobile, gym membership, and other non-monetary perks. What of these are negotiable against salary, what are non-negotiable and what are your nice to have’s.
3. Practice the pause
When you hear the offer, nod and pause. In this gap the person making the offer could well interject with a better offer or other benefits. Give yourself time to assess what is on the table and how it compares to the figure you had in mind, even at the end of a negotiation you can still ask for 24 hours to sleep on it.
If you’re out of work talk to a recruiter about how long people in your industry are job hunting so you can factor how long you could be unemployed for. Pushing for an extra $5k could be 1 months salary, but if the average person is unemployed for 6 months your net worth is reducing far more than if you accepted the salary on offer.
5. Research the average salary
For your role in your industry using websites such as www.payscale.com, and speak to a recruiter who specializes in your sector for a local opinion on your situation. They will be able to tell you what the market is paying for your level of experience, and whether your skill set is in demand (higher demand = more chance of increasing your salary).
Be open and honest at all stages when asked about your salary expectations or current salary. It is inaccurate to think that employers only want to know this to cut your salary. Recruitment is a time-consuming and costly process so it’s far cheaper to retain staff than it is to hire new one’s, therefore employers are driven to pay fair, market-rate salaries, when they are making the investment in a new hire. It is very common that not being transparent when asked about current and expected salary will remove you from the interview process altogether.
7. Negotiation is a two-way process
At any point of a negotiation either party can walk away, including your potential new employer. Companies want to hire people who want to work for them, not just want a job, therefore your new employer needs to feel you are 100% bought into their business and the role, not just looking for a salary increase, so ensure you remain positive and engaged during the interview and offer process.
8. Take into consideration your personal financial circumstances
If you are out of work, at risk of redundancy, have been let go or returning to work after a period out of the workforce, you often have less bargaining power than if you are in a secure role. Add to this a financial need to work, often a job and income is better than no job or income. Once you are employed you can continue your job search without the desperation of financial insecurity looming over your head.
9. Research the company
You might be desperate to leave your current employer but you don’t want to jump from the frying pan into the fire. If they pay way above the market averages, maybe it because everyone there works exceptionally long hours, or maybe the company has a high turnover of staff because of a bad manager? Make sure you know what the company culture is before you make the move as often money becomes irrelevant when you’re unhappy.
Know how often your roles are recruited and how competitive the market is in your field and industry. If the role is your dream job in your dream employer, consider what else you gain, beyond money and benefits. Such as, if the company is perceived to be better than you current employer you are elevating your potential marketability long term; if your line manager is well-networked and a good leader who you’ll learn and develop under, you’ll progress faster.
Simply, do your research. Knowledge is power and you’ll be able to make more educated decisions based on all considerations, beyond just salary. It’s far easier to negotiate the salary you want at offer stage than at any other time, so speak up.
Rebecca Grainger is a well-respected career mentor, known for her integrity, positive attitude and straight talking approach. Combining 12 years of international recruitment experience with formal coaching methodologies, mindset principles and strategic career consulting, Rebecca is passionate about empowering women to transition careers and change jobs, with confidence, clarity and ease.