Mastering the art of salary negotiation after a job offer can often feel scary. However with the right know-how and approach you could find yourself with a higher wage each month and a greater level of job satisfaction.
Salary negotiation is something that starts at the interview stage of employment and continues throughout the lifespan of that role. As a jobseeker you may be focusing on your CV and interview techniques (and rightly so). However, it’s important not to forget to prepare for the salary proposal that goes hand-in-hand with a job offer. If you are qualified for the role and the company is keen to offer it to you, they may also be open to discussions around the salary as well. Alternatively, if you are currently in a role you want to choose the right time and place to start the conversation.
As a jobseeker, the number one thing to remember before entering a job interview is that most employers expect a degree of negotiation about salary. Many will see these negotiations as a natural part of the job offer process, so make sure you’re not afraid of asking the question or liaise with your recruitment consultant who will negotiate on your behalf.
Do your research
As well as being ready to tackle the subject of money you need to think about what you feel is a fair offer. To do this, don’t just decide on a figure you would like to earn, make sure you do enough research beforehand. You can get a good idea of what the going rate is for your position by looking at job ads for similar roles, asking your recruitment consultant, speaking with HR in a current role to find out more about how pay rises are calculated, checking online salary checkers, and keeping an eye on the market conditions in your sector.
While such research will give you a good idea it is important to remember that differences in skills, experience, location and the company itself will all affect the final figure. A recruitment agency can give you a heads-up on what a realistic salary would be for you as they will know what people with your skillset, experience and expertise are worth.
Don’t make it personal
When making your case for a pay increase, stick to the value you add to the company rather than listing reasons such as mortgage repayments, loan repayments, or utility bills. There are bound to be unique qualities and experience that you bring to a role, be sure to highlight these as part of the negotiation process. If you do this well and your case makes good business sense, an employer will find it hard to refuse.
Always tell the truth
Never be tempted to lie about your previous salary. It may feel like you are doing yourself a disservice at the time, but it will pay off in the long-run. Employers are entitled to check previous salaries with past employers as part of a reference. If this unearths a lie you may just find that the job offer is withdrawn completely.
Remember it’s not just about pay alone
It is essential to recognise that compensation is more than simply a monthly salary. Your complete pay package could include a range of benefits that increase your monthly earnings considerably. Health insurance, gym membership, pension and a company car are all additional elements that make a salary more appealing and increase the bottom line. Equally, flexible working, annual leave, and a range of work-life balance options might be far more important to you than extra cash at the end of each month.
Be ready to compromise
Of course, you want to enter your salary negotiations feeling confident, but don’t let that confidence turn into conflict. Compromise is all part of the salary negotiation process and how you conduct yourself can be the difference between success and failure (if you are already in a role, looking at things from an employer’s perspective can help your negotiations become more strategic). Be firm but fair, and don’t resort to ultimatums – they will get you nowhere.
Whether you are currently in a role or not, making the decision to negotiate your salary will earn you respect from any employer. And remember, all you need to do is ask…
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