Amanda is a passionate business writer and mentor at Cyber Pro Kenya. She enjoys empowering women and taking part in community projects.
After sending a string of resumes to various organizations, your favorite company finally calls and wants to meet you for an interview. It’s an elated moment for you. You’re probably thinking, I’m gonna be rich! Well, not to burst your bubble, but waiting for a long time for a job doesn’t mean you should take just any job that comes your way
One of the most important things that will certainly come up when you’re on a job hunt is the salary. Obviously, you have your expectations, and your demanding household budget won’t make things any easier.
Helpful Tips for Salary Negotiations
Knowing how much to expect from your new job offer and what room you have for negotiation will go a long way in ensuring that you get decent pay. In this article, I’m going to cover some helpful tips to guide you on how to negotiate your salary with your employer without coming off as either too needy or too greedy.
- Know the Going Market Rate for Your Talent
- Know the Range That Fits Your Experience
- Avoid Talking About Salary Expectations Until You Receive the Job Offer
- Avoid Mentioning Salary Expectations First
- Don’t Forget to Negotiate Benefits and Other Conditions
- Get the Offer in Writing
- Delay Responding to an Offer Until You Have Time to Think
- Move On If It Doesn’t Meet Your Requirement
1. Know the Going Market Rate for Your Talent
Every career has its own distinctive market value. For example, a surgeon will obviously make more money than a receptionist, and it’s not hard to see why. Knowing the salary range for your particular talent will give you a rough idea of what the company is already planning to pay you.
You can find out what a particular position in a particular area should pay through the internet or from the information around you. These sources are particularly useful if you are working remotely and need to find the going rate near your new employer’s headquarters.
2. Know the Range That Fits Your Experience
Once you know the salary range for a position, decide where you fit in that range as you prepare for the interview. As you can probably guess, the top of the range is usually for people with experience in similar positions, while the bottom is for the newbies. Don’t discount your informal experience, however. For instance, if you’ve never been a manager but have been a project leader, or you covered for a manager on holidays, then this experience may increase your worth.
Once you have determined your approximate worth, be prepared to ask for a somewhat higher salary during negotiations. That way, you have a fallback position if your first request is too high. In comparison, if you start with your bottom line, you have less a chance of negotiating a salary that’s acceptable to you.
3. Avoid Talking About Salary Expectations Until You Receive the Job Offer
Many interviewers will often ask you about how much you expect to be paid if you get the job. This is usually a trick question – If you quote a large figure, you will probably end up scaring the company from hiring you, and if you quote a small figure, it raises some questions about your expertise.
Should you be asked a direct question about you salary expectations, you can counter it with a number of tactics. For instance, you can say that you prefer to see if you and the company are a good fit before talking about the salary, or that you expect to be paid at the going market rate. More directly, you can ask what salary range the position has, or if you’re being offered the job. As long as you remain polite, any of these tactics have a good chance of succeeding.
4. Avoid Mentioning Salary Expectations First
As soon as you mention the salary you are expecting, you commit yourself to a particular figure. If that figure is lower than what the company is willing to pay, then you’re selling yourself short. If your figure is higher than the company’s range, then you may either lose the job or have to scramble to lower your expectations — both of which put you in a weaker position for further bargaining.
By contrast, if the interviewer gives a figure first, you’ll avoid both these problems and you’ll also know if the job meets your salary requirements. The same tactics that you use to delay the subject until you receive a job offer should also work here.
5. Don’t Forget to Negotiate Benefits and Other Conditions
Salary may be the most important part of a job package, but remember that it’s not the only one. Benefits can add substantially to your remuneration, and can sometimes compensate for a salary that is lower than what you hoped. If you’re expecting a prospective employer to match or improve your existing earnings, include all your benefits and expected bonuses when calculating your current salary.
6. Get the Offer in Writing
The more important a position is, the more likely its offer will come with a formal letter or email that outlines the terms. However, getting an offer in writing — even informally — is usually a good idea for any job. The reason isn’t to keep your potential employer honest (after all, if you suspect dishonesty, why would you be considering an offer in the first place?), but instead will serve as a written documentation for remembering the details of a conversation. Putting a job offer in writing ensures that everyone agrees on its terms, and gives you the clarity to make your final decision.
These advantages are important enough that if the company doesn’t outline the terms in writing, you might consider doing so in an email of acceptance. You don’t want to start a new position with a misunderstanding — or, worse yet, quit an existing job without the confidence that you’re clear on the terms of the new one.
7. Delay Responding to an Offer Until You Have Time to Think
In the euphoria of a job offer, it’s easy for you to accept it without thinking — especially if you’ve been unemployed for a while. However, a delay gives you a chance to compare the offer to your needs and expectations.
8. Move On If It Doesn’t Meet Your Requirement
There are clearly a number of considerations when deciding whether to accept an offer from an employer. Whilst salary is important within these, you will need to take into account other considerations such as benefits, working hours, work culture, the job itself and room for career development.
If the salary is not what you expected, and is not compensated by additional benefits or career development, you should say so. If this is not then reviewed by the employer, you’ll probably need to accept that the job wasn’t right for you and move on.
Good Luck With Your Job Offers and Negotiations!
So it’s time to start negotiating your offer. Try to hold off a salary discussion for as long as you can during the interview. Instead, focus your energy on getting them to want you. Once you receive an offer, and are sure they want to hire you, this would be the ideal point in which to engage in any negotiations.