How to Negotiate the Salary You Deserve
The chance to negotiate salary and benefits is one of the final steps of a successful job search. But just because it comes late in the process doesn’t mean you should save thinking about it for the last minute. When it comes to negotiating an employment package, none of us are experts, and job-offer discussions are rarely easy. Unfortunately, many people are uncomfortable with the idea of negotiating. The good news is that even though some people have natural skills when it comes to negotiating, anyone can learn the skill – all it takes is a little research and some practice.
In our interview coaching sessions, we here at Select resumes have watched clients go from being terrified of negotiating to loving it. How? They changed their approach and started thinking about negotiating as a simple process to follow and as a thoughtful interaction with other people. When it comes to negotiating a starting salary, here are some recommendations you may wish to consider:
If its role where you are progressing skills you have already gained in your career, consider what you’ve made in your last few jobs, the results of your online salary research, and your strengths and differentiators. Given that information, determine the target salary you’d like to make. Things to factor in, especially in context with the COVID-19 pandemic, is where your industry is headed, how robust/required it is now. Other things to consider are your unique selling points, your ‘value proposition’ as it were. What makes you different from the next interviewee? Have you thoroughly researched the company you are being interviewed by? Are they doing well? Ensure you’ve asked and understand how the company reviews employee performance as well as the process for pay raises and promotions (which is a good discussion to have with the HR person during the telephone screening interview).
Also, you need to research the standard salary band for that particular position in your industry. Online websites can help you with this, like Glassdoor.com.au. Industry trade associations may also have useful resources that you can use to understand both salary and benefits packages. As you’re doing your research, you’ll likely come up with a range that represents your market value. It can be tempting to ask for something in the middle of the range, but instead, you should ask for something toward the top. First of all, you should assume you’re entitled to top pay, but secondly, your employer will almost certainly negotiate you down, so you need a little wiggle room to still end up with a salary you’re pleased with.
But is money the entire consideration? Sometimes job candidates get stuck on the idea of wanting to hit a certain number with their salary. But while salary is a major component of your compensation, remember that your total employment package may include several other factors as well.
Even if a hiring manager does not move on salary, you can often sweeten the deal in your favour by successfully negotiating benefits like more holiday time, a flexible schedule, or other perks. Flexi schedules are one of the areas that may be most open for discussion with many employers. For example, if you can’t negotiate the salary you want, perhaps you can work from home one day a week. This has become much more prevalent since the advent of COVID-19 with many employers seeing no detrimental effect on productivity by having employees working from home. Plus, which many individuals have now set up home offices.
Another good tip, especially since the employment downturn, is not to appear desperate for the role on the table. In the excitement of receiving a job offer, some candidates may rush the negotiation process, eager to close the deal. However, we recommend that you avoid being the first one to state an exact salary figure. If at all possible, attempt to get the employer to disclose the pay for the job before you tell them your requirements. If you find this too difficult or awkward, consider providing a broad range (based on the research you did above) and say you expect ‘a fair total pay package for the job and my unique set of skills, including….’ It is also fair to ask the employer what the market data says the job is worth.
By preparing yourself in advance to negotiate your salary and benefits, you can steer your career in the right direction and get the compensation you deserve!