09 January 2015
You received a call back from your hiring manager and got the job offer. Congratulations, but don’t celebrate just yet because now comes the hard part – the salary negotiation. Negotiating a better salary package can be a daunting process and it’s not uncommon to feel some anxiety about it. However, with the proper preparation, you can easily mitigate this stress so you walk into the negotiation with the confidence you need to attain an offer you are happy with. To help put you on the right path, here are 5 tips on how to become a better salary negotiator: Do your research: Do you know, on average, how much someone in your position is making? If you don’t, it’s important to educate yourself and understand the value of your position in order to create reasonable salary goals for your negotiation. To do this, conduct some thorough research on how much the average person in a similar position with your experience level makes to get a good measure of what is competitive in today’s market. Some helpful sites that will help with your salary research are Glassdoor.com and Salary.com. Aim high, but be realistic: The negotiation process can be scary for some, but be confident in yourself and know your worth. Aim high and don’t sell yourself short by accepting a lower offer than you could have received. However, at the same time, don’t be too aggressive and rule yourself out because your desired compensation can’t be met by your potential employer. A good way to prevent this from happening is to give a salary range that is competitive with today’s market, rather than a specific amount. This will give you and your hiring manager room for a more successful negotiation. Know when it’s time: Timing is key in your negotiation strategy. Negotiate too early and you may send the wrong message to your hiring manager, but negotiate too late and you may risk selling yourself short. So how do you know when the right time is to start talking money? A general rule of thumb is to wait until after you’ve been offered the job (and only when you want the job). The beginning phases of the interview process are for you and the hiring manager to decide whether there is a mutual fit, so it’s best to wait until after an offer is made. By then it’s clear that the employer sees you as a valuable new hire, so you’ll be in a better position to negotiate your salary package. Show your worth: Although you shouldn’t begin the actual negotiation until after you’re offered the job, you’re negotiation strategy starts the moment you first shake hands with your hiring manager. From the start of the process, it’s important to show your worth in order to gain leverage once the negotiation begins. To justify why you deserve a higher compensation, use objective criteria and numbers to quantify your knowledge and skills. For example, stating that you implemented new strategies that resulted in a 200% increase in revenue is a great way to quantify your value. Be friendly and likeable: No employer wants to negotiate with an arrogant person who is unwilling to budge on their desired compensation. You want to be confident, but you also want to create a friendly tone in order to maintain an amicable, but professional demeanor. Remember, being liked will give you the upper hand when negotiating, so be respectful to your hiring manager and be open to any feedback they may have for you. It’s also extremely important to be honest throughout the negotiation process. For example, never lie about a past salary. This info is easy to verify, and if the employer finds out that you were dishonest, it can not only cost you the job, but your professional reputation as well.