Discussing salary is often difficult. It requires putting a fixed value on your worth and justifying it to a hiring manager. With a potential job on the line, is it worth rocking the boat?
At KLC Recruitment, we believe that salary negotiation is a vital part of the interview process. However, with the right preparation and advice, the bargaining table doesn’t have to be daunting.
Negotiating has been an art since humans first learnt to barter, and the conversation around your salary is no different. You’re at the table to gain a job you’ll love and receive compensation that reflects your worth, time and effort. The hiring manager is there to secure someone who will be a good fit for the company while keeping the costs around doing so as little as possible.
1. Don’t start negotiating until you’ve been offered the job
Pay might come up during the interview process, however, try to hold off on these discussions until they’ve presented you with a formal job offer. In the early stages, you don’t want to make it appear that your only focus is on what you’ll earn. Also, the further through the process you are, the better the stance you’ll negotiate from will be.
Money is never an easy topic to navigate, however for long-term job satisfaction it’s an important part of the interview process.
2. Show your excitement at getting the job
This might feel at odds with negotiating your salary, however, showing your enthusiasm for the role helps confirm to the hiring manager that they made the right decision. Thank them for the opportunity they’ve given you before getting into the tougher discussion around money.
3. Go in prepared with research and demonstrate your worth
Your personal opinions shouldn’t weigh in on the negotiation process. If you’re offered a salary, the hiring manager isn’t going to sway on it simply because you don’t feel like it’s enough, or because you have a mortgage to think about.
Here are some ways that will allow you to figure out what you’re worth and how to justify it:
- Do research. Find out the average salary range generally offered for the role.
- If you can, check out what the company has paid employees in the past and any additional benefits they’ve included. Sites such as glassdoor.com often provide this information.
- Take in examples of where you’ve added value to your previous roles. If you implemented a system that’s saved a certain amount of time each day, calculate the dollar value associated with that.
- Prepare yourself with the credentials and breadth of experience you’re bringing to the role to help back your negotiations.
- Know the base salary you’re willing to accept, and understand why you’re worth at least that amount.
4. Keep the dollar figure for your salary expectations private
Don’t state what you’re expecting to receive in salary. If you do, you give away some of your ability to negotiate.
Even if they ask what you want, or what you’d need to accept the job, avoid saying a dollar figure. If you’re not sure what to say, consider telling them that for you it’s the work and the company that you’re most interested in, and that you’re willing to consider any reasonable offer put forward.
Once they’ve put a number to the offer you know much more clearly where you stand. If it’s above what you wanted you can choose to accept it. If not, you can decide on a counter offer. When putting forward a counteroffer, remember that the end figure will more likely settle more in the middle than at the upper end of the negotiation.
5. Use silence and time
A powerful tool when discussing salary is using silence.
After an offer is put forward, repeat it back to them but then stop and think about it. This time gives you a chance to appraise the offer, but the silence can also bring about further negotiation on their end. Your lack of comment or input can put the pressure back on them to consider what they’ve put forward, and if there is room to shift they may begin the process of doing so for you.
Negotiating should have an end result that you’re both happy with.
6. Consider benefits
Occasionally, budget constraints will prevent negotiation. However, employee benefits and perks can help make up for this.
However, even if you do get a figure you’re happy with it’s still important to talk benefits with your future employer.
7. Discuss future pay and performance appraisals
Getting the salary you want when beginning a new job is important, but shouldn’t come at the cost of future pay. When negotiating an offer, talk to them about how their company handles progression and future pay rises. Make sure it’s written into your contract that it is a regular occurrence and the process is a fair and reasonable one.
8. Remember that saying no is an option
You are not required to take a job simply because you’ve been offered it.
If the salary isn’t what you hoped, look at the role as a whole. How much do you want and need the position? What will it add to your life, and is it enough to justify accepting the lower rate of pay?
Should the answer come up no, walking away from the offer is still an option.
If you’d like to know more about the interviewing process and how to negotiate the best offer for a new role, talk to KLC Recruitment today. We’re here to help you navigate the process with ease and confidence.