Right! You’ve completed the entire selection process and now you are ready to go into the salary negotiation phase. To ensure you get the package you deserve ensure you follow these steps. Firstly, as asking for a pay rise can be high risk, you need to plan your salary negotiation to ensure it goes well. Planning is extremely important. Try to remember this:
‘Before everything else, getting ready is the secret to success’ – Henry Ford
He was right. If you want a higher slary you need to plan – theres no sense going into a negotiation blind.
1) Prior to the job offer
When you get called in for a second or third interview complete or bear in mind following:
Don’t compare your own salary to those of friends in other fields
Jealousy never gets you anywhere – because your friends make X doesn’t mean you should get the same. Different career paths and fields have different salary expectations – comparing your salary will just give you unrealistic expectations.
If you’ve read the whole series of how to get your dream job then you’ll probably be screaming ‘more research, really!? Do not despair – it’s all worth it. Yes that’s right; if you want a higher salary you’ve got to put the work in – even before you’ve started the job.
Search for similar job titles in the same industry; take salary surveys remember, jobs outside London may pay considerably less as London salaries have the London cost of living weighting.
Researching the salaries of similar positions helps you keep your argument grounded in the reality of the market, rather than the reality of your personal situation. It’s more convincing when negotiating your salary with proof that the offer is light, in relation to industry standards.
Get other Job Offers
One of the best ways to negotiate a better salary is by proving that another company believes you are worth more money than your present employer. It’s best to get hold of two other job offers – if you can’t, try to act as if you have other offers.
2) During the negotiation
More Skills and Experience = more money
Consider your skills and experience – go back to the work you did identifying your skills for your CVand covering letter. Throughout the entire selection process you should emphasise your skills – they are essentially, your bargaining tools. Those with more relevant skills and experience for the job tend to get higher starting salaries. If you have any relevant skills and experience outside of the job requirements, that you have identified as vital to the job mention them – tell the employer why those skills would be vital to the company, thus justifying a higher salary.
If you are a career switcher and lack skills and experience, you need to be realistic about the salary you should expect to receive. If you have switched jobs or fields remember what you lack in experience in your new field is made up by transferable skills – be sure to mention them. For example, if your previous career was in sales, you’ll have fantastic communication skills.
Talk about What you deserve not what you need
Going into a salary negotiation complaining that your ‘children are starting university’ or you are ‘just about to have a baby’, will not win you a better salary – it just sounds desperate.
The number one, best way to negotiate the salary you deserve is by telling the employer how you will save or make them money.
Talk about the qualities and skills you will specifically bring to the role and company. Here is where you should also highlight average salaries in your field from your research – show them how you will go above and beyond.
You’re going to have to be flexible – you may not get the exact salary you want. One great technique is to give the employer a salary range. If you have other real offers on the table, you could afford to say ‘no’ – it could get the employer to raise the offer. It’s high risk but if you have the security of other offers then you have nothing to lose.
You last salary has no relevance
Never let the interviewer negotiate a salary based on your previous salary – be clear about this from the offset as it just isn’t relevant. Your salary should be based on your value to the company not what you earned in your last job.
Let the employer start
If you let the employer name the starting figure you will have the advantage. You may even be surprised by the figure the employer is willing to offer. Now, you can adjust your figure to what you were aiming for and come in with your offer.
Time is on your side
Let the employer think that you will take up another job offer if the package they offer is not right. If they are not quite offering what you deserve, ask for some time to ‘think about it’. This could work in your favour as, if they really want you, they may worry that you will take up another offer.
Remember, The Job isn’t quite yours yet
Don’t act like a shark and lose sight of the goal – it’s not a game of cards, you are not buying a used car – they are offering you a job but as it’s not final they could retract the offer. Remain company focused – show them what you can offer, tell them what you would do for the extra