Salary Negotiation Tips: How to Negotiate for a Higher Salary
Most of us have similar experiences when it comes to salary negotiation. Usually, when an employer extends a job offer, they’ll usually present you with a compensation and benefits package verbally or in writing with a proposed salary. If you don’t feel the pay aligns with your education, career level, skill set, and experience, you may choose to negotiate for more money.
In this blog, we cover how to negotiate for a higher salary. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for salary negotiation:
1. Evaluate what you have to offer
It’s important you know exactly how much value you can offer an employer before you begin the process of negotiating a salary. There are several factors that can influence your salary negotiation, such as:
- Years of industry experience:
- Education level
- Career level
- Skill set
- Licenses and certifications
2. Research the market average
Having this data can help support a more successful negotiation. Knowing the market average can give you a good baseline for your salary request and can even be used as justification.
3. Prepare your talking points
As you’re developing salary negotiation notes, it might be helpful to answer the following question as a framework for your conversation. When asking for additional compensation, be sure to provide one to two solid examples of why the company should invest more in you. It’s important to avoid asking for more money without any reason, much as you wouldn’t spend more of your money without understanding the value of the product. Provide a relevant example from your past that can persuade the hiring manager to increase your income. Outside of income, you can also negotiate benefits, time off, or other valuable perks.
4. Schedule a time for discussion
Reach out to the recruiter to set up a time to speak over the phone. While it’s acceptable to negotiate over email, it’s highly encouraged for the conversation to happen over the phone. Speaking over the phone, in a video call, or in person allows you to have a back-and-forth conversation, express gratitude, and clearly communicate your requirements. Try to be respectful and clear as the recruiter or hiring manager will be the ones advocating for your salary negotiation to the decision-makers.
5. Be confident
Delivering your salary negotiation with confidence is as important as the words you say. The more confidence you convey, the more confident the employer will be in their consideration of your feedback.
6. Lead with gratitude
Once you reach the job offer phase of the hiring process, you’ve probably invested a great deal of time and energy applying and interviewing for the position. The employer has also invested time in the process, so it’s crucial you recognize this and thank them for considering you for the opportunity. Be sure to share any specific reasons why you’re excited about the job, such as the culture or the product.
Be courteous and cautious when requesting additional compensation from the company. You never want to come across as entitled or offend them with a salary far above what they initially offered. Even if you end up declining the offer, it’s important to do so in a friendly and professional manner. After all, you never know what opportunities they may have available for you in the future.
7. Ask for the top of your range
One fundamental rule of salary negotiation is to give the employer a slightly higher number than your goal. This way, if they negotiate down, you’ll still end up with a salary offer you feel comfortable accepting. If you provide a salary range, the employer will likely err on the lower end, so be sure the lowest number you provide is still an amount you feel is fair.
8. Share job-related expenses you’re incurring
Another reason you may ask for an increased salary is to cover any costs you’re accumulating by taking the job. For example, if you’re relocating to a new city for a job, you’ll have to pay moving expenses as well as any costs associated with selling or leasing your current home. If you’re taking a position further away from home, you’ll have to factor in commute expenses such as train fare or gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. It’s not unusual for candidates to ask employers to adjust their salary to account for expenses related to accepting the position.
9. Prepare for tough questions
Recruiters and hiring managers negotiate often, so they will likely be prepared to ask important, sometimes intimidating questions to figure out your motivations. It’s important not to get rattled by these questions and to remain honest. Some questions you can expect include:
- Are we your top choice?
- If we come up in salary will you accept the position immediately?
- Do you have any other offers?
10. Be flexible
Even if the employer cannot provide the salary amount you want, they may be able to offer other forms of compensation. For example, you may be able to negotiate more stock options, extra vacation days, a sign-on bonus, or additional work-from-home days to combat a lengthy commute. Be ready to ask for alternatives in a situation where the employer immediately lets you know they cannot increase the salary offer.
11. Ask questions
If the person you’re negotiating with seems surprised, reacts negatively or immediately rejects your counter, try to remain confident and calm. Meet their reaction with open-ended questions to find out more information and keep the conversation going.
Examples of questions include:
- “What is the budget of this position based on?”
- ”What information do you need from me to make a decision?”
- ”Are there other negotiables available besides salary?
12. Don’t be afraid to walk away
In some cases, an employer may not be able to meet your minimum salary requirement or offer additional benefits that make it worth your while. Or the employer may counter-offer with a salary that’s higher than their first offer but not as high as your request. In this case, you’ll need to decide if the job is worth the lesser amount.
If it’s less stressful than your current position, closer to home, or offers you more flexibility or more free time, you may be open to taking a lower salary. However, if not, you should consider walking away and declining the job offer if you’d rather keep looking.
At the end of the day, salary negotiation is just one of the options for every job hunter, the decision would still be up to you. You may accept or decline the offer depending on your situation.