Negotiation skill is a skill that not many people possess. In general, negotiation is an art. Every word you say is important in the end results.
And when it comes to negotiating the salary offer, things become even harder as it is not a “game of equal players” and therefore it consists of certain do’s and don’t you should follow.
After receiving your job offer, you can take the opportunity to discuss and improve some elements of the employment package. You don’t want to miss the chance.
First thing to know is that almost all of the element of the salary package can be negotiated. These include your basic salary, benefits, work hours and days off.
Typical Question: How much salary should I ask for?
Before negotiating your salary, you should gather information, research salary levels and learn some facts. Then, the most important task is to plan the timing of every question/point you’d want to raise during the negotiation.
You professional approach and communication skills play a major role in this ball game.
How to negotiate your salary: negotiation tips, tactics, skills & techniques
Here are my dozen salary negotiation tips:
Do you know how much you’re worth?
First thing to do is to look up salary surveys online in your local area. You may also ask friends and colleges. Find the right time to tell them during an offer interview about the market average salaries for your position. They probably know these numbers. Now, the deal becomes transparent and more importantly –with every hand revealed!
The second task depends on your connections inside the company. If you research the salaries of the company, which you can find if you have friends inside, you might be lucky in finding out the base salaries that the company offers. All companies have an amount in mind and they would never offer more than this amount. Of course, you would not get an exact number immediately, but if you would research a bit, you would get an idea of the amount that the company has in mind. Make sure that your negotiations never go above this amount.
Salary – Base amount
Another negotiation tip is to keep in mind that your current salary is the base amount that you currently draw. Unless you have taken a career break for a while, there is no reason to settle for a lower or even the same salary. Therefore, always aim at a twenty or thirty percent salary raise when you negotiate with a company for a salary. Anything above fifty percent is quite difficult to achieve, unless and until you have held a very high position in your previous company.
The art of using bracketing tactics in negotiation
You might be asked about your current salary. Try, if possible, to evade the question providing an indirect answer. Give your salary expectations using brackets. You want the company to be the first one to quote.
Using brackets is an effective negotiation tactic. Getting the other side to make the initial bid requires negotiation skills and manipulation. The art of negotiation is to get the other person to make the next move. Keep in mind that your low bracket should be slightly higher than the salary you would like.
Is there a ‘room’ for negotiation?
An important salary negotiation tip – try to sense if there is room for negotiation. In case your position is similar to others, they won’t change their regulations for you. However, if you have unique qualifications (i.e. you are a “star” in your field), you get that power key.
Negotiation – Power keys
Gauging the company’s need to hire you is a key factor. If you have reached the stage where the company is not only impressed by your profile but actually offers you a job, you have a higher negotiating leverage. This can be determined by the general interaction that takes place between the interviewers and you.
In addition, remember that it is more economical for a company to hire a professional once they have reached the job offer interview as compared to continue looking for other options. Assuming that they really want you if you got to the job offer stage, even though you might have this power key in your hands, use it cleverly.
Every company has its limits and it is possible that some other candidates are still in the picture. When it comes to limits, you just want to touch their upper limit.
Hence, insist on a salary increase when you feel that the power key is in your hands. Again, it may be cheaper for them to increase your salary than keep looking for candidates.
It is not only a salary issue
Drawing attention to other aspects is a good salary negotiation technique. Emphasize that you don’t only want the job for the pay. Show your interest – ask about your new project’s tasks and demonstrate your confidence in handling the job.
Make them feel they need you.
Why do you deserve more? Provide examples – start reviewing your experience, background, qualifications and skills. If you deserve a better salary, they might consider changes.
Ask for Salary Benefits
Some jobs require expenses while others depend on yields. The company may prefer to give you bonuses rather than increases in salary. In many cases, the company’s financial needs may improve your chances of getting some salary benefits.
Mention that you have other choices (risky!)
Competition is great if you actually have another job offer or you want to play a risky game. Depending on the case, and without telling exact numbers, you can hint (carefully) that you have other choices. They have 3 alternatives: an improved job offer, staying cool or if you annoyed them – the game is over…
Job Offer – Time to consider
You may also ask for time to consider, if you need extra time to think about the proposal before signing the contract – take your time. When you’re away from the negotiating table, you can discuss and compare job offer components that you might have missed.
Declining/accepting a job offer
In case you are not satisfied, bring up the points of contention and leave the negotiating table for second thoughts. Keep your emotions in check.
Declining a job offer is a confusing decision. You shouldn’t feel obligated to reject or accept the job offer on the spot.
Compromise – Ask to renegotiate your salary later
You can take the job offer and try to make some improvement after joining the company. There might be an option to increase your salary down the road. The company does not know your real value yet. Prove your worth and leave some room for a salary increase later. Therefore, as your last move, ask that the salary be renegotiated a couple of months after starting. Verify that they include this term in your job contract.
Summing up these negotiating tactics in a job offer interview:
While negotiating for anything in life, not only salaries, it is very important for you to have options. If you have options, and the distinct knowledge that you will be hired not only by the company to which you are currently applying, but at least by some other companies, it will show in your behavior and will definitely enhance your negotiation skills.
Of course, you have to make sure that you are subtle and do not come across as a know-it-all.
You may also be interested in reading accepting a job offer or declining a job offer articles.