How to negotiate salary – tips and tricks
Wondering how to negotiate salary offers? Whether you’re starting a new job or gunning for a promotion, salary offers can be tricky. Knowing how to negotiate your starting salary is important for getting your target number, whether hourly or annually. A surprisingly low number of people negotiate their salary before accepting the offer.
One of the biggest factors of not knowing how to negotiate salary offers? Fear. Most are scared of conflict or sounding off to their future employers.
In turn, they are stuck being overqualified and underpaid for the work they do. To know more about negotiating salary offers, read below for some tips and tricks for future reference.
Getting a job offer and what comes after
After job seekers apply for a job, interviews and assessments usually follow. Once you’ve passed everything, the recruitment team or your independent employer will give you a job offer. With this job offer, a salary and benefits package may be offered. Your compensation package will depend on your qualifications and level of experience, among other factors.
According to studies, women are less likely to attempt to negotiate their salary than men. No one is sure whether this has something to do with social norms where women who voice their opinions are seen as assertive, whereas men who do the same are seen as masculine in a positive sense. Out of the people who negotiated their salary, around 10% were successful.
Tips and tricks on how to negotiate salary offers
Although the number of people who successfully knew how to negotiate salary offers may not sound like much, it impacts their lives in huge ways. For example, someone who successfully negotiated for a $110,000 annual salary would be receiving more compensation than their co-worker who did not negotiate for a salary increase from $100,000.
Whether this is your first job search or you’re looking to up your salary range, there are a few tips and tricks that could help you out. Your prospective employer might listen to you, or your current HR might develop a negotiation that works for both of you. Check out some of these tips below.
Manage your expectations
The starting point of how to negotiate salary offers is to manage your expectations. For an entry-level job, not counting the signing bonus if there is one, you can’t expect numbers as high as your superiors’ salary range. However, if you feel like the recruiter is lowballing you, you can still opt to negotiate higher or walk away.
Know your value
that first salary has the potential to make/ break you financially – for many people it decides their first car, apartment, amount to save/ invest & overall quality of lifeADVERTISEMENT
— Don Petty Cash (@iamkoshiek) September 10, 2021
Before you give out numbers, part of knowing how to negotiate salary offers is knowing what you can offer in exchange for this or that amount of money. Be sure to defer to your skills and experience when trying to work out your starting salary. Print out your resume or have a cheat sheet in hand if you have to.
Be aware of your industry’s rates or market value.
If you’re aiming for a raise, one of what you may call salary requirements would include presenting enough evidence why you need and deserve it. Talking about what the market is willing to pay people with similar skills and experience as you can help. If not the exact number, focus on the percentage difference between the salary offer and your market value.
Ask for advice
If you want to learn how to negotiate salary offers, there’s no better person to ask than professionals in the same field as you. Preferably those who are not vying for the same position, but those who have been in the same field for years. Pick people you can trust to give you honest advice and weigh if you ought to follow that advice or not.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
As much as you feel comfortable simply nodding or agreeing with the person you’re negotiating with, that won’t get you far if you want to know how to negotiate salary offers. Instead, ask open-ended questions to get the conversation moving. It also shows the recruiter you are open to communicating and arriving at a reasonable agreement.
Say and ask for exact numbers.
Instead of laying down a salary range like $80K to $100K annually, say exact numbers such as $85,900. Giving a range suggests you are willing to concede to the lowest number within that range. Most employers will jump at the opportunity to opt for the minimum amount you give. If you give exact numbers, you can only go up or down a minimal amount from there.
Be kind but firm
In knowing how to negotiate salary offers, you should always remember talking to another human being. Suffice to say, politeness is a must but being a pushover is not. Negotiating might seem intimidating at first, but you have to stand your ground if you want the result to be in your favor. Firmly state your numbers but say so as kindly as possible.
So you start to negotiate your starting salary, and your employer says no from the get-go. Is the conversation over, and should you start packing up?
Not necessarily. How to negotiate salary offers comes with knowing how and when to make a counteroffer. Reiterate your qualifications once more and keep bargaining. If they give an exact number, go higher and try to make it work.
Ask for more than what you’re aiming for
The general rule for salary offers for job applicants is to go as high as possible. Don’t worry about going too high on the numbers.
The best that can happen is you get a counteroffer not too far from your numbers. The worst that can happen is your employer sticks to their numbers until either one of you budges. Always aim higher than what you’re expecting.
Be willing to walk away from an offer.
After knowing all you need to negotiate salary offers and trying them one by one, you should also limit. This limit should be your full stop when it comes to negotiating. It can be an exact number, or it can be in the way the hiring manager handles the situation. If the offer is too low or the person you’re negotiating with is unkind, saying no is the only answer.
Do you always have to negotiate your salary offer?
Knowing how to negotiate a salary offer is one thing. Always being ready to do it is another. As you move forward with your career, your acquired skills and experiences should qualify you for a higher salary together with a promotion.
Does this mean you always have to be on the defense for your work and service rates? Possibly, but it all depends on you and the situation you’re in.
If you apply for a new job, you may need to negotiate your starting salary. Unless you got scouted and were already offered higher pay than your current job, but even then, you can still aim for higher. They wanted you, after all, so they might be more than willing to negotiate some more. Try your luck but back up your numbers with your qualifications.
Can you lose a job offer by negotiating salary?
From a job applicant’s perspective, salary and job offers can be a tricky situation. Many people don’t want to seem presumptuous, so they agree with whatever is offered on the table. Negotiations can sometimes feel akin to confrontations.
They might feel tense and scary to some, but they aren’t that bad. Sometimes your imagination is more intimidating than reality.
Recruitment officers are trained to negotiate with their applicants. Even if you feel like you are too straightforward, remember that this is still business at the end of the day. Everything involving how to negotiate salary offers should be done professionally. As such, as long as you stay respectful, losing a job offer by negotiating your salary is highly unlikely.
With the pandemic still making waves worldwide, many job interviews and offers are made via video or audio calls. Work from home setups is offered by a good number of companies now. There is a good chance that your next salary offer would be higher due to needing house amenities like the internet and your equipment for work.
In addition to your starting salary, added benefits may also be offered. Weigh your options first and see if the salary offered is good enough even in a work-from-home setup instead of an office. You can save on meals and transport costs, but that doesn’t mean you need to settle for lower numbers for the same quality of work you can offer.