Negotiating salary or asking is a skill that few people master. Every job seeker should attempt to negotiate but it is more than salary that should be your focus.
Few are consistent in getting the results from his or her employer. Preparation, as in any hiring or review phase, is critical in the salary negotiation process, and only a thread divides success and failure. It can affect your emotions and at times, fear the result.
To prepare for this stressful but needed phase of negotiating salary your accomplishments need to be front and center. If your negotiating a raise with a current employer gather reports that establish success and workload. In either case detail is critical, if not, overwhelming. Include salary research from sites such as, Salary.com, Glassdoor.com, and The Riley Guide Salary Guides & Guidance. Proving with facts is half the battle, and quantifying your accomplishments will always make a compelling case.
Use the CNN Money Calculator if you are locating: http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/costofliving/costofliving.html)
The employer will likely consider the following:
· Level of the position
· Needed skills and experience (see: Great Demand for STEM Job Seekers Drives Up Pay)
· Career progression
· Fair market value
· Range of salary within the organization, industry, and region
· Economic conditions of the industry
· Company climate for raises and competitive salary
Now, having said that, you should NOT negotiate salary as the only means of satisfaction. There are a few other areas that should help you increase the value of your new job experience:
- Vacation and time off (negotiate your upcoming time here—paid or unpaid)
- Personal values (I have a lot to say about this soon)
- Flex time
- Work from home option?
- Future raises (“If I exceed expectations…”)
- Health insurance
- Retirement plans
- Bonuses and/or incentives
- Tuition reimbursement (find out what degrees are eligible)
- Stock options
- Other insurance (dental, life, etc.)
- Company car, laptop, or software
- Health club membership
- Professional memberships and certifications (Don’t assume the company pays!)
Do you regularly negotiate? What are your experiences? Please share in the comment section below.
A friend recently negotiated a $10,000 bump in a salary offer because he used reasoning with a company that came after him. The current company paid $16,000 for his master’s degree, and asked the approaching company to invest part of what he would have to pay back. The company was impressed and agreed to work with him. Note that he only requested a portion and not the whole. Negotiation is an critical discussion in closing the deal. The ideal approach sets the tone for a prosperous career. Remember, reasonable. Read on!
1. Patient salary negotiation earns respect from employers
If you are tactful and respectful in making a request for anything using sound reason, the reciprocated respect is worth more than a salary bump. The word “REASON” is a powerful negotiation tool because it can make or break your efforts. To present a reason as a one-way often fails because the candidate is self-seeking. To offer sound reasoning is a value exchange: “I would like to work from home a day or two a week in exchange for working 6-8 hours overtime at the office.” This may work better with an employer who promotes work/life balance but it is only an offer.
2. You’re experienced. How about flexible?
If you have given a range of an expected salary, I hope is a thought-out, calculated, and measured answer. What about the other issues important to you, such as schedule, benefits, and perhaps holidays? If you have read articles on negotiation, they will say you should create a “must-have” list. Remember, be reasonable in requesting your “must-haves.” Negotiate with the professional relationship in mind.
3. Wait for it…in writing
If you want clarity wait for the offer in writing before convening the Geneva convention. Depending on the professional level, the offer based on the value communicated. In lower level professions (hourly wage) the wiggle room is very small, which means you will have to consider non-salary negotiations (not true for every case but common).
An article in The Central New York Business Journal suggested,
If the desired salary isn’t available…make sure a position will offer other incentives prove beneficial later in a job candidate’s career.
Top Mistakes Professionals Make When Negotiating Their Salary. (2011). Business Journal (Central New York), 25(20), 10.
4. Salary negotiation is not a list of demands. It’s a business conversation
This approach is easier on both parties. No one is holding anyone hostage. Understand that for each “must-have” or request you make, expect requests. The success of this meeting will be the positive energy and mutual satisfaction (as stated in #6). Anything less than that you lose. Like the song says, “Know when to hold ‘em, and know when to fold ‘em…”
Again, the advice is basic, and by all means, read books on the subject if you desire a thorough knowledge base. Successful knowledge base rooted in expert knowledge of the value you offer and how to ask for what you want. Do you have tips to share? Please share in the comments.