The Do's and Don'ts of Negotiating Salaries
Negotiating salaries can be intimidating. Whether it is negotiating for a new job's salary or a raise at your current job, people become weary when talking about money. Research shows that the majority of individuals never negotiate salaries- women more so than men.
Here are 9 tips of what you need to know the next time you’re walking into your negotiating opportunity.
- Know your worth in the industry. Make sure to do research surrounding your position (or soon to be position). Check out websites like Glassdoor, Salary, and Payscale for the market rate. Give a recruiter at a staffing agency (like M Force!) a call. Recruiters typically know the going rate for positions in your area. Talk to multiple people, male and female, in your industry. Gather the average. Next, compare your experience, location, and size of the company to the offered salary or salary request you're bringing to the meeting.
- Ask for more than the number you want. It is recommended to pad the actual amount you want to be paid. That way if the company counters with a lower offer, you still have room to get the pay you actually want/need.
- Walk in with a minimum salary in mind. Know what you can afford to take. Most peoples minimum number is 10-20% lower than the desired pay. If you accept a lower amount, think about setting contingencies around it. Check out number 4 for ideas.
- Be flexible. If the company can’t match what you are asking, maybe they can match you with different incentives. In your counter offer, ask for extra vacation days, transit passes, better health insurance, performance bonuses, etc. Furthermore, you can accept your salary on the agreement of having a 60 or 90 day performance review that includes a raise.
- Keep it business- not personal. In American culture, people tend to bring their family to work with them. They hang up pictures and discuss their personal life with co-workers. Sometimes it's easier to fall into a conversation about personal circumstances for needing a higher salary rather than talking about the quality someone brings to the company. If hiring manager has to present your request for a higher salary to a higher up manager to expand the salary budget, the higher up manager would want to know how you improve the company. When you walk into the negotiation, present hard facts about what you bring to the company.
- Bringing the hard facts. Discuss the value that you bring (or will bring) to said company. Have some bullet points ready of things that you’ve accomplished and how they have been beneficial. Avoid statements like “I work harder than most people” and “If you hire me I’ll be an amazing employee.” Instead try “based on the changes I’ve made here and here your return of investment has increased __%” and “Since starting, I have brought in __ number of clients which is __% over the average.” Be specific in how you’ve advanced a company, saved it money, or brought in more money. Sell yourself.
- Attitude is everything. During a negotiation, remain poised, enthusiastic, and gracious (whether or not you are screaming and panicking on the inside). If the offer isn't what you want, let them know you’re excited about the position, and that you believe you’ll be the right fit for the company. Express that you appreciate the offer of ___ amount but can you can discuss a salary of __ instead.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. Write down what you want to say in advance. Stand in front of the mirror or have a mock conversation.
- Take your time. Although you shouldn't take too long to decide on whether or not to accept the salary offer, you don't need to accept or reject an offer immediately. Ask to take till the end of the day or the next 24 hours. On the flip side, be if you ask for a salary that needs to be ran by HR or their boss, be patient.
Negotiating salaries is an art form. It takes practice, failures, and successions. Don’t miss out on career opportunity due to the fear of being told no.