You have landed a job offer. Congratulations! Now you'll need to negotiate your salary and benefits. Salary negotiations can be an uncomfortable process because no one wants to come across as anything less than enthusiastic and positive as a new employee. The good news is that salary negotiation is a very common, and often, expected part of the hiring process. Employers often offer a low salary and anticipate that you will negotiate for a higher one. With the tips below, you can negotiate your way to a salary you deserve.
- Wait for the right moment. Bringing up salary too early in the hiring or interview process could reflect badly on you because it implies that perhaps you are more concerned about the money than the company itself and what your role would be there.
- Understand the benchmarking system and where you fit in given your skills and experience. Companies usually set salaries according to several factors including what other companies pay for a similar position, average pay for people with your education and experience level in the industry and average pay according to cost of living in that area.
- Do your research. Knowing what average salaries are for similar positions at other companies will help you negotiate a suitable salary for yourself. Use an online salary calculator to figure out what salary level you are at given your unique educational and professional background.
- Sometimes an employer wants to hire you but because of budgeting restrictions or other factors, they have a limit on what salary they can offer you. If they tell you they can only afford to pay you a certain amount at the moment and you think you deserve more than that, ask if they would be open to giving you a performance-based bonus.
- Keep in mind that if you receive a benefits package (healthcare, etc.) it also contributes to your total compensation. An awareness of the value of your particular benefits package will help you during the back and forth of negotiation.
- As with other interviews, preparation is key to salary negotiation success. Know what figure you have in mind as your minimum salary. Keep it realistic. Asking for a salary that is much higher than other salaries for a similar position is unrealistic and reflects poorly on you.
- Practicing before the negotiation may help you build up your confidence. Ask someone who is in the industry or has knowledge of salary negotiation to act as your interviewer and help you practice the negotiation process.
- Be confident in knowing that you have done your research and are asking for a salary that fits your qualifications and experience level.