You’ve been handed a piece of paper; it’s a big number, but you’re wondering if there’s a way to make that number even higher. After all, that salary offer is only their initial offer– certainly they have a bit of wiggle room in how much they’ll pay you! You wish you knew how to negotiate a salary offer confidently.
In this article, you’ll learn how to negotiate a salary offer without sounding ungrateful or starting your new job on the wrong foot. Act confidently, present boldy, and know your value. Negotiating your salary is expected by companies, and a key part of your what to do when you get an offer.
Know What You’re Worth
This is the starting point for all salary negotiation. This might be related to your experience, education, past jobs and salaries, and the field that you work in. Stay up-to-date with important news and information about jobs, and continue to know the economy. While defining your desired salary is important, you should be basing it on similar rates in your area for the same job.
It can be tough to know your value, especially if you’re coming from the freelance space into the corporate space, so do your research ahead of time.
Confidence is contagious, especially in an interview setting. Don’t be arrogant or disrespectful to the company and people that you’re negotiating with, but definitely don’t be afraid to show some confidence either. You’re a valuable asset to any team; show your employer that you know that. The biggest reason that people don’t move the needle on their salary is because they don’t ask, and the biggest reason that they don’t ask is because they aren’t confident in their abilities and skills.
If you have confidence and know the value that you bring to the team, you can negotiate the salary offer confidently. Consider delivering your confidence in a light and comedic tone, because cracking the right joke can actually help you land the salary that you want.
Be Ready to Walk Away
When you know what you’re worth, you know what you’re willing to walk away from. Often times, being willing to walk away and lose everything is key to negotiation. If you really need the job and salary that you’re offered, you won’t have a ton of bargaining power in the end. The company might know this. If you know that you can expect to earn X amount of dollars from a different job or company, you can put your foot down. You can tell the company that while you’re excited about the job, you can’t accept less than a certain amount. If you do eventually take less than your perceived worth, it will be because you’re a team player; maybe a negotiation is better-suited for some time after your job begins.
Make the Negotiation about Your Value
HR, executives, and hiring managers are all motivated by the same thing: they want to get what they pay for with a new hire. If you make it sound like you want more money just because you want more money, the company may realize that you don’t have a lot of leverage and may stick to their original offer. If you make the negotiation about the value that you can bring to the company, they may realize that you know your value and could take it to other companies that might be willing to pay more if they really want you.
While you should never mention or reference other job opportunities explicit or in detail, you can mention that you’re still considering your options. Make sure they know that you have other options, but don’t come out and say that you do. It’s all about grace, tact, and balance. Managers know that the hiring space for top talent is competitive, and are usually willing to pay a bit more to get you if they know you have options.
Know What the Company and Job are Worth
Of course, you won’t get very far in the negotiation of your salary offer if you don’t know what the company makes, how much capital they are able to spend on employees, and how much your job is worth to them.
Understand the company and the culture by doing your research about its finances. It is also important to know how much your type of position gets paid at similar types of companies with similar revenue streams. Search for similar jobs to understand exactly what compensation and benefits you should be receiving. Remember that salary negotiation is basically a complex game-theory scenario.
Tack on some extra dollars for your sparkling personality, polished resume, and great skill set, and that is how much you could be making. If you know how much you’re worth and know what the job is worth, you can make yourself a competitive candidate.
Go Through Appropriate Channels
Never negotiate behind a company’s back. When you’re communicating about your salary expectations, make sure to keep everyone in the loop. If you’ve been talking to a senior level executive and someone from HR, make sure to talk to both of those people at the same time. If you talk to them through different channels, make sure that you communicate the same expectations from both of them. Don’t try to play internal people against each other or mention different salary amounts and expectations.
Initially, you may be communicating your salary expectations in an interview, during which non-verbal communication will be critical to show confidence. Always follow-up and clearly communicate your salary expectations in writing; this way, there is no miscommunication.
Know Who You’re Talking To
Sometimes we can get wrapped up in a salary negotiation and forget who will be paying us. If you’re negotiating a salary offer with the owner of the company, your tactics will be different because you’ll be directly cutting into their profits. But if you’re talking to a different executive and the HR department, remember that while these people might get bonuses for keeping costs down, their own salary is not affected by what you get paid.
A company may have instructions to not only hire the right person, but to do that while shaving off more than a few bucks. If you need to negotiate with them, keep this in mind. Show how you’re a likable person, team player, and an asset to the company. There are many ways to tactfully negotiate even for people who hate conflict.
Make your salary request about how you add value to the company and will be a faithful hire, and not about how you want more money. When you’re thinking about how to negotiate your salary offer, remember the pain points and desires of the person you’re negotiating with. Salary negotiations have a complex psychology, and those presuppositions will be different if its the owner or someone from HR.
Don’t be afraid to show confidence and negotiate that salary offer. Companies are always looking for great applicants to fill their roles. Make sure you use all your resources in your job search, including getting help from staffing agencies which are always looking for talent to fill top roles.
Know what you’re worth, know what the company is worth, and understand the position of the person that you’re negotiating with. If you can do those three things you’ll be in a confident, stable position from which to negotiate.