7 expert tips to negotiate salary

Whether you’re starting a new role or aiming for a promotion at your current job, you know you should be negotiating the salary.

A survey by Salary.com revealed that only 37% of people always negotiate their salaries, while an astonishing 18% never do. The reason? Fear.

For many people, negotiating their salary is uncomfortable. For example, you might be afraid an employer will withdraw their offer altogether if you ask for more than you were initially offered, but don’t let your discomfort and fear deter you from making a counteroffer. Here are seven tips to help you strategically and confidently negotiate your salary in order to get what you want.

1) Know what the job’s worth

Starting out, it’s easy to believe you’re worth more than what you’re being paid, but according to the national and local job market, information is the best weapon at your disposal. If you’re one of the primary candidates for a high-ranking job, your future employer may have a difficult time finding someone with your skills and experience to fill their position. This gives you a competitive edge to start salary negotiations. To find out how much you should be paid, download The Mason Group’s Accounting & Finance Salary Guide.

2) Be clear about the salary you expect

In job interviews, it’s not uncommon for an employer to ask you what salary you might expect or want for the job they are hiring for. Giving a wide range may seem like the safer option, but it could just end up with them giving you the shorter end of the stick. Turns out, when employees use a more precise number in their initial negotiation request, they are more likely to get a final offer closer to what they were hoping for. That’s because by asking for a precise number, you show the employer you’ve done extensive research and you know your market value.

When considering your numbers, you should also come up with a “walk away point,” a final number or offer that’s so low that you have to walk away. Turning down a job offer is certainly not easy, but it’s important to know when to do it, and ultimately, it demonstrates power and confidence.

3) Make sure your timing is right

Before you ask your employer for a higher salary, you’ll need to make sure you’re ready and that you’re timing is right. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

Have you been at your job for more than a year? Have you taken on more projects since you’ve been hired? Have your responsibilities grown since you’ve started this job?  Are you exceeding expectations? The answer to all of these questions should be “yes.”

4) Demonstrate your value

Salary discussions and negotiations go both ways. When talking about your career and capabilities, you shouldn’t just describe what you have to offer, but describe yourself in a way that shows the employer what they will gain by hiring you for the job. You should do research on the company you’re interviewing for, and gather real-life examples of how your skills can help the company grow and improve. This will show your interviewer how serious and dedicated you are for the job.

5) Benefits are important

Salary negotiations often include a debate, as well as discussions on both sides. It may be difficult for an employer to give you everything that you’re asking for, but that doesn’t mean they can’t bring other benefits to the table, like bonuses, profit share, extra vacations days, etc. Take into consideration what’s valuable and being offered to you. If you’re considering multiple offers, make sure to directly compare each benefit offered between jobs to find the best overall fit or offer for you. It’s important to also include factors beyond compensation, like advancement in the professional company sphere, for example.

6) Make sure you don’t belabour the point

A fair employer won’t withdraw an offer just because you start a salary negotiation, and if they do, they’re probably not worth working for in the first place. But, it’s important not to drag out a salary negotiation, as this can frustrate your employer and make them less likely to hear you out. If after a few discussions your employer still won’t take into account your request, you should respectfully withdraw from the offer and focus on opportunities that better match your salary expectations.

7) Get everything in writing to protect your deal

Once you finally settle on a compensation package with your employer, to secure the deal, it’s important that you request documentation of your final offer. In the document, any special arrangements should be evident in writing, along with the description of your job, and a list of responsibilities and duties that go along with it. Make sure that both you and your employer sign the document to ensure your protection.


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