The Job Hunt

How to Negotiate Your Salary Successfully


After many rounds of interviews, you have made a great impression on your prospective employer.  It’s now time to accept the offer letter and start your new position!  

But wait…  

Man negotiating salary with other man
Photo by nappy from Pexels

Have you considered negotiating your salary?  

Stats say that you probably haven’t.  According to a study completed by Robert Half, only 36% of people negotiated their last salary offers.  This damages your earning potential and also results in less employer perks. 

Interestingly, less women than men negotiate their pay, and people are less likely to negotiate the older that they get.  

The barrier to getting paid more for the work that you do is often as simple as not asking.  This is not due to a lack of desire, but a lack of certainty around how to negotiate.   

How Do You Know What the Position is Worth?  

There are several factors that influence the salary value of any position.    

These include:  

  • Geographical location of the position  
  • Rarity of the skillset  
  • Years of experience  
  • Economic climate  

Start by Researching Typical Salaries in Your Field to Get an Accurate Idea of the Range to Expect.  

Here are a few excellent resources to look into:  

  • Recruiters specialized in your field  

Negotiation Strategy  

With your salary expectations in hand, it is time to chat with your prospective employer! Approach the conversation with respect and tact.  Remember that you are negotiating with your prospective employer and not your enemy.  In these negotiations, both parties are hoping for the same result – a signed offer.  If done well, you will begin to build a strong and collaborative relationship.  

When you receive an offer, it is critical to read it over in detail.  Make a note of any questions that you have and call your point of contact to discuss them.   

Many companies use third party recruiting teams to help them hire. If you are working with a recruiter, ask them for their perspective on the offer. They have extensive experience in negotiations and are happy to consult with you! 

It is important to consider factors beyond your salary as part of the discussion.  Although the base number is important, decide what other “perks” may be important to you.  

Examples of “Perks” are:  

  • vacation/paid time off  
  • wellness spending accounts  
  • benefits, education/training programs  
  • bonus or incentive programs 
  • work schedule flexibility 
  • gym access in the building 
  • on site parking.   

Some companies have limited room to negotiate the salary. If so, ensure that the complete compensation package offered to you makes up for it!  

How to Ask: 

To negotiate an increase in salary there is a simple process: 

1. Educate the Employer

Talk about the research you have done about salary ranges in your field. You should also mention any specific skills discussed in the interviews or your applicable experience. 

2. Recommend

Recommend a salary that you believe is a better representation of your value. Suggest a little higher than what you would accept to leave room for the employer to come back with a revision. 

3. Discuss

Discuss the complete compensation package and ask for written information about any “perks” offered. 

4. Ask

If there is anything that you are unsure about, ask the questions you need to confidently accept the offer. 

5. Decide

Accept or decline the offer based on the result of your interactions. If you decline the role, make sure you leave the conversation at a positive point. Consider suggesting someone from your network for the position. Most importantly, clearly explain to the employer the reason for your choice. This will help them learn from the experience and improve their hiring process. 

You’re Worth It

Salary negotiations are an exciting phase of the job search process. You can begin to build a long term and successful partnership with your boss if completed well. Ensure the role fits into your long term career growth plan and don’t undervalue your worth. Signed contracts and confirmed start dates are an excellent achievement for all those involved. Make sure that you negotiate your salary to make for even more reason to celebrate. 

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