Posted by Robert Half on 24 September 2014
Congratulations! You’ve made it through rounds of interviews, and now you have a job offer on hand.
Get ready, for it’s time to negotiate your salary.
For some candidates, salary negotiations can be one of the most harrowing aspects of the interview process. Fortunately, since you already have an offer, you also have the upper hand.
The following tips and salary tools can help you negotiate the expected salary you want and deserve.
Research salary ranges
You want to be prepared when entering into a salary negotiation. After you receive a job offer, ask for a couple of days to consider it. Think about how much money you want and need to make. Take into account the cost of living, your future plans and any long-term loans.
Then, determine whether the offered amount lines up with salary ranges in your industry and job title.
You can get a good idea of the market rate from the Robert Half Salary Guide. You can even access salary data customised by “Job Category” and “Job Title” with our Salary Calculator. You can access our Robert Half Salary Calculator for finance, accounting and IT professionals.
Set a figure
Now it’s time to state how much you would like to receive. A Columbia Business School study found that people who asked for a specific number were perceived to be better informed and, subsequently, were more successful than those who gave a rounded number. For example, instead of countering with $52,000, ask for $52,385. “Negotiators should remember that in this case, zeros really do add nothing to the bargaining table,” said study author and business professor Malia Mason.
However, don't get carried away with expecting a pay raise. Come up with a reasonable number based on your skill set and experience. If you’re a recent graduate and ask for a manager’s salary, your potential employer is less likely to take you seriously. You could even lose your footing in the negotiation.
Be confident with salary negotiations
On the other hand, don’t settle for something that you’re not comfortable with. Talent managers will often open negotiations at the lower end of competitive salary ranges because they expect job candidates to negotiate. Show courtesy and professionalism, which will demonstrate to your potential employer that you’re confident in your abilities and know your worth. Don’t go overboard though. In any salary negotiation, arrogance gets you nowhere – no matter how good you really are.
Consider the perks
Remember that your overall salary package consists more than a paycheck. It also includes benefits such as annual and medical leave. Sometimes your employer may not meet your monetary demands, but that doesn’t mean negotiations are off the table. Work with the hiring manager to find a win-win solution by asking for better performance-based bonuses or take into account flexible work arrangements or telecommuting benefits.
Show your value
If the hiring manager does not accept your counteroffer during a salary negotiation, demonstrate that your requests are justified. Show how the company will benefit from your expertise by citing examples of how you have added value to your former workplaces, such as streamlining processes or finding creative ways to save money.
Show your employers that you’ve seriously contemplated and studied all the facets of their offer – and you’ll have a better chance of starting your new job with the compensation package you deserve.