Your salary is the biggest part of your compensation package, and usually the most important. You will work hard no matter the price point and your satisfaction on the job will directly reflect your feeling of being fairly compensated. So, should you accept the first number you are offered? Tricky! It depends on who you are dealing with and when. In most cases, challenge your boss or potential employer to meet you at a higher price point. Negotiation is an art and not without risk, so we have a few tips to help you.
One of the most important parts of a salary negotiation is the research you do beforehand. If you walk into your (potential) boss’s office with no idea what the market rate for your position is or how a pay bump will affect the company you don’t have much of a chance in coming out on top. True, your boss might not be aware of the market rate either, but they will likely be more willing to listen if you do. Check Glassdoor and other sites to see what people with your title and experience are making. Also consider what you are making or were making at your last job and whether you were over or under paid. Your complete salary history should be a factor as is your skill set and demand for your role. You are preparing to ask for more money, which is a tense subject, make sure you have justification. Know what your walk away amount is, you need to have a minimum and a plan if you can’t get that.
At the end of the day, a company likely has a maximum price, just as you have a minimum price. Understand who you are dealing with, and that they will only have so much wiggle room. Are you talking to your boss, the hiring manager, or an HR representative? They will likely have different opinions and different amounts of power. Be aware of this and act accordingly. “If, for example, you’re talking to a large company that’s hiring 20 similar people at the same time, it probably can’t give you a higher salary than everyone else. But it may be flexible on start dates, vacation time, and signing bonuses. On the other hand, if you’re negotiating with a smaller company that has never hired someone in your role, there may be room to adjust the initial salary offer or job title but not other things.” Often times, external recruiting partners will know the salary range and what the maximum compensation may be. A large part of expediting the hire for clients is to skip the salary negotiation and simply present candidates at a salary range that will elicit a yes to any offer.
When negotiating your salary remember it’s not all about the money. You have an entire compensation package to consider and there may be parts of that, that they are more flexible on and can benefit you greatly. Know what you truly need and what you can live without. Maybe they offer compensation for phone bills or gym memberships, which would take some bills off your table, and that, could be just enough to offset a lower salary.
Negotiating is a risk. More often than not, it will end favorably. Realize that by negotiating there is a minor portion of the population that will simply rescind an offer. Many companies put their best offer on the table and want a yes or no. No matter the decision on the economics, when negotiating take the emotion out of all discussions. Treat everyone involved kindly and with respect. If they cannot get you what you want now, they may reconsider at a later date. Demonstrate your value, don’t beg, and show that you deserve the raise.
If you are trying to find a new job, or don’t feel you are getting what you are worth give us a call. We will find your perfect fit (650)752-6193.