Embarking on a new role at a different company can feel overwhelming. It requires careful evaluation of roles, responsibilities, workplace culture, and most importantly, the compensation and benefits offered. In many cases, poorly designed compensation packages are deal breakers. Yet, a majority of candidates do not negotiate a job offer. Why do candidates typically hesitate to negotiate? Many are uncomfortable with the negotiation process while some fear they might come across as pushy causing the employer to rescind the offer.
However, there is nothing wrong in negotiating an offer, if you feel, the compensation does not match the level of responsibility. The fact is salary negotiation is crucial to ensuring your economic security. Studies show that earnings in the first 10 years of your career can have a big impact on your earning potential for the rest of your life.
Use these 7 rules to successfully negotiate a job offer:
1. be aware of industry salary benchmarks and trends
Due diligence and research is the key to successfully negotiating salary. Before you start negotiating, you should research the typical salary range for your position and skill-set. Several websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, Payscale or Simply Hired provide salary ranges for companies or positions across the globe. This can help you identify the extent to which your target company can accommodate your request.
2. upsell yourself
Help your prospective employer understand the value you bring to the table with your unique skill-sets or experience. You should focus on upselling specific skills or functional knowledge that can prove beneficial for the hiring company, in the context of current technologies and tools such as automation, 3-D printing, artificial intelligence or analytics.
3. talk about additional perks
Apart from salary, pay attention to the perks and employee benefits such as holiday allowance, bonus, insurance, company car and so on, to ensure that they match your expectations. Perks and benefits are ultimately a part of your compensation package and you should holistically review them to ensure that they are motivating enough for you to take up the role.
4. timing is the key
Salary discussions shouldn’t be a rushed affair and should be brought up at the appropriate time. In order to effectively negotiate, you should wait for the employer to make their offer first. The key is to be patient, provide a hint about your expectations, wait for the employer to come up with a number, and then let them know your expected salary - if the offer falls short. But make sure you negotiate your salary before signing the contract and agree on a starting date.
5. be professional and polite
Focus on being polite and honest with the recruiter. Never sound greedy, arrogant or unprofessional in your demands while talking to the recruiter. Always base your salary expectations on the value you bring to the company, rather than suggesting unrealistic numbers.
6. know when to close the negotiation loop
Dragging out the salary negotiation beyond a point can become frustrating for the hiring manager, which may lead to a poor relationship - even before you join the new organization. The most important rule for closing the deal is to understand the potential, relevance and urgency of the role to be filled, and finding the right balance between what you’re worth and what the employer can offer. In case the organization is unable to match your expectation, respectfully withdraw your application and focus on opportunities that better match your compensation expectations.
7. document the entire process
Once you are comfortable with the overall salary and additional benefits offered by the employer, get everything in writing. Mutually agreeing on any negotiation and documenting any changes to the proposed offer can help both you and the employer avoid discrepancies and ensure that you are on the same page. Effective salary negotiation requires a judicious balance of insights, courtesy and optimism. Good negotiation skills reflect your business sense and ability to navigate tough situations – skills that can impress your potential employer if exercised correctly. So don’t forget to accurately evaluate your worth, practice your pitch, and speak up for yourself.