All the best tips you need for your next salary negotiation
Why do you need to know these tips?
According to Procurement Tactics , 28,000 people per month google “how to negotiate salary”. For many, it’s a prickly subject but an integral part of career progression.
As Australia marks its lowest unemployment rate in over a decade, the job market has changed considerably. This presents new opportunities and challenges for both existing employees and job seekers.
Wherever you are on your career trajectory, there is always an opportunity to change or progress. While we’re seemingly stuck in limbo between ‘unprecedented times’ and a post-Covid-19 world, many people are looking for silver linings, particularly within their jobs. Your approach to negotiating salary can play a crucial part in this. Oversaturation in some industries has granted employers additional negotiating power, while the ‘great resignation’ is seeing many people fleeing their jobs to explore new avenues.
We’ve shared our top tips for successful salary negotiation to help you navigate this process and achieve your desired outcome.
What can research do to improve your chances of a successful negotiation?
Whether you’re interviewing for a new position or negotiating your salary at your current job, research can be the difference you need to succeed. You should be researching two things before negotiating: constraints and the person you’ll be dealing with.
Constraints are essential to understand before negotiating, as the flexibility available can differ depending on the company. Sometimes companies are rigid on salaries but flexible on the opportunity for growth, training opportunities, or other perks. Other times, they’re flexible on salary, but not on anything else! It’s important to understand where the employer fits in, and if there’s a possibility, they’re not flexible. This is important to research before negotiation as your efforts may be wasted if the employer is very rigid in their offers.
A meeting with a CEO or founder can present a very different outcome than that of a company’s mid-tier manager. Executive-level managers may have more flexibility and greater authority to meet requests, making your negotiating efforts more worthwhile.
Researching this information in advance will allow you to adjust your approach and increase your chances of success.
Why preparation matters
Answering questions off the cuff can be daunting, no matter how prepared. While some answers will come naturally and require little planning, preparation is crucial when negotiating salary.
It’s essential to prepare for the challenging and uncomfortable questions that could arise. Without preparation, employees or candidates may sell themselves short. Questions such as “what salary would you expect from us” and “explain how your previous experience justifies a higher salary” are typically asked by hiring managers. It’s essential to research the market ahead of these conversations to gauge salary standards that apply to your level of skills, experience and the value you can bring to the company.
When we’re unprepared, we’re more likely to people-please and feel uncomfortable asking for what we really want. Your ultimate goal is to come across as the ideal candidate for that raise/position whilst also asking for the right salary.
Practising what you would like to say can also help you prepare. We suggest practising with anyone you can – ask them the tough questions, and practice how you might respond. This can help you become more comfortable talking about the matter, and it’s also a great way to get feedback and tips from others.
Communication can make a huge difference
When negotiating salary, effective communication is essential. Most of us have been asked why we want to work for a company during the interview process. How you respond to this question will not only impact your success in landing the role, but it can also dictate how much the company will be willing to pay you. Of course, wanting to work there is the first step, and secondly, you must be able to clearly and concisely convey your reason. If you are looking to progress with the company you already work for, reiterating why you chose the company in the first place may be worthwhile. Employers value employees who want to help grow and better the company. Therefore, employers will be more willing to meet your salary expectations if you’ve communicated your reasoning and desire for wanting that position.
It’s important to remember that the overall goal of a negotiation is to find an outcome that suits both parties. Holding a ‘me vs them’ mentality can significantly hinder your chances of reaching a positive outcome, and therefore, it is helpful to consider your relationship as a collaboration. After all, you are all on the same team.
Communicating why you think you deserve the higher salary is important, but it’s also essential to ask the employer their expectations for someone of that salary. Also, ask what you could improve to increase your salary.
While the outcome may be entirely out of your hands, taking these steps will help you stand out against competitors and have peace of mind knowing you asked for what you want. Whether you strike success the first time or it takes multiple negotiations, you gain valuable experience that will help you throughout your career.