How to Approach Salary Negotiations
One of the hardest things for most employees is negotiating their salary. In the ideal world, future employers would never low-ball a candidate, and excellent performance at work would lead to an annual rise in salary commensurate with effort and experience.
In most cases, employers are as keen to offer the right remuneration package as their candidates and employees. What this looks like, is, of course, where the negotiation comes in.
Here are 6 key points to consider during a salary negotiation:
1. Adopt the right attitude
Salary negotiation is just that – a negotiation. In the best case scenario, both parties to the negotiation feel that they benefit from the final result. Employers want to hire the best candidates and retain their talent; candidates and employees need to feel valued. If either feels like the other is taking advantage of them, they both end up losing.
2. Know your worth
It is always a good idea to know the worth of a position either within the company or at a comparable company. A good way to figure this out is to look at job listings for similar positions and calculate the average salary. Employers are sure to know this information, so it is important that candidates and employees do, too.
3. Get your facts straight
Whether salary negotiation takes place at the same time as an annual review or at another time, it pays to know how you have contributed to the company. If your company uses Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or other quantitative data, know your numbers. If your position is evaluated using qualitative measures, they need to be emphasized.
But don’t necessarily wait until all of the data is in – research shows that men often negotiate based on future contributions and this leads to higher salaries overall. Knowing what you are capable of achieving for your employer and being willing to negotiate for it can often result in large gains.
4. Know your bottom line
Every great negotiator knows their bottom line. This is the line in the sand, below or above which it is not possible to go. Stick to it or run the risk of either or both party resenting the outcome which is always a negative result.
5. Get promises of future salary increases in writing
Often during a salary negotiation an employer will propose that an additional stipend or benefit will be forthcoming after a certain amount of time passes, or that larger salary increase or improved job title will be on the table by a certain date. These should be confirmed in writing after the meeting so that when the time elapses, the promises can be redeemed.
6. It’s not just about salary
These days, there are many more things to negotiate than just a salary. Additional benefits such as flexible working, working from home, and a whole host of other perks can also be put on the table, especially if financial remuneration is not possible because of a company wide salary structure, for example.
In essence, a successful salary negotiation is about coming up with a “win-win” solution for both parties. This requires forethought and above all else, confidence. As the saying goes, unless you ask, you’ll never know.