These three tips will help you negotiate for the salary you deserve.
1. Know your worth
Before you step into the negotiation, you must be prepared with hard facts. That means doing some research to understand how positions similar to yours are compensated in the marketplace. Tools like Glassdoor can help you get a sense of compensation rates for your position and geographic region. For more granular insights, consider reaching out to your network to learn more about how other organizations reimburse their employees. Keep in mind that this could include intangible benefits, in addition to your base salary. Health benefits, vacation days and flex hours are a few examples of other bargaining chips.
Understanding the market is the first step, but you'll have to get more specific to your own abilities. In addition to learning about average compensation rates in your area, you'll have to come prepared with examples that illustrate why you believe you're worth more than your current salary.
When possible, use examples with numbers. Think of a time you generated additional value for your organization, and put it in a dollar amount. If you're negotiating a starting salary at a new company, bring examples from your previous work and be prepared to back up those examples with references. If another respected member of your industry can back up your claims, you'll gain additional negotiating leverage.
2. Make sure your timing is right
If you're negotiating during the hiring process, try to hold off on discussing salary until the very end. Your goal is to make the hiring manager want your skills and experience badly before you tell him or her your asking price. If you're an employee negotiating during a performance review, this same advice applies. Demonstrate your worth first, then give the dollar amount.
You should consider your timing within the negotiation, as well. Recruiting expert Jerome Young, writing in Forbes magazine, recommended waiting as long as possible before asking for a specific dollar amount. Instead, Young suggested focusing the conversation on your qualifications, skills and experience so that the other party has the whole picture before you talk about money.
At that point, you should know your worth in the market and have a reasonable expectation of a figure to ask for. If you have a range in mind – shoot for the top. Negotiation expert Victoria Pynchon, writing in The Muse, noted that employers will likely try to negotiate the figure lower, so it's best to start with a number that is higher than the one you really want.
3. Prepare to turn down a low offer
If a hiring manager refuses to accept your salary demand and also seems unwilling to negotiate toward a reasonable middle ground, it may be in your best interest to walk away. Just because one manager at one organization does not agree with your estimate of your worth, it doesn't mean all the others will think similarly.
If you know your worth and are confident in your skills and experience, you shouldn't settle for less.
To learn more about salary negotiations and other steps of the hiring process, connect with one of our expert consultants today.