​How to Negotiate Salary

​How to Negotiate Salary

Posted on 08 May 2024

When you are on the journey of interviewing for a new role, it’s likely you will have to disclose what your salary is.

In our recent blog post, How to Answer ‘What’s Your Salary’, we discussed the importance of addressing salary in interviews, and how to overcome the challenges faced by the question. However, knowing how to negotiate your salary after your interview is a great advantage to any candidate.

When it comes to salary negotiation many people struggle with this process. A recent survey from Salary.com showed that nearly half of those who were studied (48%) said they were always apprehensive when it came to salary negotiations, with another 30% stating they sometimes feel that way. The other 13% said they never struggle with the salary negotiation process.

In this blog, we will be discussing how to negotiate a salary, how to ask for a higher salary and general tips on how to negotiate and receive the best possible salary and package you can.

Preparation

Preparation is key to negotiating your salary successfully and for it to be in your favour. If you are prepared, and you know your facts, numbers and your worth then you will be more likely to get the outcome and salary you desire.

Before you start interviewing for a new role, be sure to conduct research into what the salary ranges are for the job and you are interviewing for, make sure to search within your location for a more accurate range. Websites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn and PayScale can provide valuable information when it comes to salary benchmarks for similar positions across the UK.

Alongside knowing what the typical salary ranges are within the current market, it is also important to be able to discuss your own market value. Determining what you are worth as an employee, take into consideration your previous experience, skills and the current industry standards.

Using these factors calculate what the minimum salary would be for you to accept and your ideal target salary.

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Timing

There is nothing wrong with beginning the negotiation process during the stages of interviews, but you do need to be mindful of timing.

During some interviews, you will find that the employers want to talk numbers straight away, but we would advise against talking about salary expectations too early on.

Our recent blog How to Answer ‘What’s Your Salary’ explains that it is best practice to avoid salary discussions right away and if you are asked this question to change the topic and instead express your interest in the role and display why you are a good candidate. Building up a rapport with the interviewer/s and selling your skills is more important in the early stages.

Click here for more tips on how to answer ‘What’s Your Salary

When the time comes to discuss salary expectations, this should be done towards the end of the interview. The best way to go about this process is to gain an understanding of the rough salary bracket they are offering and what your expectations are during this discussion.

Don’t agree on anything in this process, it is purely a time to have a discussion on expectations and to showcase why you deserve a higher salary. Once an offer is made this is when you can begin the more strategic tactics to lock in a specific salary.

Strategies

When the time comes to negotiate your salary, one of the most important strategies is to avoid being the first person to name a specific salary figure. If you let the employer, make the initial move of stating a salary figure and the first offer on the table you can maintain control and avoid anchoring the negotiation to a potentially low number.

Focus the discussion on the value that you will bring to the role, highlight your skills, experience, qualifications, and what type of positive impact you will make towards the organisation. Showcase your worth and you will be more likely to swing the negotiation in your favour.

Instead of negotiating with a single desired salary figure, provide a range and make sure this range accounts for your market value while still leaving room for negotiation. Negotiating salary after you have provided a range allows for flexibility and opens the door for more of a negotiation discussion. Another thing to consider is the value that can come from non-salary-based benefits, these may include negotiating for additional paid leave, flexible working arrangements, personal development opportunities, enhanced healthcare coverage etc.

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Handling Salary Objections

During the salary negotiation process if you ask for a higher salary and the employer says no, this doesn’t mean the negotiation is over. Responding professionally to this is extremely important, Thorman says to try responding something along the lines of “I understand where you’re coming from, and I just want to reiterate my enthusiasm for this position and working with you and your team. I think given my skills and experience I am perfectly suited for this position and are worth XXX salary”

Be sure to provide data and a solid justification as to why you should be receiving said salary, use examples of your skills, experiences, and market research data to back your requested number.

Be willing to continue negotiating until you can reach a mutually agreeable agreement, this can be a complicated process but the more you do it the easier it will become. If the employer really won’t move on the negotiation process for a certain salary you want, try to negotiate in other ways, would you take more paid leave? More flexible working hours? Health benefits? Try and negotiate a mutual agreement in other ways.

Closing the Deal

Once you have come to an agreement that both parties are happy with the negotiations can end but the process isn’t fully over just yet. You will need to get a salary or compensation agreement in formal writing from your new employer to ensure the agreement is now set in stone as a part of your contract.

Be sure to express your gratitude and enthusiasm for the role you have, even if the salary is lower than your ideal range. You want to leave the conversation on a positive note, so you are enabling the negotiation door to stay open for the future if you feel as though you want to renegotiate.

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