When it comes to getting a job, at some stage you will likely have to discuss your salary with your potential employer. There are some exceptions to this rule, for example, when an employer indicates a salary in a job posting. However, if you do have the opportunity to discuss your salary deal, it can often be quite a daunting task.
For example, if you haven’t stated your salary expectations on your resume, the salary question may come up in the first email or call you have with a recruiter. And it is likely that your answer to the question will determine whether you will be invited for an interview or not. So, being prepared to answer such a question is essential.
In some cases, candidates refuse to engage in any kind of dialogue with a recruiter until they propose their desired salary. Of course, putting a recruiter in such a position doesn’t always lead to the desired outcome for a candidate, and they may miss out on getting the job, or any calls in the future.
On the other hand, if you haven’t been asked about a salary, and you can’t find any reference to a salary on a job posting, you will have to initiate this conversation yourself with a hiring manager. For example, during an interview.
There is no one-size-fits-all salary negotiation scheme, but you can prepare yourself for this all important task. Let's take a look at salary negotiation in more detail.
The issues some candidates have with voicing their opinion on a particular salary include:
1. Many job advertisements are published without specifying a salary, so candidates aren’t sure about what they should offer.
2. It’s not always clear when you should start negotiating a salary.
3. Some candidates are afraid of underselling themselves.
4. Some candidates are concerned about being overly ambitious when they start salary negotiations.
5. Candidates who are new to a field don’t always know what type of salaries people earn in the field.
6. A candidate is interested in working for a certain company, but in order to work in the company they will have to take a career step back, and in doing so they may earn less money. Hence they may be reluctant to discuss a salary.
The reason why some employers want to negotiate a salary may include:
1. Salary information is often classified as confidential information, so there may not be information on the job posting. An employer may start to discuss salary amounts with a potential employee to find out their opinion on the topic.
2. The employer is trying to benchmark the salary of a new role, for example. The company may be trying to estimate the cost of a particular specialist role, and in doing so, they start to negotiate salaries with potential employees to see what figures are brought up.
3. An interviewer may just want to see how a candidate views themselves and their value.
4. Large companies often have salary scales. And in these cases, salary decisions are made after the candidate has left the interview, and an overall assessment of the candidate has been completed. A company will look closely at the person’s education, experience and skill set to decide what salary they should be given.
Here Are 10 Tips To Practice When Negotiating A Salary
1. Be confident
When taking part in any type of negotiation you must try to remain calm and confident. You need to show that you are aware of your value, and you know how much of an asset you will be for the company in question. You must also prove to the recruiter that you know what specialists in the role you are being interviewed for get paid.
2. Be open to disagreements
Feel free to disagree with a recruiter if you feel that the amount they are offering isn’t suitable for you. You will, of course, need to consider your argument for getting a higher salary though in return.
Keep in mind that in a competitive world, it makes no sense for an employer to offer a salary that is well below the average salary for a specialist in the field. They know that there are many competitors just waiting to offer you an excellent salary, so they won’t want to lose you.
3. Prepare your argument for negotiating a wage increase
To do this effectively you will need to evaluate and understand the scope of responsibilities that will come with the job, and you will need to analyze your work experiences and strengths that will help you in the job. Then you can decide what salary is best for you.
For example, if you are moving to a more senior position, think about what new skills you must master, what specialized programs you need to learn, and what new responsibilities you will be taking on. Then you can consider what you should be paid.
4. Do not start an interview with a salary-related question
As obvious as it may seem you shouldn’t start an interview off by asking a salary related question.
Generally, asking such a question so early on doesn’t set the best tone for an interview. And in most cases, recruiters may start to think that you are more interested in the money, rather than in the work itself.
Be patient, and try to ask about a salary towards the end of an interview.
5. Start negotiating a new salary figure by looking at your current income
When thinking about negotiating a salary one of the best places to start is to look at your current income, and to analyze what you do to earn that wage. From there you can start thinking about what your new job will entail, what extra responsibilities you will have, and how much of a valuable asset you will be to the company.
Many candidates initially inflate their salary expectation, so that there is room for negotiating later on. But, of course, don’t inflate your salary expectation so much that it is unbelievable.
Keep in mind that if you are moving within a company, you may not be able to negotiate as much as you’d like. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask for more money.
6. Analyze what professionals in the field get paid
It’s imperative that you look at what professional in the field you intend on working in earn per year. Read around online to find out what people earn on average, find out what people in the role earn in your area, and ask friends and family for help.
For example, according to information on Google, QA testers earn on average $85,240 in the USA, but in Canada they earn on average $68,250 per year.
If you are looking for a job, and you’d like to find out what people get paid per city in the US, you can use Glassdoor.
Looking through advertisements on major recruiting and professional platforms like Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn, will also help you out. Although, keep in mind that not all companies list a salary on their job postings.
7. Find out how wages grow in the company and what bonuses are available
Very few people take this into account when agreeing to a salary. However, checking out what wage growth employees have over the course of their career, and what bonuses people have earned over a period of time is essential.
Not only will you learn about any potential wage growth restriction in the company, for example, no more than 10-15% per year. But you will also be able to see what career development and general growth you will likely experience when working in the company.
Plus, you can find out if earning particular bonuses directly affects your annual income too.
8. Ask about the cost of living in the region
For jobs that involve relocation, considering the cost of living in the area is extremely relevant - taxes, the cost of renting a house, food prices, the cost of education, for example, are just some things you should think about. And such additional costs will need to be reflected in your new salary.
Additionally, if you are moving with your family and your spouse leaves their job, you will need to look into job prospects for them in this new region too.
9. Evaluate the benefits pack you will receive
Make sure you read up and evaluate the benefits package that the company offers you. There may be some restrictions or some bonuses may impact your salary - either way, you need to know about these factors before you agree to a salary.
For example, if you are relocating, the company may be able to help you with education or rental fees, but this support may come out of your overall salary.
10. Take a break to think about the offer
Take your time to make your final decision. If you haven’t been told all the details of your offer, ask the recruiter for the information. Don’t rush!
Should I Include My Salary Expectation On My Resume?
This is entirely your decision.
In some cases, very confident experts deliberately note high salaries on their resumes, so they wade off unnecessary offers. Although, a large proportion of people prefer to leave this information off their resume.
From personal experience, a recruiter will call candidates who have placed a salary expectation on their resumes, and they will reach out to candidates who don’t write a salary expectation down too. And even if there is no salary expectation written on a resume, a recruiter can ask this question on the phone.
Generally, after a recruiters asks this question, they will be able to gauge from the reaction of the candidate in question, if they are going to be a worthwhile candidate or not.
The outcome of a salary negotiation exercise may not always be in your favor, but if you remember to practice the tips above you’ll be more prepared for the process.
And whether or not you agree to a job offer is up to you. But you should try and look into the following: benefits packages, bonuses, office location, the possibility of working remotely, overtime payments, and don’t forget to check out the prospect of career growth and further training.