When you are offered a job, it’s not always wise to accept the offer immediately. Salary negotiation is often neglected, feared and under-rated but think about it; right now the employer wants you but does not have you, which puts you in a privileged position. Now is the best time to try to negotiate a good salary and pay package.
Before you do anything else, you should determine what you are worth. It is in your best interests to do some research to benchmark what you could be earning.
Also, if you have been working for one employer for a number of years, your pay may be out of line with the going market rate. So check beforehand what someone of your experience could be making in other companies.
To establish a realistic salary range, you should do the following:
- Read job advertisements – What kind of salary are other employers offering for a similar role?
- Look at the whole package and not only the cash element. Calculate the benefits and bonus elements too. Medical insurance, use of a mobile phone or a car, gym membership, all of these could enhance your quality of life.
- Talk to recruitment consultants and agencies that specialize in placing people with your skills and experience.
- Look at salary surveys on recruitment websites.
- Ask friends and colleagues in similar lines of work for their opinions.
However, be careful that you look at the right comparison groups when researching what you think you should be paid. Salary can also be influenced by supply and demand, location and company performance.
The greatest weapon in any negotiation is information, which enables you to justify the compensation, benefits, and perks you want. At the very least, you should be conversant with industry norms in any aspect of a job offer that you intend to negotiate, but the more you know about the company the better.
You’re more likely to get this sort of information from a former employee than from a current employee. It also doesn’t hurt to find out how long and hard the company has worked to find a candidate to fill the job. The more eager the company is to fill the job, the stronger your negotiating position.
When you have a good idea of what you should be paid, don’t forget to ‘expand the pie.’ It’s not just salary you need to take into account when negotiating a job offer – there’s also pension contribution, health insurance, company car, fuel allowance, bonuses, gym memberships, time off, hours, equipment and flexible working options to mention a few…