How to Negotiate A Job Offer? Tips for Salary Negotiation

It is not surprising that most people are not comfortable asking for more money once their job search has ended and they have an offer in hand. If the salary is reasonable, they do not want to jeopardize the opportunity now that they have come this far. And let us face it, money is not an easy topic whether you are trying to buy a new car or land a new job.

Whether or not there is a global pandemic, salary negotiations can be stressful and many questions like this hover in mind:

• When should I negotiate for a higher salary and what do I need to know before negotiating?
• How do I make a case for a higher salary?
• Should I take any offer or a lower level job offer during COVID-19?
• In other words, should I settle for something less? Would it be wise to negotiate a higher salary during COVID-19?

How to Prepare??

To get the salary you want, you need to lay the groundwork long before you arrive at the negotiation table. Here is a step-by-step guide.

  1. Start with your research: Prior to your interview, research on your potential employer to get an idea of how they have been affected by COVID-19. You might find indicators on news sites, social media or the company’s website. If you know someone who currently works for the company, then you could also ask if they have any insights to share.

    During the interview, consider asking questions such as:
    • How has COVID-19 affected the company?
    • What challenges has the company faced since the onset of COVID-19?
    • How is the company recovering from the impacts of COVID-19?

    Getting answers to questions like these may help you better plan your negotiation conversation if you move onto the offer stage. For example, if you find the company to be under a significant amount of financial and operational pressure, you can then plan your response while negotiating.
  1. Understand what you have to offer employers: After receiving an offer, take a moment to consider your qualifications in the current environment. If a company has extended an offer to you, then you have likely demonstrated skills and value that they need in this competitive environment.

    If you feel like you are highly qualified for the role and the initial offer does not meet your expectations, it might be a good idea to negotiate. 
  1. How to identify the right pay: Before initiating a negotiation conversation, research to gain a strong understanding of your personal & professional value which will be unique to your work experience and location.

    Factors that can impact your professional value include:

    • Years of industry experience
    • Years of leadership experience
    • Level of education
    • Level of seniority
    • Skills
    • Licenses and certifications
    • Conditions of the local job market
    • Supply and demand for your expertise

Another factor that might impact your professional value, especially now, are qualifications for a role that is considered essential during COVID-19 and requires niche skills.

Conducting research from multiple sources will give you a better understanding of a fair value for your role and experience. Gathering this information and using it to prepare for an offer negotiation can help you feel more comfortable and confident during the conversation.

How to Negotiate Salary??

Set yourself up for a successful negotiation by clearly communicating your skills and experience throughout the entire interview process. If you make it to the offer stage, you should feel confident that you were the best candidate for the position.

Negotiate Your Salary like a Pro

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Ten tips for conducting a job offer negotiation:

  1. Wait until you have an offer in-hand: You might be tempted to begin negotiations early in the interview process if a recruiter asks for your salary expectations, but initiating a negotiation on salary and benefits before you’ve proved that you’re the best candidate for the role might be negatively perceived.
  2. Request a phone call with the company or recruiter to discuss the offer: After you have received an offer and decided to negotiate, consider having the conversation over the phone instead of sending an email where your tone or intention could be misinterpreted.
  3. Lead with gratitude: As a best practice, convey your excitement about the role and gratitude for the offer before you begin discussing your requests.
  4. Emphasize on your qualifications: Acknowledge your accomplishments, skills and experience to demonstrate the value you bring to this specific role. You might also provide examples of how your qualifications can help you make an immediate impact at the company.
  5. Present your proposal: After the employer has presented their initial offer, take some time to understand how you want to negotiate and share your salary preference and/or benefit requests.

    It is best to have your desired salary in mind. Be as specific as possible about what you need in their final offer by either providing a specific number, range or percentage increase. It can be helpful to identify your non-negotiable terms ahead of time. For example, if they are unable to meet your salary requirements, what is the minimum you are willing to accept?
  1. Mention other offers if you have them: Carefully mention other factors that affect your decision, such as additional job offers or late-stage interviews with other companies.
  2. Consider negotiables beyond salary: If the company is unable to give you a higher salary, consider negotiating these additional benefits:
    • Flexible schedule
    • Paid time off
    • Joining bonus
    • Regular performance reviews with opportunity for pay increase
  3. Understand that you may not receive an immediate response: Regardless of whether you are speaking with a recruiter or a decision-maker, it’s possible that they will need time to consider your requests. Be patient, but you can also ask when you should expect to hear from them.
  4. Seek candid guidance: If there is no flexibility in compensation or benefits, you might ask if there are any possible next steps. For instance, “I am really interested in this opportunity and would love to work here. What have you done in the past with candidates to close the gap if a higher salary is not an option?” There might have been a similar situation the company would have encountered in the past and there may be a protocol to help you move forward with the discussion.
  5. Keep your emotions in check: Salary negotiation can put you through a roller coaster of emotions. It can be scary, stressful, exciting and even frustrating. Regardless of how challenging the salary negotiation process becomes, make sure to keep a positive attitude and stay professional.

Knowing what to say while negotiating your salary is not something you learn overnight, but it certainly is something you can improve upon with a little practice.

All the Best! Go ahead and capitalize your net worth!!

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