The next step: salary negotiation
The effort you put into your application and interview has paid off and now the time has come to secure the salary you deserve. Salary negotiations are not easy – there is a fine balance between appearing confident and being seen as overly-demanding or unrealistic.
A firm but fair approach
Your stance should be that of a hard negotiator, but one who is fair and rooted in reality. This will not only give you the best chance of achieving your ultimate salary goals, it should also give your future employer the chance to see skills that you can apply to operational situations with added value to the company.
Be wary of appearing over-confident or being perceived as showing a lack of respect for the person with whom you are negotiating and the company as a whole. An arrogant or excessively-bold approach may well reduce your chances of achieving a good result from the negotiations and could tarnish your reputation.
Planning for negotiations
One of the major routes to success is through research. Ensure that you know the average worth of your role before negotiations begin. You can achieve this by researching similar jobs via the internet, looking at salary surveys and speaking to colleagues and friends working in similar roles and industries. This will ensure that your demands are not unrealistic and will demonstrate that you have shown initiative in researching the ‘value’ of the job.
It is also important to look into the financial position as a whole as this will give you an idea of the company’s current situation, allowing you to foresee potential sticking points during salary negotiations. You can then be ready with possible solutions and arguments that will work in your favour.
Outline a realistic salary range
Go into negotiations with a specific and realistic salary range in mind. This should be based upon the background information you have uncovered through your research and your personal income needs.
Consider how much you need to earn to live, together with the minimum amount you would be prepared to accept, and your ultimate goal. Begin negotiations at the highest point of your acceptable salary scale to allow for negotiation.
Consider non-financial incentives
Before the opening bids are made, consider a range of other options to take to the negotiation table. This means that if you find that there is limited scope for raising the initial salary offer, you may be able to come to a mutually-acceptable agreement about other ways in which you could be rewarded.
You may propose flexible working hours or training and educational provision as an alternative to a salary increase, or agree to start on a specific wage that will be reviewed between three and six months after you start. You may also be prepared to accept a lower salary if you are assured of a clear future promotional path.