Navigating Salary Negotiation: Dos and Don'ts
The first job offer I had after I graduated from college was a marketing role for a resort. I got the call with the job offer, and I’m sure the excitement in my voice waned when the General Manager of the property explained my compensation plan. It was far less than what I expected. This was 30 years ago, and I can still remember that feeling. I didn’t know I could negotiate the offer, and I did not have the salary negotiating skills to start the conversation.
Fearless salary negotiation is an art, and in many cases, it is expected. A survey by salary.com revealed that 37% of people always negotiate salaries, however, 70% of managers expect negotiation when delivering an offer. When you work with TalentSource, your recruiter is your partner in the career search process. We will walk through the salary negotiating technique that will work best for your situation. We are by your side through all phases of the process, including contract negotiation.
Our best salary negotiation advice is this: know your value and know what the competitive salary is for the position you’ve been offered. The biggest salary negotiation mistake is getting stuck on minute details (like just the salary), and not valuing the whole package (salary plus benefits). A Washington Post article said it perfectly, “there is a fine line between negotiating and quibbling”.
THINGS YOU DO WANT TO DO DURING A SALARY NEGOTIATION
- DO IT LIVE – When possible, a salary negotiation should be held face-to-face. This allows you to establish a connection with the negotiator and remind them why they want to hire YOU.
- NEGOTIATE ON THURSDAY – Schedule the negotiation for a Thursday. According to an article in Psychology Today, managers are more open to negotiation at the end of the week because they want to finish their work before the week is over.
- CHOOSE YOUR BATTLE WISELY – If you have an interest in the position and feel everything about the job is a good fit, but the compensation package wasn’t what you expected, find one or two things to counter-offer. Come to the table with everything you want to negotiate; this could mean a higher salary, increased vacation time, signing bonus, relocation expenses, and so on.
- HOW TO START THE NEGOTIATION – Begin with a question about corporate goals, this may help you understand all the factors that went into the package you were offered. Use this information to structure an argument about how you are a key factor in reaching those goals.
- BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND – Be willing to walk away…or not. If the company can’t meet your expectations with the employment package that was offered, will you walk away or will you accept the position as is? Think through this scenario in advance. It can help you determine how much of what you want to negotiate is truly important to your overall career happiness.
- READ THE ROOM – During the negotiation, be sure to be sensitive to the mood or feelings of those in the room. If the conversation comes to an impasse, rather than saying “thanks anyway”, say something like, “there is a lot to think about here, when can we pick up this conversation again?”.
- GET IT IN WRITING – Get everything in writing. Although it is best to have this conversation face to face, always ask to have the terms in writing.
THINGS YOU DON’T WANT TO DO DURING A SALARY NEGOTIATION
- DON’T SETTLE – Don’t allow the discomfort of negating to deter you from seeking your value. Remember, it never hurts to ask! Your TalentSource recruiter is an invaluable resource for your job search. We have some insight into salary trends in the area and the ‘personality’ of the company that has offered you a job. We help you see the specific points of value your background brings to the negotiating table. And remember, we have feedback from the company as to why they want to hire you.
- NO TEMPLATES – Don’t use a salary negotiation email template to structure your counteroffer. You are more likely to be successful in your negotiation if you have the conversation over the phone, in person, or via an online meeting (like Zoom).
- DON’T BURN BRIDGES– Don’t take the negotiation process personally. Keep the conversation professional and do your best to remove any emotion.
- DON’T SAY ‘MORE MONEY’ – Don’t use the phrase ‘more money’ in your negotiation. Use phrases like compensation package.
- DON’T BE TOO SPECIFIC – Don’t mention the exact salary number you want your salary to be. You may leave money on the table. It is important to work with your TalentSource recruiter to determine the competitive salary for the position you were offered and to know what part of the compensation package is best to negotiate.
- DON’T OVERSHARE – Don’t talk about your expenses and financial position or offer a laundry list of reasons you need a greater salary or better benefits. Focus on your value to the company, and how that value will be a great asset to the organization.
- DON’T SAY NO JUST BECAUSE OF SALARY – Part of the TalentSource smart recruiting philosophy is we take the role of your ‘career partner’ seriously. We guide you to a full understanding of all the benefits of a new position, not just the salary. The company that has offered you a job sees you as a good fit for their ethos, they see value in your background. Your TalentSource recruiter can help you take a big-picture view of the overall compensation package and offer valuable insight into the corporate culture.
The TalentSource recruiters are excited to meet you and help you reach your career goals. The first step is to upload your resume on our website. Be sure to check out our current job openings. Working with a TalentSource recruiter is a free, confidential service to you. Our corporate clients pay all fees in return for connecting them with outstanding candidates, like you! Give us a call today to learn more about our smart recruiting techniques (574) 968-8676, or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org