Do you feel a sense of stigma when negotiating your salary? Feel uncomfortable when placing emphasis on your salary package?
This feeling can be magnified in times like COVID-19, when the job market is oversaturated and the future seems uncertain. Whilst this is true, negotiating a fair salary is not only valid and reasonable, but also instrumental in your career development.
Looking at the basics, most things in this world have a price tag (including your labour!). The effort you invest at work is valuable, so it makes sense to seek proper remuneration for that time. After all, a reasonable pay packet represents fair recognition for your time, knowledge and skills.
Of course, current market trends are to be taken into consideration when negotiating, but understanding the logic behind a salary negotiation is an important skill to have even if you don’t use it immediately.
Let’s have a look…
Why Demonstrate your Ability to Negotiate?
Clearly, negotiating can ensure that your earnings are on-par with your career development. But the benefits of salary negotiation goes beyond this.
There’s a misconception that pushing for better pay will be viewed unfavourably by the employer. In fact, the opposite is often true.
This is an excellent way to show your employer your compelling communicative abilities. Let’s not forget that negotiation is an incredibly important professional skill, especially in industries such as sales. Some employers might even be disappointed if you do not negotiate!
So, what holds you back? What stops you from having a constructive conversation about your worth?
The Value of the Offer
Many candidates are hesitant to start negotiations because they fear they’ll lose the job offer. And whilst it is quite normal to wonder, the reality is that it is very unlikely to happen. Once the company has shown a solid interest in hiring you, it’s unlikely they’ll change their mind on a whim (especially if your requests are within reason).
However, it’d be foolish to believe that you’ll always get what you want and that is OK. Getting a “no” today doesn’t mean you’ll get one 6 months or 1 year down the track.
Knowing Your Value
Many candidates are intimidated by negotiations because they are not confident in their requests.
When negotiating salary, it’s important to demonstrate the validity of your requests by being well-informed. This is why researching standard industry salaries can help you feel more confident in your proposals.
“It’s important to demonstrate the validity of your requests
by being well-informed.”
As mentioned previously, there are several ways to estimate your market value, one being to speak with a recruiter. Recruiters work with many different companies within the sector. As such, they have first-hand knowledge of salaries on offer, as well as how your skills place you as a candidate. Don’t miss out on this valuable source of information and reach out to your network! Your negotiation skills will only benefit from it.
Preparation is Key
Once you have done your research, you can start to prepare your approach. It’s always recommended to be very honest.
First of all, you may like to remind your potential employer of your interest and commitment to the job on offer. Tell them that you can really see yourself working there. But… you have done some research, and have become aware that this salary is less than what other businesses would offer for your skills and experience. Finally, ask if they can help make your decision easier.
By entering salary negotiations this way, your potential employer will be more understanding of your perspective and be compelled to act on their empathy.
Afraid Your Requests will be Rejected?
If your proposals are rejected, then you’ll need to carefully ponder what decision will work best for you.
You may choose to accept the lower salary if the job role is particularly fitting for you and your goals. However, keep in mind that accepting a lower salary than what you expected may come with consequences in the long run.
However, if your proposals are knocked back, there are other options to consider. It may not come down to taking the lower salary or walking away altogether. Let’s look at some of the other possibilities.
Consider other Valuable Benefits
There are many other job benefits which could balance-out the lower salary. What’s more, your employer may be more willing to provide these additional employee benefits should you simply ask.
Let’s have a look at some of these options.
Whilst you may not receive a higher salary in-hand, attaining extra training can carry wonderful monetary value.
So, if your new employer rejects your salary negotiations, consider negotiating a budget for training. For many companies, this can be a financially attractive way to reward employees, as it improves the team’s skills and knowledge. This is a clear mutually-beneficial solution, and as such, is more likely to be agreed upon.
With this in place, you could develop your own skills. Consider attending workshops, lectures, and events that are relevant to your professional development.
Similar to training, the purpose of mentoring is for you to grow and become better at what you do. Mentors are trusted advisers and role models that “have been there” and “done that.”
Whilst this may not always be possible within your organisation, there are now plenty of programs that offer mentoring opportunities for people looking to grow. Asking your hiring manager to set you up for success will not only be beneficial for you but also for your future team and greater business.
Another potential option is health insurance. Again, this benefit is mutually-beneficial.
Employers seek a healthy and happy workforce, as health and productivity go hand-in-hand: the better staff feel, the more productive their work habits will be.
As such, health insurance is a great way for your employer to avoid illness-associated costs and retain an engaged team. On your side, you can enjoy a more active and healthy lifestyle, which can be particularly valuable if your job role can be stressful.
Depending on the role you are applying for, if making calls is a huge part of it, asking for compensation for your time spent on the phone or even asking to benefit from a phone might be something to consider.
We all know the importance of job titles. Not only do they enable others to know what your role is about as well as your level of experience, but they can also inspire confidence and a sense of status amongst your peers.
For instance, negotiating a “better” title once you pass your probation period or after a certain amount of time could be something of interest.
Although we may not hear this one too often, it is more often asked than you could think. Indeed, asking for more vacation time is a known practice but one that may require give-and-take. Instead of asking for one extra week of leave, perhaps ask if it would be possible to have an extra week if certain goals are met.
Depending on the type of work, you may be required to travel. If this is the case, opening up a conversation about travel expenses is something to consider.
If the salary is lower than expected, then you may want to ensure that travel costs will be covered by the employer. There may be room for an employee benefit here, too. Consider suggesting compensation for your commute, or a company car. Once again, these benefits will be more financially attractive for the employer, whilst also bearing great perks for you as an employee.
Overall, whether you’re looking to negotiate for a higher salary or for employee benefits, it’s worth remembering that negotiating is beneficial for both you and your employer. Not only will the company be more likely to attract and attain talent (such as yourself), but will also create a happier, better enabled and more engaged team. So, when it comes to negotiations, make sure to point out these mutual benefits!
With the right preparation, you can enter salary negotiation with confidence, and ensure that you accept a job offer that’s right for you. Yet, choose the time wisely. COVID-19 has hit many industries and companies are quite cautious with their budget. Keeping that in mind is recommended. Good luck!