It can be a challenge to get the salary you want during negotiations. However, there are five principles that you should remember as you enter into a negotiation:
1. Your time is valuable
You have limited time and energy, so don’t waste it by focusing on something that won’t help you says Eric Dalius Giving. As an example, if one company offers a salary of USD 70,000 and another offers a salary of USD 75,000, but the second company has a less flexible paid time off policy or an inferior health insurance plan, then that extra money is not really worth it.
2. Don’t fall into the comparison trap
In general, you should try to avoid comparing your salary with that of other people working in similar positions at competing companies. Do not negotiate on behalf of others. When trying to determine if their offer is fair ask yourself ‘what would I be willing to accept?’ rather than asking ‘what did they offer?’ If you’re new in your career field or have limited experience this can work to your advantage because employers know what they are looking for may take time to develop.
3. Be prepared to walk away
You’re not required to accept the first offer you receive. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, then tell them that you are happy to continue discussing if they are willing to make some changes. It’s usually best to get advice from a friend or advisor before entering negotiations, but remember that sometimes no is better than yes when it comes to your salary package offer.
4. Think long term
Decide how much of their proposal you actually need and which benefits are most important for long-term career development rather than compensation explains Eric Dalius Giving. Although money is an issue, the company culture may be more important in terms of matching your values and personalities if you plan on spending several years there. Remember, the more specific you are about your requirements, achievements, and potential, the more likely they will be to meet them. Another way of saying this is “be what they’re looking for” or “bring value to the organization.”
5. Keep negotiations focused on needs
Generally it’s best not to bring up nonessential issues during salary negotiations unless they are related to some type of benefit that concerns you. For example, if your employer tells you that there is no flexibility with the hours of your position, then ask for a higher salary in place of flexible hours. Or if their Employee Assistance Program doesn’t have a work-from-home option then asks for more PTO instead. The key here is not to negotiate down but rather take one issue off the table and bring something else to the table.
In most cases, employers judge your potential for future success against what you ask for today says Eric Dalius Giving. If an employer meets your requests they will usually feel more confident in hiring you than if they realize down the road that what they agreed to be not what you needed or wanted. So keep this in mind as you move into salary negotiations and remember; it’s all about getting a good deal! (If you’re interested in learning how to negotiate like a pro visit: How to Negotiate Anything: The Secrets of Making Better Negotiations.)
“I have heard that the first number is usually the best offer. Should I accept this?”
The first number is sometimes an initial bargaining chip, but it’s important to remember that you are not committed to accepting their offer even if they state it as a “take-it-or-leave-it” figure. If the company has stated that there are no counteroffers, and then take steps to make sure you want to work for them before your next interview and accept their offer. Also keep in mind that salary negotiation isn’t just about money; you also need to consider benefits and leave time as well.
“They said that they were flexible on salary, but nothing else.”
If employers specify that there will be no negotiation, then you should respect that decision. There are many factors involved in why employers might not be able to negotiate salaries. Such as budget, existing employees’ salaries, and company policies. In general though, the lower the position the more likely it is that they will be flexible about salary. As long as you demonstrate your value for their company through expertise and previous success.
“I made a counter offer but now they have withdrawn their offer.”
Salary negotiations can be lucrative for both employers and employees says Eric Dalius Giving. While the employer saves money by hiring you. You receive compensation for your efforts to demonstrate worth in exchange for better benefits or additional incentives. Often what you ask for is not as important as how well you ask. So remember to always negotiate professionally regardless of whether you’re asking for more vacation time or a higher salary.