Salary negotiations can be tough. Especially when you’re applying for a new job and you don’t have full insight into the company's salary structure. To make this a bit easier we created this quick guide on how to negotiate your salary throughout an interview process.
1. Do your research
There are many websites such as Glassdoor or Fishbowl that provide some insights into market average salaries. Use the information to understand what you can reasonably ask for.
2. Talk to your network
We have to start talking about finance! Even though it sometimes still is a bit of a taboo topic it can be very helpful and valuable to speak to peers in similar positions and understand what they are earning. Salaries can vary a lot between small Startups and large Enterprises. So ideally you want to speak to people that work in a similar position at a company that is a similar stage or a similar size to the company you’re applying for.
3. Create a salary range that you’re comfortable with
When moving jobs you ideally want to have a salary increase but you also want to leave some room for negotiation. Therefore it can help to set a salary range for yourself. The range should start at a salary that would be a slight increase and enough to make you feel comfortable and end at a desired salary that would be a more significant increase. Rule of thumb: 5k more for a comfortable salary - 15k more for a desired salary.
4. Don’t be unreasonable
Having unrealistic salary expectations can be a No-Go for many companies. Of course, you want to have the best you can possibly get but if you expect a jump from 60k to 100k or 90k after 1 year in your work life, chances are that you fall on deaf ears. Most companies know what the market average is and HR Managers are well-trained in estimating your salary by looking at your previous experience so it’s not worth playing games.
5. Be transparent from the start
You should have gone through steps 1-3 before you start a new interview process. With that when you start interviewing give your salary range and stick to it throughout the interview process. Companies will rely on what you tell them at the start and factor it into their budget planning. Don’t change your mind at the end of the process when they tell you that they want to hire you. That might result in companies pulling out and you not landing the job at all.
6. Factor additional benefits into your compensation package
Some companies might not be able to offer you your desired salary but offer a great range of benefits. These can make up for a lower base salary and should definitely be considered when you’re getting an offer.
Negotiate a guaranteed salary increase. There are a few scenarios where this is a great idea. Sometimes companies don’t have the budget but also sometimes they are not sure if you are ready for the job e.g. when you’ve been out of a similar position for a while. If that's the case negotiate with the company that you start on a lower than desired salary but if you reach your targets you get a guaranteed increase after your probation period.
Look at the bigger picture. If you’re stuck between two offers and one is slightly higher than the other look at the bigger picture e.g. the impact on the company, and the opportunity. Career progression etc. If you look at it on a monthly basis a 5k difference is actually not that much after tax.
Salary negotiations can be intimidating, but with preparation and practice, you can feel confident in asking for what you're worth. Remember to keep it professional, be flexible, and know your worth. By following these steps, you'll be on your way to achieving fair compensation for your skills and experience. If you are looking for some additional advice, reach out to our Team and we will be more than happy to discuss all things salary with you :)