Most people feel anxious, embarrassed, uncomfortable and often hesitant about discussing or negotiating a new salary. No matter what position or industry you are preparing to enter, salary negotiation techniques are useful in assisting you get the right salary by going about it the right way.
The role of your consultant
Your consultant’s role is to negotiate an appropriate salary offer on your behalf. It’s something that they do everyday, so you can be confident that they have the experience to manage this with a potential employer. Never side step your consultant and attempt to negotiate directly with an employer, unless this has been agreed with your consultant in advance.
To negotiate or not to negotiate
The majority of entry level and graduate positions have set salaries or defined salary ranges. Government roles generally have relative set salary scales. Mid-level and professional positions typically have salary ranges and remuneration packages that are more open to negotiation. Keep this in mind for what your consultant will be able to negotiate on your behalf.
Do your homework
Before your consultant will put you forward for an interview, they will ask you about your salary expectations. Just like you would do some pre-work before an interview, you should also research market trends. You can:
– Review job advertisements in the newspaper and on job websites
– Ask people who work in the industry or in similar roles
– Check published salary surveys
It is also wise not to rely on one source of salary information only, particularly if it’s your social network. Make sure you understand the importance of your role to the organisation’s strategic objectives (this is a good question to ask your consultant or your potential employer during an interview). If you are unsure, your consultant will always be able to give you a good idea of market value for positions similar to yours.
You should also determine your ideal salary range in advance – the salary you need to meet your financial commitments, the salary you are targeting based on your research and discussions with your consultant and the salary you would be prepared to accept should you need to compromise.
Knowledge is power – if you have done your homework correctly and provided your consultant with your true expectations, you can be confident that they will be able to negotiate a fair salary for your new role.
Things to avoid
Approaching your salary negotiations the wrong way can harm your chances of getting a job. Here are some basic things which should be avoided.
– Don’t over price yourself. Listen to your consultants feedback if you are expecting more than is reasonable in the current market.
– Never over-inflate your salary history. It doesn’t reflect well on you to be caught out exaggerating your previous salary in an attempt to get a higher offer.
– Don’t mention salary early in the interview process. Nothing concerns a prospective employer more than a candidate whose first question in an interview is “what is the pay like?”
– Don’t focus just on the salary – look at the entire remuneration package and other benefits the company may offer when weighing up the offer.
If the potential employer tries to discuss or negotiate salary with you during an interview, you are certainly able to ask them to direct any salary related questions to your consultant. This is perfectly acceptable and allows your consultant to continue to manage this for you on your behalf.
Accepting the offer
Once you have received an offer, it is reasonable to request some time to consider the package i.e. normally 24 hours. Discussing the offer with your consultant can assist is allaying any doubts or concerns.
When considering the offer, it’s important to bear in mind all your objectives when you set out to look for a new job. Generally, salary is just one consideration, and the organisational culture, role, location, environment and other non-financial benefits need to be assessed collectively before you make your final decision.
Once you have accepted the offer, your consultant will ensure you receive this in writing. Your salary will generally be included in your contract, letter of offer, or confirmation of assignment.