Career Academy Tool

Knowing When To Negotiate

Salary conversations

No two employers or job opportunities are alike, and you should judge each situation on its own merit. You want to begin your relationship with your new employer on the right foot, and you don’t want to say or do anything that might jeopardise that so you should carefully consider the timing and approach for your negotiations. An employment agent can be helpful in these circumstances.
1. Assess your skills – Calculate your likely worth by looking at what the market is paying for someone with your skill set currently. You’re going to be in a far stronger position to negotiate your salary when it’s clear you’re first choice for the role. While every case is different, it’s usually not unreasonable to launch a counteroffer at this stage. If you additionally have an alternative job offer or two, you’re in the most advantageous position of negotiating between potential employers. It is  not unheard of for an employer to try a low-ball offer. You may be justified in rejecting their first offer if you’re confident that they’re willing and able to pay more. If the employer has made it explicit that this is the most you can expect then you’d be wise to take their word for it. Hiring managers and HR representatives are careful in their choice of language, and you’ll usually know if there’s room for manoeuvre. The words “best offer”, “highest” or “maximum” are usually a sign that they mean business.

2. Present yourself as an asset to the company: demonstrate why it makes business sense for the company to promote you or reward you – what is the service you are offering and what does it add to the company

3. Avoid an apologetic stance e.g.  “I don’t know if this is possible…” or “I don’t like to ask but…”. Try a more emotionally detached approach….I would like to discuss a salary proposal and here is my justification.

5. Body language: Lean forward: you’ll appear more engaged, more determined and less self-conscious.

6.Those that ask for promotion or set their price, are more often likely to get it and if you believe you deserve a raise or entry at a particular salary level, you should carefully consider how and when to ask for it. If however you have already accepted a previous, lower salary offer (or given a strong indication as to what you’d be willing to accept) then trying to negotiate at this point would be unprofessional. If the offer on the table is competitive and not markedly different from what you’d hoped for, then you might want to forgo quibbling over an extra 5-10%. Unless it stands to make a significant difference to your life, you may be wiser taking the high road rather than potentially starting your new role on an awkward note.

Stand tall and be confident and proud of what you have already achieved, and always be authentic in all your interactions – be yourself.