Salary Negotiation Strategies

For most students, and even for more experienced employees, salary negotiations can be quite a nuisance and a very emotional experience.

Sure, you want the job, yet you would like better pay, or you just want to get paid what you think the position is worth, but you may be a little hesitant or not assertive enough.

And what’s more, how would you negotiate higher compensation or better bonuses or fringe benefits if you just graduated and have virtually no experience on this matter?

Well, the proper answer is that, although you won’t at all times get what you wanted, it is crucial that you understand the process of negotiating, feel how it goes, and begin to start getting yourself into that more assertive role.

Read on to get the feeling of being in control, and you may end up getting better perks and get a better salary deal in the process.

Understand the process

Let’s first take a look at the definition of negotiation. Well, simply put, it is the process of discussing a subject in a meeting with another person with the objective of reaching an agreement. The game (or art) of negotiation is founded on the idea of mutual agreement on specific issues, not on confrontation.

Though salary negotiations usually start after your interview, they actually already begin for you at the time of the initial interview. You’ve managed to open the door successfully, and what you are telling the company representative about you as a person, about your accomplishments, and what you can contribute to them, is important and will increase your value when they will offer you a job.

Use words that contribute to your value

During the interview, make use of ‘active’ words to describe your accomplishments. I mean, use words such as I created, I initiated, I contributed to, I oversaw, I took charge of, I developed, and so on.

Use words that point to your ability to deal with multiple projects simultaneously, to recognize and handle details, your excellent time-efficiency management, or some other skills that are definitely contributing to your value.

The process of negotiation is not just saying I need or would like to have more money. Sure, these days, there are plenty of jobs that let you make 50k or more a year, but even then, you are required to have an answer to specific questions before you can negotiate your salary.

Even for well-paying positions in a number of industries that are flourishing, you must know whether there may even be the slightest chance to get more. Check out also this article about low-stress, well-paying jobs that don’t require you to hold a college degree.

Have the right answers

Questions that you must have the answers to are, for example:

  • What exactly is the pay range for the job you want that employers and/or the industry are using?
  • What is your lowest acceptable salary?
  • What are the qualifications that make you worth a higher pay?

You may very well obtain general salary information from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the career services desk at your college, individuals who are working in the industry or are employed by a certain company, public libraries, employment websites, trade associations, trade publications, or the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

How to react to objections

Now suppose you know the answers to the questions above, you will probably be confronted with some objections against your request for higher compensation. Mostly you will hear things like:

  1. you are not experienced enough
  2. other employees are not making more money
  3. the company’s budget is not permitting it, and, of course, the old song of
  4. this is what we pay new employees

Just give it a thought in what way you could respond to the above-listed objections in such a way that the discussion will continue on a positive note, but without cornering yourself. If you want to make the most of your job-searching activities and salary negotiations, that is key!

Reaching a common agreement

Keep In mind that you are asking a question; you’re not there to deliver an ultimatum. To give you an example: as to the objection ‘other employees are not making more money,’ you may react by saying something like: ‘I see… (pause a little here) What exactly is the compensation range for the position? And what would be necessary to reach to a higher level within that specific range?’

In most cases, particularly at this level, the individual who offers you the job has specific instructions and little room to move, so you’ve got to give him a darn good reason for going back and asking for more financial negotiating room.

Keep in mind that you want to reach a common agreement, and in many cases, you will need to ask a couple of questions to find out if there is room for a compromise.

Women and salary negotiations

If you are a woman, please keep in mind that, even today, there are many men that make more than women though they’re working in exactly the same positions and have exactly the same qualifications!

It has a lot to do with the way women go into the salary negotiating process, so learn all about the way women may benefit from this website’s tips and recommendations specifically for women.

For many women, it seems that salary negotiations come across as rude or aggressive. The fact of the matter is, however, that the process of negotiating a salary isn’t offensive or rude at all. Employers expect you to do so!

The truth is that many employers think less of employees, also women, who don’t negotiate their salaries. And this applies across the board, from entry positions to top-paying jobs in basic industries, for example.