In your job selection process, you naturally hope that you will receive the best salary package from your boss. So how can you negotiate a salary offer that matches your skills and qualifications and the recent boom in market demand for talent?

If you have several job offers, you can improve your negotiation skills. Practice with a company you’re not hugely keen to work for. If the job isn’t really your thing, try to get a higher offer from the company. Remember: if they push the salary upwards, you might be the leading candidate. Use this ability to your advantage.

How To Negotiate A Salary Offer

The following are the major things to keep in mind during the negotiations:

  • Do not negotiate until you have a written offer. Let the boss continue with the offer first. However, if he asks you first, tell him your salary range.
  • Restate their offer and then process it. Maintain an honest but non-emotional response (including body language).
  • If it is less than you expect, then suggest that it is lower than you anticipated after your research. Be prepared to claim the sources of your research.
  • Make a counteroffer based on your research and expected salary. Remain polite, objective, and optimistic.
  • Never accept an offer immediately and on the spot. Ask when they need to know your final answer. A reputable company does not ask you to answer immediately.

Their Reaction and Your Arguments

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They may need to discuss with the company and get back to you. They rarely withdraw an offer on the grounds of a counteroffer, but they might do so if the company is being shaken up or downsized. The employer might come back with a healthy offer, or they might reinstate their previous offer.

Numbers generally work the same way in salary negotiations as they do in your resume. Never let emotions or subjective arguments such as “I deserve it,” or “My colleagues really like me,” guide your argument. Share positive business-related numbers, such as: “As vice president, I have reduced staff turnover in my department by 40%” or “I have increased annual sales by $25,000.”

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Dealing with Usual Salary and Raise Objections

You may hear one of the following objections. Here are some ways to overcome them:

Their Objection Your Reply

  • “This is all we have earmarked for this post.”
  • Convey your skills to the employer.
  • Convince them to amend the budget allotment for the job.
  • Show that the amount is below market value, with the help of your analyzed research (not an accurate amount).
  • Convey your interest in the job, but tell them that you cannot defend accepting less than the market value.
salary offer
  • Other workers with the same experience and qualifications are not paid as much.
  • Make them understand that you have to earn more because you’re worth more. Give precise examples to support your argument (e.g. more experience or a higher degree than others).
  • Suggest that they offer you another job so that you fall into a higher salary bracket. Offer to take on additional responsibilities so that you fall into a higher salary package. In general, large companies are in no hurry to blur job roles and salary levels. However, smaller companies that do not have standard pay-scales may be more inclined to do so.
  • “This is much more than your previous salary.”
  • Insist that you want to be paid for the value of your work and what you want to achieve in the company. Help the employer to understand that previous salaries are irrelevant to this position. Try to use the following answers in this situation:
    • “Yes, I was paid less in my previous job. However, I was in the position for 3 years and the experience I have gained certainly justifies an increase”.
    • “What I am being paid is below market value. This is one reason why I am looking for a new job. Because of my skills and my new degree, I do not want to work below market value for a new position.
  • “You haven’t done the job for a while.”
  • Don’t let them have any idea that you are willing to work for less, that you need retraining, or that you are desperate to take a new job. Let them recognize that you offer as much as those with current experience.
  • Insist that your efforts outside of work (education, training, personal projects, volunteer work) have helped you to develop as a staff member.
  • Accept a lower salary and ask for a performance review in 6 months. Ask for a promise that if you achieve your goals, you will be raised to the market price.
  • “I’m sorry, but it’s our policy not to negotiate.”
  • I want you to investigate the company. If it’s true, you may not have a choice. If it’s not true, say, “I understand you don’t normally negotiate salary. but I’m an oddity because…”
  • Negotiate effective benefits and bonuses.
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Final Offer

Recognize when to stop. If you feel that the employer is disappointed in your offer, stop and evaluate the offer. Do not express the opinion that you are greedy or impatient; you could irritate the employer if you go over the top and he might withdraw the offer.

When he makes you his final offer, you should be prepared to consider it and decide whether to accept or reject it. Once the offer and package have been verbally accepted, make sure they send it to you in a signed document (a “job offer” letter).

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Other Negotiables

It’s not just about negotiating a salary offer. If the employer rejects your expected salary, or in certain jobs, companies, and industries where salary is not flexible, you still have other alternatives. These other alternatives may be more relevant and flexible for you.

To better train and negotiate, you may need to check with your Human Resources department to see what options and benefits are available. These could include:

  • Performance reviews (including percentage and timing)
  • Work-from-home days
  • Bonuses (performance-based)
  • Overtime policies
  • Termination contract
  • Retirement or pension plans
  • Certifications
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Health, life, disability and dental insurance
  • Employee discounts
  • Stock options
  • Childcare
  • Profit sharing plans
  • Vacation and sick days
  • Relocation or moving expenses
  • Gym memberships or professional association
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Company car and expense accounts (such as computer expenses)

Check out the video to learn more about ‘how to negotiate a salary offer‘:

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