“We have been interviewing other candidates as well but we really like you. What are your expectations in salary?”
How many times have you answered this question with utter immediacy, zero industry research and then accepted what is being offered blindly? You may think it is alright to accept the salary that is being offered to you because later you may get a hike or a promotion. It is better not to be rude altogether. Your fear speaks all this gibberish in your head during salary negotiation. The anxiety of not getting a better offer than this often compels professionals to accept the salary they are offered. But you know what? Salary negotiation is important. And no one else but you can do it to make things right.
Think of it as a game of dominoes. Your future employer will determine how much you should get based on your current salary and as you move from one job to another, a pattern is formed. Your present salary, therefore, not only paves way for your success but also at what rate your salary should increase and how much you may earn in your LIFETIME.
Here’s a Reality Check!
During salary negotiation, the recruiter or employer will not see how many hours of hard work you have dedicated to your previous company. They will only see what they can get out of you at a smaller industry value. In fact, if you tell them about the long hours of your hard work, they will put it against you saying that if you can work so hard for this particular salary, how can you be demanding now?
So, to create a financially bright, stable and well-deserving future for yourself, here’s how you should negotiate with your recruiter/employer from the very beginning:
The Industry Value: Do some research on what’s the current value of the job you seek in the industry. Learn the market value of professionals who have the same qualifications, skill sets and years of experience as you. This way you will understand how much salary you should ask for from your recruiters.
The Exact Number and Bracketing: Now that you know how much you should ask for, be PRECISE with the numbers and ask for more than you want. Abstain from mentioning salary ranges. It is because when you mention a salary range, your recruiter or future employer will take the lowest value of the range and then negotiate over it.
But, if you give an exact number which is double than the salary you expect, chances are that the negotiation will end at a point where you will get the amount you wanted and they will be happy thinking they bargained well. This technique is known as bracketing.
The Brag Sheet: It is not enough to only demand high pay. Back it up with viable reasoning. When you state your salary expectations, you will be faced with the formidable question, “Why?” Instead of boring them with how hardworking or dedicated you are, say how you are going to add value to the company and how you have done the same for your previous or current organization. Flaunt your portfolio with confidence because this IS the time you need to beat your own trumpet.
The First Offer: Nothing teaches bargaining better than street shopping. You always know that the first price put on the table is not enough. There is still scope for improvement! In salary negotiations too, we, as professionals, have the same advantage. So, don’t jump in joy and thank your recruiter a million times on the first offer itself. Look disappointed and just say that you need to discuss it with your family. Take your time, as you give them time.
Walk Away: Be fearless while negotiating salaries. Oftentimes, on stating your demand recruiters may tell you, “Alright, let me ask the concerned person and revert back.”This is a common trick. If you hear this statement from your recruiter, do not be scared or nervous because that is exactly what they are trying to do. Instead, be open and give them the time to revert back. Play it cool, keep it cazh! If the salary offered is not at par with your expectations, start considering other options and walk away.
Be Positive and Firm: Arrogance is a vice. But being firm and sticking to your decision is not. Be positive and polite from the very first call of your recruiter. Never be negative or angry (even if you are, don’t show). Diplomacy is key. And, who says you cannot stand your ground with poise?
Initiate Conversation: During a negotiation, initiate the conversation by asking questions about what their priorities, preferences, and necessities are. Show that you are interested to learn about and solve the issues in the company. Enquiring about their needs will also give you an insight into the company and its current status, and contribute to a more positive outcome of the negotiation.
Rank Your Preferences: You should also state your preferences in ranking order. For instance, salary may be the most important for you followed by the mode and duration of the daily commute, week-offs, yearly appraisals, and lastly, holidays. This will not only give a hint as to on what basis you are going to choose to work for their company but also what all are there in your list of importance.
Show off Your Options: Recruiters don’t want any delay in hiring the right candidate for the company. And you get to enjoy an added advantage in negotiating your salary if you already have two or even three offers in hand. You may tell the recruiters that you are going to sleep over the salary offered or they would like to discuss with the “concerned person”, but in reality, they know they don’t have much time left and might miss the bus.
Focus on the Future: Because of the ripple effect that your current salary will have on your prospective salaries, you should shift your focus on your future. Imagine yourself with the same experience and skills of your co-worker earning less than him/her. Think long term and what effect the salary being offered will have on your subsequent growth.
Know from the start that if you do not fight for the money you deserve, no one is ever going to give it to you. Approach your recruiter with strategy and diplomacy. It is because the other party is also doing the same. The right negotiation can even change your life.