How to Negotiate Pay and Benefits
Money can be complicated. It can also be emotional. It is difficult to separate the feelings around money from what they represent. But there is a time where it is imperative that you take a bold step forward and be willing to discuss money. That is when you’re discussing your salary with a potential employer.
When Is the Right Time to Talk About Money?
A healthy negotiation takes work, and the first step is knowing when to bring it up.
A phone interview may not be the right place. However, a hiring manager or recruiter may ask you what you want to make. The purpose of this question is to rule out candidates from their top 3 or 5. If you ask for more than they plan to pay, they’ll shuffle your resume in the “no” pile. If you say less, this could mean they will give you a low offer when the negotiation really starts.
To counter this, learn how to answer the question on the phone. Rather than quoting a number, focus on the job and skill set. Tell them that you’re within the salary range they’re considering for the job. Tell them you want to research the position and the company future before discussing money.
The best time to discuss salary is after the first face-to-face meeting or as a part of the second interview process.
How Much Do You Want?
The exact number for your salary will depend on a number of factors. Start by researching similar positions in your area with a website like www.salary.com.
You should also know that your current salary shouldn’t influence your number. While recruiters will often ask for a salary history, you are not required to provide it. Each job should pay based on its own merit, not the past. Base your numbers on the research you’ve conducted. To avoid giving them a hard number, you can respond to this question by telling them you’ve done the research and the salary for this type of position in your area pays a salary amount within their range. Use specifics to back this up.
And remember, you don’t have to accept an offer on the spot. Ask them for some time to review the information and get back to them. Then take a day or two to review your research and decide. But don’t take too long or they may move on to another candidate.
What is Your “Walk Away” Number?
Good negotiations start with a range. Once you research the position and the average salary, you can begin to pinpoint a request.
Start out with a “walk away” number. This is the lowest salary you would be willing to accept and save money and pay bills. If you are offered less than this number, you can thank the company for your time and move on. If they really want you, they will reopen the negotiations. If not, they weren’t a company that would fit your long term goals to begin with.
Throughout the process, stay confident by avoid arrogance. Providing you’re using proper research to determine your salary, you are worth it.