5 Tips to Negotiate a Better Salary

You might be one of those people who get uncomfortable at the idea of salary negotiation. You might fear coming across as rude or greedy. Or maybe you don’t find it reasonable to ask for more. If you have such concerns, be aware that salary negotiation is a standard part of the hiring process. Infact a poll of hiring managers revealed that 84% of them expected the candidates to negotiate.

A reason why employers expect you to negotiate is because they believe the incoming employee will bring in the same attitude to the firm when he/she starts dealing with their client or vendor. That’s a plus from the employers perspective. So don’t be too self- absorbed and leave out on this crucial part.

Now that we have got the self-doubts behind us – lets dive into a Salary Negotiation – How do you go about it?

Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.

Carrie Fisher 

In any negotiation the party that is better prepared stands to gain more. The preparation starts much before you have landed your interview. It starts with researching your position, the company, the role, the skillset demanded of this role & the salary that this role fetches in the industry.

Image (10)Research

This involves getting an idea of the company policy towards salaries. Each company will be having a certain salary based on its level. Speaking to a few people within the organisation – gives an idea of what type of salary that level fetches. You will get to know – if they are a good pay masters or not quite upto the mark by connecting with contacts offline or online.

As you get a bearing on how the company salary levels are – you could also check on where your role features in the salary totem pole. Certain skills are hot and fetch more. Here again head hunters are a good got to choice to help zeroing in on a fairly accurate ball park.

There are sites like the Salary.com , Vault.com, PayScale.com and Glassdoor.com. Each has its plus and minus and most are suited to US and western salary levels. Though data on a few Indian firms are available – there is not much out here.

With this research done you are ready to sit across the table and negotiate from a position of strength.

Thou shalt Not Bring up the Salary topic

Let the employer broach the salary topic. And let it happen after the interview is done. Some companies ask for salary expectation in the early stages – the best option here for you is to give a range based on your research. A better option – just say that you are open for negotiation. If pressed to specify a figure – politely explain that you’d like to know more about the responsibilities and the challenges of the job prior to discussing salary.


Provide evidence of how you will have a positive financial impact for your employer –

Provide documentary evidence if you have generated more revenue than expected, Or, more than your colleagues.

Have you brought in a large account in a difficult market?

Have you lowered costs without impacting quality?

Those are some ways in which you have an impact on the bottom line of a firm or a unit. Drill that down with evidence in the form of printouts or any accolades from your existing employer. That also displays your preparedness and a meticulous approach.

To go a step further you could as Ramish Sethi says chart out a plan as to what you can do for the company in 30, 60 or 90 days. This goes back to the first point – that of research. This can only be done if you have researched your organisation and position really well. If not substantiated with sound logic and proof – this thing might be seen through as a gimmick.

Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.


Back to the Wall

Negotiations do not work when you have your back to the wall. If the situation is such that you have no choice but take up the job at all cost – you don’t have much of a room to negotiate. Just mention what is your expectation and the justification behind it and leave it to the employer. Ideally, don’t get into such a situation. Incase you do – just wait it out.

Having Options

This follows from the previous point. Having multiple options will prevent you from locking into a position – leaving no room for further discussion.

If an offer has been made understand what is the entire compensation you are getting. Trying to get everything in cash actually affects your savings.

Keep in mind what are the one or two aspects of the position that are absolutely non negotiable for you and ensure that you achieve those elements. If you are unable to do so – this might not be the right job for you. In such a situation be willing to walk away.

Keep your Focus on your Goals

The Salary negotiation process is unique in that at the end of the process you will be spending your entire working day with the employer. Your career success might depend on the person you are negotiating with. So keep in mind your ultimate goals and ensure that you don’t tarnish your image by coming across as too rigid. Offcourse this works both ways , the future boss would also want you to feel good about joining the company.

These tips will help you in effectively negotiating the terms of your employment. If you have done so – you can start the job assured that you have achieved the best possible result.

Leave your comments here or @f_prakash


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