Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Salary Negotiation Know-How

Whether you're after a more lucrative job or are just trying to fatten your weekly paycheck, asking for a raise is an exercise in negotiation. And the first step is to know what you want.

"Look at the total compensation picture before you start to negotiate your paycheck, including bonuses, commissions, health insurance, medical and dependent care spending accounts, profit sharing, paid vacation, stock options and other offerings," says Allen Salikof, president and CEO at Management Recruiters International Inc., one of the world's largest search and recruitment organizations.

"All of these benefits can impact your total financial picture -- never evaluate your salary in a vacuum," he adds.

Salikof offers these 10 tips you should keep in mind as you head into salary negotiation talks:

  1. Ask: You've heard of "Don't ask, don't tell" rules, right? Well, the first rule of salary negotiation is, "Don't ask, don't get." You're unlikely to ever get more than a cost-ofliving adjustment unless you have the guts to ask for more. So get your arguments set, your nerves steeled and go for it.

  2. Do Your Homework: Find out what others in your position make. Also, check with trade associations, ask recruiters what folks in your niche earn, and browse through the job postings to see how your salary compares to those being offered to new employees.

  3. Know Your True Value: Have you saved your company money, improved a process or met your quota? If you've had an impact on the company's bottom line, know the exact figure. You could even suggest that it's fitting for you to see 5 percent of that figure in your paycheck. Suggest the company tie your compensation to measurable bottom-line results. If your position doesn't have a specific line in the budget, be ready to prove that your work improved morale or employee retention. The key is to provide data that shows your value to the company.

  4. Be Your Own Advocate: Make sure you bring your list of accomplishments to your boss's attention. You are the best source of information about you, and you have to be willing to step up to the plate and go to bat for yourself. Don't count on your boss to simply suggest you ought to earn more money or to notice you haven't had a raise in 10 years. You need to be willing to brag about yourself.

  5. Plan Ahead: If you want an early raise, let your bosses know you'd like to discuss the issue so you can give them a peek at what you want from the next raise. Ask for a meeting to conduct a pre-review discussion.

  6. It's Never Too Late to Ask for More: If you've already had your performance review, ask for a different type of raise -- perhaps a merit increase or an accelerated performance review that's retroactive based on meeting agreed-upon objectives.

  7. Wait Your Turn: Don't even think about being the first one to ask about money during an interview. Wait for your interviewer to put an offer on the table. What should you do if you're pressed to name a salary? Give the interviewer a range or a vague answer, like "The salary I expect depends upon the job's exact specifications. Can you tell me more about it?"

  8. Know When to Fold: Consider other job opportunities and be prepared to leave your job if you can't get the salary you deserve. Nothing gives an employee more confidence in asking for a raise than having another job offer in the hopper. On the other hand, if you go into a performance review and don't get the raise you want, don't ever quit on the spot. It's easier to find a job when you have one than when you're unemployed.

  9. Everything Counts: When calculating your salary, remember to include the value of benefits, such as bonuses, commissions, health insurance, flexible spending accounts, profit sharing, paid vacation and stock offerings. If a potential employer asks how much you make in your current position, you can honestly say, "My total compensation is..." and then give them the figure that includes everything.

  10. Don't Underestimate the Value of Happiness: If you're happy in your job and the only thing you can't get is more money, maybe it's not time to leave. There's no way to put a price tag on having a job you enjoy.

To Your Success,
Trinity Washington University

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Salary Negotiation Do's and Don'ts

Here are the keys to successful salary negotiation. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this important strategic tool of job-hunting.

  1. Do make sure you’ve done your research on the salary you should expect for the position you’re seeking. And do use sources such as and others.
  2. Don't bring up salary before the employer does. And do delay salary negotiation
    for as long as possible (until you know exactly what the position entails).
  3. Do be aware of your strengths and achievements. And do be sure to demonstrate the value you’ll bring to the employer.
  4. Do let the employer make the first salary offer. And do, if asked, say you expect a salary that is competitive with the market - or give a salary range that you find acceptable.
  5. Don't inflate your current earnings just to get a higher salary offer.
  6. Don't feel obligated to accept the first salary offer. And do negotiate salary if the offer made is inadequate.
  7. Don't get overly aggressive in negotiating the salary you want.
  8. Don't just focus on salary. Do look at the entire compensation package.
  9. Do try to obtain other concessions (shorter review time, better title, better workspace) or benefits (bonuses, vacation time) if you aren’t successful at negotiating a salary you want.
  10. Don't enter salary negotiations as part of an ego trip or part of a game.
  11. Don't accept the first acceptable salary offer you receive if you’re not sure about the job or the company.
  12. Do get the offer in writing.

To Your Success,
Trinity Washington University

Monday, 21 September 2009

Salary Negotiation Strategies

Successful negotiation is based on preparation and patience. Always anticipate what you may need to know when you next speak with any potential employer.

  1. Research your value: Research the value of your talent in the employment marketplace. Find sources that tell you what companies pay for the job you're considering. The sources should take into account the size of the company you work for and its industry and region. It is even more helpful if you can use a source that helps you calculate the potential value of your personal skills and background such as education, length of experience, certifications, and management responsibility.

  2. Don't be the first to disclose a number: If possible, try to get the employer to disclose the pay for the job before you tell your requirements. If you find this too difficult or awkward, consider providing a broad range (based on the research you did above) and say you expect "a fair total pay package for the job and my unique set of skills, including…." It is also fair to ask the employer what the market data says the job is worth.

  3. Prepare a counteroffer: About half of all job seekers accept the first offer that's put on the table, but most employers make offers expecting candidates to counteroffer—so go ahead, ask for what you want. Remember that your counteroffer can include more than just base pay; it can include bonuses, stock options, vacation time, and a flexible working schedule. Every time you speak with a potential employer, you should be prepared with a complete, prioritized summary of your ideal offer, and you should know in your mind how negotiable you are on each item.

To Your Success
Trinity Washington University