Ever accepted a job flat out without even testing the waters of salary negotiation? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are intimidated by the thought of negotiating their own salaries, particularly if they have been looking for work for a prolonged period of time. As a clerical candidate, you really shouldn’t short change your worth by not even broaching the subject. Salary negotiation is as much a part of the hiring process as the interview phase. Here are a few tips to help you go into a salary negotiation with the confidence you’ll need to succeed.
Research is Everything
Knowing your worth within the job market is critical to a successful salary negotiation. While it can seem difficult to pinpoint your exact value to a company, researching comparable positions within your region and industry can help to specify a dollar amount. Having an offer letter for a similar position at a competing company in hand is likely the strongest proof of your value. But there is a wealth of such information available online as well. Be sure to target comparable positions and opportunities that are held by professionals of similar education and experience to your own. Document everything, and come to your negotiation prepared with solid financial information supporting your argument.
Evaluate the Benefits
Salary isn’t everything. Keep in mind that benefits such as 401(k) matching, health insurance, life insurance, sick leave and vacation time are all valuable parts of your compensation package. Don’t overlook these benefits for the sake of increasing your baseline salary alone. For example, it is unlikely that you may be offered as appealing insurance rates if you were to sign up for an individual plan compared to the rates an employer can get for groups. These benefits cost employers money and factoring that amount into your overall compensation package can make an otherwise lackluster salary more appealing.
While it’s safe to say that most companies will offer you a fair and reasonable salary up front, it is also true that they generally expect at least a little negotiation before you settle on a final number. Knowing your worth and maintaining that confidence throughout the hiring process will serve you as well as any of the other tips provided above. All employers have a salary range in mind when they go about hiring a new employee. Your job is to convince them that you are worth something on the higher end of that range than maybe what was initially offered.
You Don’t Get Anything You Don’t Ask For
Many people are intimidated by salary negotiations, but if you don’t ask for more, you only have yourself to blame when you feel underpaid further down the line. Asking for more doesn’t require particular skills of persuasion or charm, it really all comes down to knowing what you are worth and sticking by your assessment. Many companies are at least willing to meet you half way, particularly if you are the right candidate for the job.