Negotiating your salary and benefits for a new job is always a challenge, but throw in a anemic economy, cash-strapped companies and increased candidate competition, the process can be downright terrifying. Luckily, PayScale offers some tips on how to prepare and negotiate with your prospective employer to ensure you get fair compensation.
Before negotiations even begin, candidates should research the salary ranges for the position in that particular industry and city. Knowing what others are paid will ensure your salary requirements will not hurt or end the negotiating process too quickly by being unrealistically high.
It used to be salary wasn’t discussed until pretty far down the interview path, but now more hiring managers are asking for salary requirements in the initial interview. Ideally, it’s best to get the hiring manager to give a number first, but a good alternative is to give a salary range rather than a specific number. This will prevent you from being rejected immediately because the number is too high and give you room to negotiate as you get more information on what the position entails.
If you have other health insurance alternatives, like a spouse’s plan, offer to forgo your prospective employers health insurance for a higher salary instead. This could be a win for both parties: You get a higher salary and the company potentially comes out ahead as well since paying you a higher salary can still be less costly than paying the health insurance benefits.
If your potential employer won’t give in on the salary negotiation, try requesting a six-month salary review. If it is based on measurable objectives, you will potentially have more leverage to receive a salary increase and sooner than if you waited the typical 12 months for the annual review.
Salary isn’t the only thing on the table for negotiation. If the potential employer won’t budge on the salary, bring other benefits to the focus. Trying getting a flexible work schedule, an extra week vacation, or the ability to work from home one or two days a week.
You shouldn’t pose the increase as an ultimatum, but experts say it is OK to ask if there is some flexibility with the salary if you are unhappy with the initial offer and were hoping for a bit more considering the job requirements.
Getting a job offer is a major accomplishment in the current economic climate. With the unemployment rate sitting above 9% and companies looking to cut costs, potential employees may feel trapped and unable to make big demands in terms of salary or benefits. But experts warn that it is important to negotiate for what you are worth.