Imagine this scenario: You just had one of the best job interviews of your life. You can tell that they like you and that you are a good fit for them. You really want this job. In a few days, sure enough, you get an offer. But there’s a hitch: The salary being offered is below what you want and what you know to be market value for the job.
You have three options:
- Accept the offer and feel like you didn’t stand up for yourself.
- Walk away assuming the low-ball offer indicates lack of respect.
- Negotiate for a salary that both you and the employer can be happy with.
How to negotiate salary after job offer
Always be ready to negotiate your salary when you get a job offer. Most companies build in wiggle room for some combination of salary and benefits. Yet only about one-third of people even try to negotiate, according to the Corporate Finance Institute’s careers page.
1. Know the right time
If you don’t have a solid, written offer, negotiation is premature. On the other hand, if you have already signed the offer letter, you’ve lost your opportunity to negotiate.
2. Know the market
Glassdoor’s salary search tool allows you to search by job type and location to find a realistic salary range for the role you seek.
3. Know your numbers
Be able to quantify the value you have provided for previous employers as much as possible. This is different from your salary history. Draw from actual company growth metrics and/or savings you contributed to the business.
4. Know the company
In the process of researching as much as you can about the company to which you are applying, try to glean how they compensate their employees. This will help prepare you for salary negotiations.
5. Know which perks you value
Could you ask for relocation expenses, including recruiting help for a new job for your partner? What other types of non-traditional benefits does the company provide? If these benefits are meaningful to you, you may be able to leverage accepting a lower salary to get them.
6. Know which questions to ask
Glassdoor recommends asking these questions when you are negotiating salary:
- Is this salary (being offered) negotiable?
- What other benefits are included?
- How was this amount calculated?
- How do you evaluate the success of your employees? This question actually looks forward to positioning yourself for the next negotiation, the one after you have accepted the job and built some work history with them.
7. Know when to flex and when to stay firm
You will have to determine how far you are willing to go based on what you need. Persuade by communicating with a combination of confidence and consideration. If the company isn’t willing to negotiate and/or you feel that you are compromising too much, it is okay to decline an offer of employment.
Doing your homework pays off
Candidates are often uncertain how to answer the question of their salary expectations before the employer has indicated what the job pays. Workplace advice author Alison Green says in her column, “Ask a Boss,” that most hiring managers will continue to press for a figure if you give a vague answer about waiting to learn more about the job.
Do your research to come up with a range you feel comfortable with, she writes, then include that in your answer as you say something like, “I’m still learning about the job, of course, but based on what I understand so far, I’d be looking for a salary in the range of $X–$X. Are we in the same ballpark?”
Let us help you find a great job fit!
Our goal at Bradsby Group is to find great fits between talented candidates and the employers for whom we recruit. Our process often includes preliminary research into the alignment of salary expectations and compensation packages. We can’t guarantee the need for negotiation will be eliminated, but we seek to minimize differences from the beginning to maximize the efficiency and success of the process for both sides.
Contact our recruiters today to learn more about the possibilities for your next career move.