The last challenge that lies when negotiating a job is the salary. It is an important challenge for both stake holders – the employer and employee. Lofty ideals demand that the stake holders should not be too much concerned on this issue. But facts of life demand that we pay due importance to it. It is too important an issue to conclude; a single wrong move is all that it takes to bring it to an unpleasant end.
The parties must be tactful or otherwise the employer will have lost a good hand and the employee a great opportunity to serve the company.
Here is some expert advice for the employee to consider at the time of negotiation.
- Keep the salary part towards the end – Starting a negotiation for salary in the beginning has many pitfalls. The reasons for this are the employer will not want to consider your application any further and may result in premature closure. They will not have fully evaluated your competence and you will be treated like any other ordinary applicant. The right time to begin with the negotiation part is toward the end when every other issue is sorted out.
- What if the salary issue is raised by the employer during the first interview? The right thing to do is request a deferment. You can even tell them that it is not a stumbling block and that you will make a request after every job requirement has been answered. The big advantage to you is that you get the time to gauge your employer’s mood, what they expect you to do and whether you will be able to function at all.
- There is a budget and the employer may want to keep within its limits. Though you cannot estimate what the budget really is, there will be some tell-tale signs that you can pick and make a guess out of it. If you have some contacts already working, talk to one of them and find out what the going rate is for the position.
- How to respond when the salary offer is low? Invariably all employers begin with a low offer because they know well that there will be a negotiation and they will have to raise it during the negotiation. You don’t have to say no and walk out. A better tactic to follow is to remind your employer about your experience, what skills you will be bringing in and how you will apply it in your new position. Chances are that this will make them rethink and go up a bit. Don’t however expect a miracle to happen.
- Your salary is not everything. You need to take a closer look at the working hours, the need to travel and the perks they offer. Annual bonus linked to your performance is an important factor you need to consider. If it is transparent and the employer has a fool-proof formula, you should consider it closely. This is especially true of marketing jobs that are linked to sales achievements.
- Look beyond the salary. It is true that all of us require money to survive and it should be good enough to lead a decent life. However, do not be tempted to consider money alone. Workers around the world past their midlife career regret that they did not pay attention to career satisfaction. Do not commit the same mistake; consider what other opportunities the job offers – exposure to work in high-tech environment, new training, an opportunity to meet new people and a chance to travel abroad are other opportunities you cannot lose sight of.
- If in spite of all your tactful approaches and hard bargaining, you don’t get the salary you had expected, it is best to turn down the offer rather than say yes and regret. But when you do it, do it in style. Tell them frankly why you cannot accept the offer and that you will be willing to return another day should the employer be able to give you a better deal. How you depart is as important as the first impression you made earlier. A plain declination without an explanation is not a great way of saying no. You never know when you will need the job.
It is never good practice to request the employer for time to consider an offer. The problem is you will be judged as someone not so sure about your abilities at decision making. Yet another problem is there is someone waiting behind you in the queue. It is best to seal a deal or refuse and keep moving. It is good for both.
What you want is never a consideration in salary negotiations. There are market forces like demand and supply to be considered. If you have very specialized skills, you are on a strong wicket – you get what you want and even more. Before you negotiate, do some research and find out what the going rate is for the position you are negotiating.