How to Negotiate Your Salary

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After countless informational interviews, phone calls, and in-person interviews, you’ve finally landed your dream job. All that’s left to do before your sign your new hire paperwork is to make sure you are offered right salary.

Although some candidates receive the offer they’re looking for, many do not. However, if you don’t feel the pay aligns with your education, career level, skill set and strengths you have to offer, you may choose to negotiate for more money.

Knowing how to negotiate salary offers is a valuable skill that can increase your earning potential throughout your career and better ensure you’re fairly compensated for the work you do. However, like any skill, it takes preparation and practice to do well. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Prepare for Negotiation: This is one of the first things that nearly every employer will ask -what salary range you are looking for? So have a salary range rather than a single figure, you should always be sure to offer a range based on what others in the field are earning, rather than a single fixed number. Having an acceptable salary range helps you to negotiate and find compromise more easily. Scan similar jobs on the internet to find out the average range for your sector, location, and experience and find out your market worth.
  • Don’t stretch trust of past pay scale: Most companies in India fix pay by asking for a candidate’s previous salary and offering a certain percentage hike on that figure. Although this is standard practice, there is no reason the same method should apply to everybody. If you have been underpaid till now, use this opportunity to ask for a pay that meets industry standards. If you are already on the higher end of the pay spectrum, list the skills and qualifications which bring value to the company to convince your employers of your worth and obtain a little more. Skip the bluffing and be honest about your expectations.
  • Quote for fairly high Number: One fundamental rule of salary negotiation is to give the employer a slightly higher number than your goal. This way, if they negotiate down, you’ll still end up with a salary offer you feel comfortable accepting. If you provide a salary range, the employer will likely settle on the lower end so be sure the lowest number you provide is still an amount you feel is fair.
  • Be prepared for tough questions in Return: Many job applicants have been hit with troublesome questions they were hoping not to face: 
  1. – Do you hold some other offers? 
  2. – If we give you an offer today, will you say yes? 
  3. – It is safe to say that we are your top decision?

In case you’re unprepared, you may state something false or not so convincing answers which will not put across a promising image to the interviewer. You have to get ready for questions and issues that would put you on edge, make you feel awkward, or uncover your shortcomings. You will have to prepare for questions and topics that will help to defend you and it is always advisable to be honest and straight forward.

  • Study the salary structure: Companies usually draw up a salary structure and send it for approval to the employee they are hiring. Ensuring that your salary is structured in such a way as to minimize the tax burden by including allowances and incentives is one way for you to get more out of your salary. Understand perk and benefits and reach out to hiring manager if you have doubts.
  • Get everything in writing : Once you and the hiring manager settle on a compensation package, ask for documentation of your salary and any special arrangements (a signing bonus or allowance for moving expenses, for example) in writing, along with a job description and a list of responsibilities for your new role. Ensure the document is signed by both you and the employer.
  • Keep the negotiations professional: Remember to be confident, polite and ready for compromise and be careful not to seem desperate, pleading or apologetic. Keep the conversation professional. Engage with the company confidently on equal terms and get the best package that suits your skills sets and monetary needs.
  • Let them know you want to accept the job: In the final stages of negotiation lets them know you want to accept the job, but you need a little something more first. When you get to this phase of the negotiation, you want to make it clear to the recruiter or hiring manager that saying ‘Yes’ will end the negotiation but again don’t sound desperate. For example, you may want to say, “I understand you can’t come all the way up to Rs 522000/- Gross Salary. It would be great to add an additional 8.33% ex gratia on Annual paid Gross. If you can do that, I’m on board,”
  • Re think about the offer if it doesn’t suit your expectations: In some cases, an employer may not be able to meet your minimum salary requirement or offer additional benefits that you were expecting Or the employer may counter-offer with a salary that’s higher than their first offer but not as high as your request. In this case, you’ll need to decide if the job is worth the lesser amount. You can re-think on the given offer and consider other factors like commute time, working hours, If it’s less stressful than your current position or does the offers gives you flexibility or more free time, you may be open to taking a lower salary. However, if not, you should consider not accepting the offer and seeking other opportunities elsewhere.
  • Express gratitude: Once you reach the job offer phase of the hiring process, you’ve probably invested a great deal of time and energy applying and interviewing for the position. The Hiring Manager or Recruiter has also invested time in the process so you must recognise this and thank them for considering you for the opportunity.

And on other hand if you end up declining the offer, It is important to acknowledge in friendly and professional manner. After all, you never know what opportunities they may have available in future.

If you are successful in negotiating your salary well, it is most likely to give you an upper hand after you receive an offer letter. It makes recruiters know about your negotiation skills, and they often tend to assume that when you are on the other side of the table, it will be beneficial for their organization.

Shraddh Shikhare
Follow Shraddh Shikhare:

Freelance Content Writer @ Mega HR Consultant

MBA in Human Resource from Indian Institute of Management Studies with a work experience of 7+ years into HR Functions. With rich experience in HR And Recruitment, Performance Management, Strategy Development and Implementation, Policy Development, Attrition Management and Creative Retention Strategy

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