Salary Negotiation 101


Set a target in your head

Before heading in to see your prospective new boss, establish what you would be willing to settle for, with an ultimate target that is 10-15% higher than this base line. If you’re moving on to a better job, your starting salary should be higher than your previous role.

Back this up with actual findings

Industry research should outline the pay band to expect, based on your sector and position. Background research helps you to understand your worth in the jobs market and how to raise your concern if the company suggests an unexpectedly low starting salary. If you do base the negotiation on what you’ve read online, remember your sources.

Start from a strong position

Begin with the self-confidence you need to talk about your skills and experience that will support your value as a candidate, even if you know that you have been selected from tens, or maybe even hundreds, of others.

Review the complete package

Depending on the job, your starting salary may be only part of the equation. Take into account the full benefits package which comes with the position, from a company car and travel expenses to training programs and employee saving schemes.

It’s important to know what you will receive at the company in order to calculate the discrepancy between basic rate pay and the total package. 

Keep the meeting friendly

It’s important to keep a calm head and friendly nature during the negotiation so as to not come across as aggressive. Rather than backing the employer into a corner, be reasonable with any request based on your value. Make them feel like you’re on their side, because above all else, an employer will want to hire someone who is passionate about what they do and why they want to specifically work for them.

Make time for a face to face meeting

Anyone in sales will tell you that face to face communication is the best way to effectively articulate what you want and build a rapport. However, if this is not possible, from your side or theirs, choose a communication medium that you’re comfortable with. For example, a video call may be a more effective way of communication than discussing your salary over the phone.

If you don’t get what you want

If the company isn’t willing to budge on pay, try a different tact like increasing what you receive in non-salary perks and benefits, which could include flexible working hours, and more training opportunities later down the line.

If this first approach doesn’t work, and you cannot settle for what is still on the table, it may be time to politely decline their offer, leave on a friendly note and move on.

If you do…

Before shaking hands, ensure you know the ins and outs of the entire package, get it in writing and that the letter is signed! After that, you can enjoy your new role, knowing that you’ll feel confident and happy in your new job.

September is a notoriously busy month in the recruitment calendar. We’re expecting a flurry of fresh roles in the Sussex area as companies look to hire before the Christmas break, so now is the time to freshen up your CV and research your industry. Find a job with on your terms!

Back to News & Advice