How Do You Negotiate Salary for a New Job?

businessman protecting salary blocks on stacked coins

businessman protecting salary blocks on stacked coinsJordan WarshafskyBy Jordan Warshafsky, Partner, Ashton Tweed

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Negotiating your salary after receiving a job offer can often be uncomfortable, like most situations involving money matters. However, there are a few tips that can make this experience go more smoothly for both parties:


1. Choose the right time. If you have already received a job offer, make sure you choose an appropriate time to speak with your prospective employer. Ask yourself, do you genuinely believe you deserve more than was initially offered? Gauge the situation to see if the salary is negotiable.


2. Determine your value. Do some research to see what the value of your position is as compared to similar jobs in the same space and then choose a number to use in your negotiations. Use an exact number, not a range of numbers, because the other party will likely aim for the lower end of a range. Additionally, it’s often advised to ask for top (reasonable) pay, even if it’s more than what you want. This will allow some room for negotiation if needed. Keep in mind you need to look at the total compensation package to include salary, sign-on bonus, yearly bonus, stock options, retirement plan, etc.


3. Prepare your pitch. Organize your thoughts and rehearse what you are going to say so that you can walk into the meeting with confidence. In addition, prepare a list of your accomplishments for the person you are meeting with. Be sure the list of accomplishments is mostly quantitative as opposed to qualitative. This will show your potential value to the company and help justify the salary package you are requesting. Don’t mention personal needs or what you think you “deserve.” The company wants proof of what you can do for them and you want to show you will have a positive impact on their organization.


4. Don’t get stuck on your current salary. If you are asked about it, don’t lie! But also don’t use that number as a starting point, especially if you are underpaid. Instead, use the market value of your position that you find during your research as the base salary of your pitch. If your current compensation package is in line with the market, give them that information.


5. Stay on the positive. Don’t forget to mention how you are interested in this job and other positives about the company. Don’t be pushy by threatening them with other job offers you may or may not have. You want both parties to leave the meeting with a positive feeling, not a negative one.


6. Ask questions and listen. After you make your offer, carefully listen to the response from the other person. Make it known that their recommendation is valuable to you, and actually listen to what they have to say. This shows respect and allows the other party to voice their side.


7. Take your time. Think over their response and take time to consider your answer. Don’t be worried about sitting in silence for a moment. It’s better to think it over than to accept too quickly and settle for less. On that note, don’t be afraid to counter-offer and reiterate your value to the company if the offer is less than desired.


Ashton Tweed is expert at negotiating these sensitive topics between hiring companies and job candidates. Is your company searching for top talent? Ashton Tweed can help: contact us today.

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