How to Negotiate a Salary Offer That is Lucrative (The Secret is Out!)

How to Negotiate a Salary Offer That is Lucrative (The Secret is Out!) | Career | Emeritus

The very notion of negotiating salary offer makes many people so uncomfortable that they don’t even try to negotiate for a higher salary. According to Job Seeker Nation Report 2021 by Jobvite, about 40% candidates accept a salary that is less than their current or most recent salary. If you are not negotiating, you are not just impacting your current earning potential but your future prospects too. And that is too much of a loss to let pass without an attempt. Hence, this guide will show you: why and when you should negotiate salary offer, how to negotiate salary offer and what to say to the hiring manager. 

improve negotiation skills

Why Negotiate Your Salary

Before we consider how to negotiate salary offer, let’s understand why we need to do this. Usually, candidates hold themselves back and choose not to negotiate because of the following: 

  • They are afraid the offer will get rescinded 
  • They feel uncomfortable negotiating 
  • They are afraid of appearing greedy
  • They don’t know the market rate for their position

Your salary is going to impact your future career moves. You are losing millions by taking less than you deserve and not asking for your desired salary. As a result, you will be less satisfied with your work and have inconsistent productivity. So, before dismissing salary negotiation, consider this: What if the employer says yes? 

When to Negotiate Salary Offer

how to become an angel investorNegotiating salary offers is all about the timing. It is typically best to negotiate your salary after you have received the job offer, which is proof that you are the best candidate for the job. You should also never discuss your salary expectations on your own, especially during the early stages of the interview process, as it might harm your chances of securing the job offer. If you are asked about your salary expectations at the very beginning of the interview process, you can either try to turn around the question or give a broad range. 

Pro Tip

If you are asking for a raise from your current employer, you should time your salary negotiation during your annual performance review. You can also initiate the process a month or two prior to the annual company’s raise and budget cycle. 

How to Negotiate Salary Offer: 8 Steps to Success

1. Understand the Person You’re Negotiation With

While negotiating, it may seem like the recruiter and you are on opposing ends. However, that can’t be further from the truth. Like you, the hiring manager has also undergone a lengthy hiring process with several candidates before offering you the job. Be rest assured, he/she wants to close this opening as much as you want the job. So, you and the recruiter are both aiming to reach the desired outcome suitable to both sides. Remember you are on the same team and must work towards an offer that makes both of you happy. 

2. Learn the Constraints

Understanding the employer’s constraints can help you figure out other areas that you can negotiate. For example, maybe they have a strict salary budget, but there is a possibility that they are flexible on the signing bonus. Look for a win-win option. 

3. Explain Why You Deserve What You’re Asking For

Your employer will likely consider your proposal if you justify your request. Before you negotiate salary offer:

  • Conduct market research and gain a sense of the salary range for your position
  • Research comparable positions in your field and location
  • Talk about the skills and experiences you bring to the table
  • Build your case
  • Make them see your value and justify your proposal

ALSO READ: Why Building a Personal Brand is Key to Crafting a Successful Career

4. Make it Clear That You’re Here to Stay

While holding your ground while negotiating is savvy, showing the employer that you want to work with them is essential. Ensure you are making it clear to the employer that you are willing to accept the negotiated job offer after reaching the desired outcome. 

5. Decipher the Intent Behind the Questions

When the recruiter is asking you questions, try to understand the reason behind the questions. Always answer the questions by keeping the intention of the questions in mind. Believe in yourself, and have a great discussion.

6. Practice Your Delivery to Difficult Questions

Practice your delivery so that you can answer the tough questions with confidence during the negotiation. Make a list of all the possible questions, and prepare accordingly. Always remember that recruiters are trainer negotiators and you must show them how you add value to hold your ground in a salary negotiation. 

7. Display Emotional Intelligence

Your emotions while negotiating salary are very crucial. Show your emotional intelligence while communicating your demands. By becoming emotionally conscious, you can communicate better, producing a positive result. 

8. Don’t Negotiate for the Sake of Negotiation

While it might be tempting to negotiate for a better offer, if you have no justification for your demands or if the offer is more than generous, then do not negotiate. 

ALSO READ: 5 Best Questions to Ask Interviewers in a Job Interview

Examples of What to Say to the Hiring Manager

Job InterviewIf you really want to know how to negotiate salary offer, be armed with these responses to open up the issue of your pay package with the hiring manager: 

  1. “Thank you so much for the offer. However, based on the market standard and my experience, the offer you gave is slightly below my expectations. Therefore, I wonder if we can explore a slightly higher starting salary of $xxx.” 
  2. “Thank you for offering me the [X] position. I’m grateful for the opportunity and excited for next steps. Before I can accept, however, I would like to discuss the matter of compensation.”
  3. “Is there any way we can get closer to the industry benchmark?” 
  4. “I definitely understand budgeting issues, and what you’re saying makes perfect sense. I’m still very excited about working with the group. From my perspective, based on my experience level, I do believe that the figure should be slightly higher.”

Pro Tip

Ultimately, if you’re underpaid, you will be looking to switch jobs for a better offer. However, no recruiter wants to let go of a well-trained and skilled employee. So always remember that negotiation also benefits your employer. Having a solid set of skills is always great to back your negotiation. Check out the courses offered by Emeritus and upskill yourself!

ALSO READ: 5 Short Certificate Programs That Pay Well: Find Your Course 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. For How Much Higher Can You Negotiate?

Have a range prepared but don’t just say it without justifying it. It is key to remember that when you quote a range, the hiring manager only hears the lowest number. So, start your range from your highest expectation.

2. Should You Accept the First Salary Offer?

If the offer is more than generous, then of course! However, take your time to see if it meets your expectations before accepting the offer. 

3. Do Employers Expect You to Negotiate Salary?

Employers generally give employee wiggle room to bargain during the hiring process by pitching a number that is lower than their budget. However, even if they don’t, it is usually good to negotiate salary. 

4. Can You Negotiate a Salary After Accepting the Job?

Negotiation is all about timing. If you have started working, you should wait for your annual performance reviews.

These guidelines should help you prepare to negotiate the salary offer you deserve. However, even if it doesn’t work out at least you asked. It is a skill that improves with practice and will help you throughout your career. So, take your time, determine your value, practice, improve your skills, and get the salary you deserve. You can add value to your career by upskilling so that you can bargain for a better salary. Explore online courses from the world’s best universities here.

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About the Author

Managing Editor, Emeritus Blog
Anwesha is our in-house expert on careers, trends impacting the workforce, and what makes content tick. As a journalist and content creator for 10+ years, Anwesha leaves a bit of herself in every story. Her superpower is to take the bare bones and turn it into a winning narrative for brands. Her passion to tell stories of human triumph led her to Emeritus where she continues to weave engaging tales. Anwesha is also a doting dog mom and hopes to make her boisterous canine a pawfluencer.
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