A survey by Salary.com revealed that just 37% of employees always aim to negotiate their salary at performance reviews or job interviews whilst 18% never did. The reason for the reticence in this area, which is in fact crucial to job acceptance, is fear. Fear is most often a consequence of ignorance, lack of preparation or organisation.
In this series of blog posts, we shall provide you with some important tips to tackling this difficult subject and negotiating successfully.
Step 1 | Be Prepared
Research salaries and level of job competition.
Two factors influence employers decision making about employee pay; the going rate for employees with the same level of skills and experience in the geographical area of hire and the competition to hire candidates based upon the numbers of potential employees available and competition from other prospective employers.
The former defines the range of pay and the latter defines the negotiating power of the candidate. The candidate with rare skills which are highly sought after in a particular location where there is a deficit of these skills is in a stronger position to negotiate remuneration. Conversely, a candidate with skills abundant in the location where he seeks to work faces much competition for jobs and has little scope for manoeuvre.
Know your value
You should know the going rates of pay for candidates in your field of work, at your level of experience and in your target geographical area. Do your research and have a figure in mind. Without this knowledge, you will walk into an interview without a clue and will be at the mercy of an experienced hiring manager who will control the situation.
Assess the competition
Research the demand for your skills in the area in which you wish to work and also the availability of these skills. Some locations (generally remote areas) have a shortage of basic skills whilst other metropolitan areas seek candidates with rare or highly specialised skills.
Seek knowledge of other factors which may influence hiring decisions. Cultural, ethnic and religious factors and language abilities may grant favour to some candidates.
Sources of Information
Talking to colleagues can be helpful, but also at times, misleading as some people exaggerate their income.
Check out websites such as job boards, adverts, glassdoor, salary.com to get a general idea of the going rates of salary. The numbers of jobs available will give you an idea of the demand for your skills.
Talk to recruiters as experienced recruiters know the range of pay you will be able to attract in specific jobs and locations, the number of candidates available for the work and hence your target range of salary and negotiating power based upon the level of competition for the job. Seek out this expertise.
Organise Your Thoughts
Having assessed the level of competition for jobs and the range of salaries in the market, you can calculate your target range of salary and negotiating power. Decide upon a minimum salary below which you will walk away from the deal and a range in which you will negotiate. Have an exact figure which you can give to a prospective employer. A number such as £95,570 sounds more precise than £95,000 and sounds as if you have given serious thought to the figure and calculated your worth.