How to negotiate a better salary in a new job?
Looking for a new job and more money? Finding a job is only half the journey to increasing your income.
The other half comes from negotiating a good salary, both when you are offered a job and during your annual appraisals. Every increase counts since your next salary hike is linked to the last package drawn.
The only way to do well in any negotiation is to do your homework. Research on the current market and industry salaries for a similar role.
Find out the company’s compensation band for someone with your skills and experience. Know what value you will create for the employer how critical it is for them to hire you now.
A wealth of information can be found on the Internet and by asking around. Use it to establish a benchmark
Speak for another
Research shows that people stress out and negotiate poorly for themselves while doing much better for someone else. Reduce your anxiety by thinking about how your family will benefit from the increase So negotiate on their behalf. Be polite and enthusiastic as it keeps the door open for the other party to contact you with a revised offer. Your energy conveys that you continue to be interested in the job and in finding a solution.
The best negotiator always has a strong BATNA (best alternative to negotiated agreement), which is a back-up option. Your best BATNA is to have an offer in hand from another employer. This means that you started interviewing at the same time for different positions and the selection processes are converging to the offer stage. This gives you the ability to speak fearlessly which works best
Delay salary discussions
In interviews, the first rule is to not tell the employer the salary that you want. Delay this discussion for as long as you can. When you are asked for a target salary, deflect the question by sharing that you prioritise a meatier role over salary. If the interviewer presses, say that you are looking at a fair offer. Thereafter say that the company is in a better position than you to evaluate the value that you bring.
Once the employer mentions his first offer, you can close the discussion if you are happy or continue working towards a higher number.
Then the other person tables the first offer, respond with a pause. While you buy time to think, the other person is under pressure to explain the reason for the offer or say something better. This gives you information about what is important to them and what you can focus on. A delayed response usually translates into a higher offer.
Be flexible about how much cash you can earn versus the other benefits available. Always ask about the perks that the employer is willing to give with the job. For example, a car, driver, furniture allowance or variable bonus can add up to a lot of tax-free benefits that make for a better deal than a big salary. When the employer asks about previous salary, it is not just to have a benchmark but also to know how he can build an exciting package.
Never give up in a negotiation. If you are told that this is the maximum basic salary for the role, ask for a sign-on bonus and an increment after six months instead of a year. Push back against a ‘No’ but each time explain your reasons for a hike. If a discussion closes without a conclusion, reconnect in two days to take it forward. This could earn you flexible working hours, health insurance, children’s fee reimbursement or better variable bonus.
When you have multiple fronts to negotiate on, like salary, designation, bonus, perks or reimbursements, begin discussions in parallel so that the employer gets the complete picture instead of assuming that you are interested only in one thing. Always start with a number higher than what you want in order to have space to concede later
WHAT NOT TO DO
Know that your anxiety is unfounded. Settling for less or walking away without negotiating will affect your entire career. It is ok to ask for more and, if denied, you can still accept the original offer.
Displaying emotion weakens your ability to negotiate. Getting agitated during the exchange or taking it too personally can make you miserable about your self-worth and market value.
Most professionals talk about what they desire or need while negotiating. The other party cannot take responsibility for your EMIs. Focus on market salary data and the tangible value you will offer the firm.
Be in a hurry
Never accept or reject an offer immediately. The former leaves money on the table that you could have received, while the latter makes you miss extra perks which could make the offer worthwhile.
Always get an offer in writing. No reasonable employer will deny your request for a written offer. In case they refuse, ask other employees in the firm about standard practices or reconsider your risks.
(The writer is Director, Executive Search at QuezX.com.)