5 Tips for Negotiating Salary (yes, even now)

Negotiating salary intimidates a lot of job hunters, especially in today’s economy. In addition to the health crisis, Covid-19 has caused an economic and employment crisis. The official unemployment rate hit a high of 14.7 percent in April, and continues to hover around 7 to 8 percent. But, that doesn’t mean that if you do find a new job you should simply accept what you are offered. You can, and probably should, still negotiate your salary.

1. Do your research on salaries

As in any negotiation, research is important. Use sites like Glassdoor to discover what typical salaries for the position and title are. Before asking for more money, make sure your qualifications are in line with, or better than, others in the position. Don’t forget to look at what others in the company make as well. Geography is also important. Covid has left many companies open to the idea of remote employees. However, if you live in an expensive area of the country, but your employer is based in a more remote location, you may have trouble coming to a salary agreement.

2. Know who you are negotiating with, and listen

Sometimes, you negotiate salary with HR or C-suite executives. Sometimes, your direct supervisor has the ability to negotiate salary. Understanding the person on the other side of the table can help you make smart decisions. A member of HR or the C-suite might be less willing to negotiate because they do not want to start a precedent. If the person responsible for negotiating did not interview you, you may need to make a case for why you deserve more than the offer. Listening carefully and actively is the key to any successful negotiation. Don’t just come in with a prepared speech. Listen to the response and try and address their issues with the strengths of your points.

3. Don’t play hard to get

Negotiating a salary is not exactly the same thing as negotiating for a car deal. In a car deal negotiation, being willing to walk away is a plus. But no one wants to waste their time negotiating a salary with someone who does not want the job. Especially if there are other, equally-qualified candidates in line. It’s ok to let your excitement about the job and passion for the organization shine. Tt may improve your negotiations.

4. Consider the whole package

Salary is often one of the least flexible parts of a job offer. However, work from home days, vacation days, money for professional development, and healthcare are all often flexible. Don’t negotiate salary, and then ask about vacation time. Instead, negotiate the complete package at once.

5. Know what you want and need

Hopefully you’ve considered your bottom line before you started your interview process. But if not, you should definitely know what you can and cannot accept before starting negotiations. Knowing what you want will help you negotiate with less emotion. Negotiating a great deal with a prospective employer, and then discovering that you cannot accept it, is not good for your reputation.

Similarly, don’t negotiate just to negotiate. Many new job searchers have heard that before you are hired is the best time to negotiate. It’s true, that starting salary does have a big impact on what you can make in the next few years. However, negotiating just because you can could make you look petty and difficult. Negotiate if you should be getting paid more based on comparable salaries and your qualifications.

As collection agents, negotiation is at the heart of everything we do. Occasionally we like to look at different kinds of negotiations in the hopes that our expertise can help you. Please check out our other articles on negotiation and let us know how we can help.

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