Handling Salary Negotiations: Knowing your Worth
2 Aug 19 by Jason Bishop
We’ve all heard the saying ‘money isn’t everything’, and while the likes of culture and workplace flexibility are becoming increasingly important for today’s candidates, in a lot of cases salary remains the deciding factor. If you’ve found what seems to be the ideal technology role but the offer on the table doesn’t quite match your expectations, you’ll be faced with a crucial (and often dreaded) task –salary negotiation.
The good news is that you don’t have to accept the first offer you receive. While working with a recruiter can help take the stress out of salary negotiations, it always pays to be well-informed and have a strong understanding of your own worth to an employer. Do you know your worth? To ensure you’re being offered a fair salary, here’s our best advice.
Recognise the Value You Offer
Receiving an offer is often met with a sense of relief and excitement (especially if it is for your dream role!), leading some people to completely bypass any discussions around asking for more money. However, salary negotiations/counter offers are a normal part of the recruitment process. Everyone has something unique to offer, whether it be previous work experience, education or a certain skill set, and are therefore hired on a basis that those unique set of qualities will be beneficial to the role and the wider organisation. Before heading into any salary negotiation, it is a good idea to have a good grasp of the following:
Your salary level will depend on past professional experience. This includes the years you have spent in similar roles, the experience you gained from them and being able to identify the skills you gained from those roles which can now be transferred to the new role.
Formal qualifications aren’t always required to be successful at your job, however, having relevant qualifications or training can be great indicators of one’s worth. Keep this in mind if you have:
- Tertiary Education or formal qualifications such as a bachelor’s degree or MBA
- Diplomas or certificates you have completed or are currently working on
- Additional relevant training completed (or currently completing)
In order to ask for more than what an employer is willing to pay, it is important to prove that you not only have the relevant skills to be successful in the job but that you will also be an asset for the company as a whole. Highlight what differentiates you from other candidates and how those skills go beyond what is required for the role to be a success.
Do Your Research on External Factors
Salary negotiations can sometimes feel like preparing and presenting a sales pitch, with the only difference being that the “product” is yourself. It is therefore vital that you go in prepped and prepared with as much information as possible. Having a firm knowledge of the current market conditions will help you benchmark your own salary expectations, so research such information as:
- Salaries of similar jobs being advertised online
- Industry salary guides (keep in mind your location)
- What the market conditions are like - are there more candidates than jobs? Are there certain skill shortages? Is the industry performing well or is it in a lull?
- Have you spoken to colleagues or mentors? Getting a second (and trusted) opinion can add perspective or a point of view which you may not have thought about previously.
Consider the Whole Package
While salary is important, it sometimes pays not to get fixated on a particular figure. Rather, look at the entire package and other factors and benefits that come with the opportunity. Consider the location and commuting costs. Likewise, look at what training opportunities are on offer and any prospects for advancement. What about work / life balance and flexible working arrangements? These benefits sometimes add up to more than just a monetary value. The most important thing to remember is to be flexible and think about how you and your new employer can come to a compromise. At the same time, don’t forget your worth and be confident in the skills and experience that you will bring to the organisation.
Remember if you’re working with a specialist tech recruiter, they’ll be able to guide you through the salary negotiation process; providing you with industry, market and salary insights, while also acting on your behalf in the negotiations themselves. Although, if you’re going it alone, it’s down to you – show a firm confidence in your abilities and expectations (within reason, though!) and it would be hard for any employer to take the risk of losing you.Looking for more salary negotiation tips? Or looking for support in your tech job search? Get in touch with the team at Sourced.