Negotiating Salary 101: Tactics for Better Compensation
This is how you should feel after a successful salary negotiation.
Studies show that we women are just as good at negotiating as men – except when it comes to negotiating for ourselves. We’re outspoken when it comes to haggling for a great deal at a flea market or speaking up to raise money for our kids’ schools. Yet, when the focus is on us, we become shy, intimidated, and uncomfortable. Among the most common negative scenarios: downplaying our worth, failing to research comparable compensation, aiming to please others at our own expense, and settling for what others think we deserve instead of for what we want. We’ll address various tactics for understanding and overcoming these serious issues with the goal of empowering women to be their own best negotiators. We’ll cover asking for and responding to raises and effectively handling bonuses and performance reviews. Since women often ignore a host of benefits available to them simply because they don’t understand or value them, we’ll explain how to identify, evaluate, and negotiate perks beyond money.
What are the top three rules for jobseekers to follow to successfully negotiate the best possible compensation package?
Successful negotiation is based on preparation and patience. Always anticipate what you may need to know when you next speak with any potential employer.
- Research your value. Research the value of your talent in the employment marketplace. Find sources that tell you what companies pay for the job you’re considering. The sources should take into account the size of the company you work for and its industry and region. It is even more helpful if you can use a source that helps you calculate the potential value of your personal skills and background such as education, length of experience, certifications, and management responsibility.
- Don’t be the first to disclose a number. If possible, try to get the employer to disclose the pay for the job before you tell your requirements. If you find this too difficult or awkward, consider providing a broad range (based on the research you did above) and say you expect “a fair total pay package for the job and my unique set of skills, including….” It is also fair to ask the employer what the market data says the job is worth.
- Prepare a counteroffer. About half of all jobseekers accept the first offer that’s put on the table, but most employers make offers expecting candidates to counteroffer – so go ahead, ask for what you want. Remember that your counteroffer can include more than just base pay; it can include bonuses, stock options, vacation time, and a flexible working schedule. Every time you speak with a potential employer, you should be prepared with a complete, prioritized summary of your ideal offer, and you should know in your mind how negotiable you are on each item.