4 Proven Salary Negotiation Strategies
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Salary negotiation is a touchy topic. There’s no avoiding it: it’s uncomfortable to discuss.

But, here’s the reality: salary negotiation is a good thing. It means that if you think a company is lowballing you, you have a right to say it and request more. It’s your chance to put your foot down and be honest about what you think you’re worth. Most importantly, it’s about getting what you deserve.

So, next time a Recruiter or Hiring Manager asks you how much you’re looking to make, stick to your guns and use my top tip that has helped my clients negotiate in their favour with top companies:

Always give a range.

This is because a range means more wiggle room for salary negotiation, and a higher likelihood that the company will come back with a better offer.

But, how do you decide what range to give? Here’s my answer: research, research, research.

Just like an essay or debate, salary negotiations are more often successful when the candidates come prepared with the research they need to state their claim and back up why they asked for it.

Here’s what you should always do before entering a salary negotiation:


1. Identify what the salary range is for that type of role.

A great way to do this is to checkout Glassdoor.com. This website is a detailed resource for getting the inside scoop on a company: the pros and cons of working there, tips from those who have been through the interview process, and information about average salaries for different positions.

2. Understand the scope of responsibilities for the role.

This is your tool for accurately assessing whether the salary a company is offering is worth the time and effort you’ll be providing. If the job posting doesn’t give you enough information, asking more about this in an interview is a great way to spark conversation and show that you’re interested. What types of projects will you be taking on in the first 6 months? Does the company have any long-term initiatives in mind? What will you be responsible for on a daily basis?

3. Find out more about the company’s maximum and ideal salary.

This means the highest that a company is willing to go, as well as the amount they would prefer to give. Having these numbers will give you a better understanding of the response you may get to your requests. It will also help you clue in if the company tries to lowball you.

4. Know what your market value is

This information is so important to keep in mind. Without it, how will you know if you’re being lowballed? To start, try to do some research on the median salaries for positions similar to yours at other companies in the industry. Once you have an idea of that, don’t forget to take into account your education, experience, expertise, and the unique value that you bring to a company.

Once you have the range, it’s time to tackle the negotiation. Here are my tips for keeping cool and collected while not giving up too much:

  • Focus on the total compensation, not just the base salary. If you find that a company is unwilling to give you the base salary you want, look into other possibilities: vacation days, signing bonuses, company-funded training, car loans, phone bills, working from home, or working less hours.

Moral of the story: come prepared to leverage all of your bargaining chips. Base salary isn’t everything: before you go into the room, take stock of what else could be important to you in the long run.

  • Instead of giving a Recruiter or Hiring Manager your bare minimum when they ask, give a middle to higher range that you decided on based on your research
  • If you need to negotiate the base salary, come ready to leverage the unique value you offer the company that they can’t get anywhere else. What makes you special? How can you get the job done better than anyone else? Why are you worth it?
  • Find out how long the role has been open for. The longer it’s been posted, the more expenses the company has racked up while waiting. This is to your advantage because they might be more flexible if it means they can fill the position quickly.
  • Don’t start negotiating until after you get the offer. In an interview, you may be asked to give your salary range. This is just so that the company can decide whether or not they can afford you. If you’ve done your research, you’ll already have an idea of what they’re willing to offer. So, give them your informed range and let them digest it. They can decide whether they’re willing to negotiate for your employment after.

And one final thing to think about: sometimes, salary negotiations don’t work out in your favour. It happens. It sucks. But, it’s not over yet! This is why you should always take the time to outline what’s really important to you about this opportunity. Is it really the money? Or is it the growth opportunity? The boss? The location? The people? Always keep the big picture in mind before rejecting your offer because the base salary is too low. If you find that the value of the opportunity outweighs the lower-than-expected salary, then you can always stipulate that the salary issue be revisited in 6 months, after you have a better understanding of the scope of the role.

What do you find works best in a salary negotiation? Let me know in the comments section below!


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Diana YK Chan

Diana YK Chan

Diana is a former Recruiter turned Career Coach, Speaker and Trainer at My Marketability. She helps ambitious professionals and executives design the next chapter of their life, navigate transformational changes, and land incredible opportunities with a higher income. She’s an expert at distinguishing people’s unique brand value, mastering their messages and networking with confidence to gain a competitive edge. She’s recognized by JobScan as one of the Top 10 Job Search Experts to follow on LinkedIn.