The Employee and Job Seekers’ Golden Guide for Successful Salary Negotiation

Whether climbing the corporate ladder, churning out skills of a trade, or seeking your perfect place of employment; to get your net worth, it is important to be familiar with the golden rules of salary negotiation. And because it’s not everyone’s forte, we have compiled our expert tips to help get you well prepared for salary negotiation D-day.

Generally, those in the workforce will already be aware of work performance and salary reviews – the time of the year where actions and intentions as an employee are picked over by superiors, and salary is reviewed as a result. And no matter how favourable you personally regard “review or performance appraisal time”, it can provide an excellent opportunity to solidify and promote your value as an employee. The secret is learning how to build on any negatives, promote your positives, and become adept at negotiating; especially when it comes to salary.

To help get you started, following are five quick tips for successful salary negotiation and effective self-selling skills for employees and job seekers of all levels.

#1 Know your worth

Before going into any salary negotiation, it is essential to research your job to get a good handle on your true value and net worth.

You can use online tools like salary estimators and consider looking at similar jobs listed in your area. However, the best way to ensure that you are receiving a salary that supports your skills, attributes and role is to speak with a professional recruitment agency. Pay rates and job placement are what we specialise in and what we do well. Make use of our professional services to ensure that you are never undercutting yourself or wasting your time by blowing out expectations.

* Tip: see the full range of helpful free tips and resources that we have available for job seekers available on our website

#2 Be mindful of your context

During a salary negotiation be mindful of the context you use as this can often help with a more positive outcome for you.

For example, in the research for salary figures you uncover that a role like yours (or the one you are interested in applying for) pays around $65,000 to $75,000. You also feel that your skills and attributes are worthy of the higher figure. When asked your expectations, instead of coming straight out with a statement like “I believe my wage should be $75,000”, think about delivering the message as less of a demand,

“My research suggests that roles like this one/mine typically average between $65,000 and $75,000”.

Finishing the statement on the higher pay value also adds more focus on that figure and may help to lean the decision towards your goal.

#3 Organise evidence

One of the most important tasks to undertake before any salary negotiation is to get yourself well-prepared with research and evidence. While doing this, be sure to overhaul any of your vulnerabilities and make a plan for how you would compensate for those.

Some common examples of evidence used in salary negotiations include:

  • you have taken on more tasks since your last appraisal or review and are making impressive ground with those tasks
  • you are responsible for overseeing the work of an additional, new or promoted, staff member
  • KPI’s have been exceeded; how were you involved?
  • if your last performance review highlighted an area of weakness, provide factual evidence on how you have improved with some factual evidence based around that
  • if you missed out on a similar job recently because of a weakness, how have you overcome that weakness to be ready now? Have you altered your job application or CV to show that improvement?

* Tip: to help get yourself prepared as a job seeker, take a look at the full range of job search articles on our website

#4 Be assertive

Whilst being prepared to negotiate on a collaborative level if needed (i.e., engaging in problem solving for a mutually agreed result), be mindfully assertive with your salary negotiation.

If you don’t reach the monetary figure that you had in mind at first, consider asking for other offers that could be included to make up some of the shortfall. For example, is there some educational training that you might be interested in, or a petrol/public transport allowance for your commute to and from work?

#5 Stay Out of Your Way

Last but certainly not least. Don’t let any negativity get in your way. If you believe that you truly deserve a higher salary, or a better job, then prepare well and go for it. The worst-case scenario? Your request might be rejected. But look at the flip-side in that you succeed! You will never know if you don’t try in the first place.

Salary negotiations can be daunting for many. But the best and most effective approach is to concentrate your energy on the positive of the process and be well-prepared to go for it!

Do you need some advice on getting ready for your next performance review or in the hunt for your next challenge? Optimum Consulting are on-hand to assist both job seekers and recruiters. Just contact our friendly team here.

Group Manager – Business Development

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