Rochelly Fajardo
Community Specialist
Community Specialist
How to Negotiate Pay After Getting a Job Offer
Last updated: June 30, 2022
Rochelly Fajardo
Community Specialist
Community Specialist
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How to Negotiate Pay After Getting a Job Offer
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An employer extended a job offer to you, but you're not satisfied with the compensation package. Although you want to negotiate the pay, you're worried that doing so may take the offer off the table. Sound familiar?

It's imperative to know how to negotiate a job offer with a prospective employer to ensure you're paid sufficiently for your role.

So what's the best way to negotiate pay without jeopardizing your chances? We discuss tips for negotiating your salary with examples below.

Why should you negotiate your salary?

Negotiating your salary with the hiring manager is essential because it allows you to receive the pay you deserve. It also lets you set a precedent for future negotiations.

Unfortunately, only 39% of people tried to negotiate their pay during their last job offer. Thus, they missed out on getting higher compensation for their work.

Additionally, negotiating your salary during the interview process can help close the gender pay gap. Many women, people of color, and underserved groups are discriminated against regarding salary, so negotiating can help level the playing field.

According to Payscale, women make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes in the same positions. Thus, women workers should specifically make an effort to research fair pay and negotiate their salaries to close the gender gap.

Plus, if a potential employer is open to salary negotiations, they may also be open to offering other perks. For instance, you can ask them to consider a company car, signing bonus, additional vacation time, health insurance, and pension schemes as part of your employment. However, if you don't even negotiate your salary, you lose the chance to get better employee benefits.

Some employers are more open to negotiation than others, but it never hurts to ask. If you don't ask, you may be leaving money on the table that could have made a real difference in your life.

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Is pay always negotiable? Does it hurt your chances of getting hired by asking?

While you may not always be able to negotiate pay, it's worth trying to see if the employer is willing to budge. Sometimes, the company has already set a salary range for the position and is unwilling to go higher. However, in other instances, the employer may be more flexible if they want you for the job.

For instance, if you're relocating for the position, you may be able to negotiate a higher salary to cover the costs of your move. Similarly, if you have a lot of experience or specialize in a particular area, you may be able to get a higher salary.

As for hurting your chances of getting hired, negotiations are usually only a problem if you're being unreasonable. For example, if you're demanding a salary way above the average for the position, the employer is likely to walk away. However, if you make a reasonable request, it's unlikely to impact your chances of getting hired.

But before you negotiate, check if the salary is negotiable at all. You can check this information in the job post. It may also come up during the interview.

If the salary is non-negotiable, don't waste your time negotiating as it might make the company retract their job offer.

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According to a Nerdwallet survey, 74% of employers have enough room to increase the offered salary by 5% to 10%. If you’re worried the employer will retract their offer if you try to negotiate, know that 90% of employers do not take the offer off the table merely because the candidate is negotiating.

So, negotiating is definitely worth it. However, make sure you’re sufficiently prepared for the conversation.

When should you negotiate the salary during the hiring process?

It’s best to discuss your approximate salary requirements during the second interview. This is when the company will have a better idea of what they can offer you, and you will have a better sense of the job and the company.

You can also use this time to negotiate other benefits, such as vacation time or flexible hours. If the company decides to offer you the position, that is the time to negotiate an increased salary.

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Research shows that if an employer is open to salary negotiations, they’ll also be likely to negotiate the perks. So, take the chance to see what flexibility there is regarding both elements during the final interview.

How to research fair pay for the position

When negotiating pay, it's essential to keep in mind that you are trying to reach an agreement beneficial for both parties. You don't want to seem demanding or ungrateful, but you also don't want to undersell yourself.

Employers research fair pay for the position they're offering you, so you should do the same. In addition, you can explore the payment by talking to people in your network who work in similar roles or using salary calculators online. Having this information will help you negotiate a fair wage.

Suppose you're applying for the job of a data analyst. Use online tools and salary websites to determine how much other data analysts are making.

The salary survey by The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is an excellent place to learn what other workers in your position are earning nationally.

You can also check online job boards or websites like Payscale to see what other employers offer. Finally, you can also consult with a professional compensation consultant to get an expert opinion on what a fair salary range would be.

How to negotiate salary

When you're offered a job, the pay package is usually one of the first things you discuss. It's natural to want to make sure you're getting a fair wage for the work you'll be doing.

Do your research ahead of time and come up with a realistic range that you’re comfortable with. It will help prevent you from either underselling yourself or asking for too much.

Prepare talking points

Know the standard salary for the job you're interviewing for and have a solid argument as to why you deserve more. For example, if you have more experience than the average candidate or if you're taking on extra responsibilities, be sure to mention that. Tell the recruiters about:

  • Previous milestones: Tell them what you accomplished for your former employer and how it benefited the company.

  • Your goals: Align your goals with the company's objectives to show that you're looking for a long-term relationship.

  • Your skills: Focus on the skills that are most relevant to the job you're interviewing for. Suppose you're a recording engineer with a Certified Audio Engineer (CEA) certificate. This could make you stand apart from other applicants. Be sure to mention it.

Say something along the lines of: “I'm wondering if we can explore a slightly higher starting salary." Then, go on to explain what you have found in market research. When asking for more money, you should focus on the four Ps of salary negotiation.

  • Presence: Be confident that you're a valuable asset to the company and that you're worth more than your current salary.

  • Power Pose: Be sure to take up space when negotiating your salary. This will make you appear more confident and in control.

  • Preparation: Do your research ahead of time to know what the average salary is for your position and what you are asking for is realistic.

  • Polite: It's crucial to be polite when asking for a raise. It doesn't mean that you should be a doormat, but rather that you should avoid sounding entitled or ungrateful.

If you can focus on these four points, you will be in a much stronger position to negotiate your salary successfully.

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Discuss a range

When negotiating your salary, don't ask for a specific figure. Instead, provide a range that you're willing to accept. It will show that you're flexible and allow your employer some room to negotiate.

The salary range structure is curated using a combination of point factor and market pricing. Thus, a salary range is not simply a low number to a high number. Instead, it reflects specific market rates for the position.

When considering what salary range to request, it can be helpful to compare your experience and qualifications with those of other people in similar roles. Online salary tools like PayScale and salary.com can give you an estimate of your job's salary range.

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For example, you can say that you are looking for a salary within the range of _ to _. It will show that you have put some thought into the negotiation, and you’re not just asking for an inflated number.

Don't forget the benefits

One of the things to ask for when you get a job offer is employee benefits. When negotiating your salary, don't forget to ask about the employee benefits package.

Some companies offer great benefits, such as health insurance, dental and vision coverage, a 401(k) plan, and paid vacation days. Other companies don't offer any benefits at all. Make sure you know what kind of benefits are available to you before you accept a job offer.

Insurance, flexible hours, and vacation are highly desirable benefits. If your current job offer doesn’t come with these benefits, ask the employer if there’s room for them to add these benefits to your compensation plan.

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Suppose the employer says the salary is non-negotiable. You may ask if they can increase or add benefits. Let's say you ask for a higher salary, and they respond, “I'm glad that you're interested in the position, and the team is excited about the possibility of working with you. However, the position is budgeted at $XYZ."

You can then ask them if they have a similar stance on benefits or if there's room for negotiation. You can check this list for the out-of-the-box benefits some employers are offering these days.

Talk about existing offers

If you have an existing offer from another company, bring this up. Pointing out that you're in high demand may also help your case.

For instance, you can say something along the lines of, "I wanted to let you know that I'm also interviewing with other companies and recently received an offer for a similar role with a much more attractive compensation package."

However, suppose the company is adamant about offering the original salary, and you're eager to work there. It might be best to take the job and then negotiate a raise after you've started working.

Be confident

Confidence is integral to any negotiation. Therefore, you want to exude assurance when discussing your compensation, as it shows the employer that you're knowledgeable about the market and what you're worth.

Don't confuse confidence with cockiness, though. You want to avoid coming across as egotistical or ungrateful, which could backfire and result in a lower offer.

You should research average salaries for the position and be prepared to cite specific examples of roles with similar responsibilities that earned a higher salary.

For instance, instead of saying, "I need $70,000 a year," try "My market research shows that XYZ position pays around $60,000 to $70,000 in top-ranking companies like yours."

Likewise, you can reference your own experience and skills when discussing your desired salary. For example, "I have five years of experience in this field and was recently certified in XYZ, so I would like to be compensated accordingly."

Get the salary you deserve

All in all, negotiating your salary can help ensure you're fairly compensated for your work. The tips in this article should give you a good starting point but remember to always be prepared and do your research beforehand.

Don't hesitate to reach out to someone experienced in this area for advice. Then, once you're confident in your approach, use Jobcase to land your next big job.

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