Negotiating your salary

To negotiate your new salary from a position of strength, preparation is crucial. You must have clear and realistic expectations of what your skills and experience are worth and be prepared to ask your potential employer for what you want. Use the tips below to help negotiate your new salary with confidence.

Know your worth

It is critical to research what your role is worth before you begin negotiating your salary. Check our Salary Surveys to find out the average range for your sector, location and experience. Scan similar jobs on the internet and talk to your Michael Page recruitment consultant and industry colleagues for advice on what people are earning in similar positions.

Research conditions

Make sure you also research the financial performance of the company, its recent staff movements and industry conditions. This will help you to better understand the company’s position and anticipate potential objections when negotiating your salary.

Determine your needs

Balance your research with your personal needs to determine a realistic salary range for negotiation. Decide on a figure that: • You need to live on • You would be satisfied with (the minimum you would accept) • You would be delighted with (your ultimate goal) The last two figures comprise the salary range for which you should aim. You should always start negotiations at the higher end to allow room for negotiation.

Watch your timing

Always wait for the potential employer to raise the topic of salary negotiation first. You are in the ideal position to negotiate salary when the employer has offered you the role, is hopeful of employing you and has suggested a figure first. If you are asked about your salary expectations, you can tell the interviewer you would like to know more about the role first.

Consider other options

Good negotiators will enter a meeting with a range of options. Think about non-pay alternatives if the opportunity to negotiate salary is limited. Support for education and training or flexible hours are potential alternatives to financial incentives. The job might offer a clear promotion path or the opportunity to review pay in 3 to 6 months, so make sure you consider these alternatives as part of your salary negotiation.

Get the best deal

Employers respect applicants who are hard but fair negotiators. Having the confidence to negotiate well for yourself shows the employer that you could bring these skills to the role and strengthens their belief that you would be a valuable addition to the team.