You are here
How to negotiate the salary you want
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. Visit the Michael Page Salary Centre 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.
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, tell the interviewer you would like to know more about the role first. Avoid divulging your last salary; instead, tell them what you believe you are realistically worth based on your research, skills and experience. This may be a different figure to what you were earning in your last job.
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 three to six 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.
Successfully negotiating your salary for a new role takes preparation and careful consideration. It is always best to wait until the potential employer raises the topic first and you can be sure they are hopeful to employ you. Understand your market value and determine beforehand what the minimum and ideal salary would be. Having the confidence to negotiate for yourself is a great quality that employers would be happy to see.