October 31, 2019, by Leah Sharpe

Don’t Be Scared To Speak About Salary

By Jennifer Balloch, Employability Officer 

What do you think when a job advert doesn’t specify a salary and instead states, ‘negotiable’? Does it strike fear, or do you take it in your stride? How would you tackle this vague question?

In some instances, negotiating will be expected, especially if the job advert doesn’t state a salary range. In other situations, you might believe you have the skillset to warrant starting at the higher end of the salary bracket. Or you may be wanting to negotiate terms of your contract other than salary, such as holiday allowance or flexible working. 

So, is there an art to it?

Well, it may not be an art, but don’t be afraid, there are some tips and tricks worth sharing. Before even talking to an employer, think about what it is you’re asking for and why you believe you should get it. Here are some questions to sink your teeth into: 

1. Do you have experience in the area, for example, do you have the essential and/or desirable skills the job advert is asking for?

2. Are you aware of the salary range for this type of role and does the position you are applying to fit into that bracket? Hays have a good ‘salary checker’ which is worth referring to.

3. What is your cut-off point? For example, have you calculated how much you need to realistically earn in order to pay the bills? What is your lower range and how likely are you to turn the job down if the employer does not offer you enough?

4. If you were offered a counter-offer of additional leave days for example, would this be acceptable?

5. Are you prepared for a negative answer? What will you do if the negotiation doesn’t go your way? 

Sell yourself

Salary negotiations are commonplace; however, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be daunting to initiate if you haven’t experience in this area. After thinking about the above questions, now think about your initial pitch and how you can sell yourself and your experience to prove that you are an exceptional hire. To do this, it might help to think as if you are in an interview situation, and always think about how your particular skills and experience will be of benefit to the employer.

When to negotiate

After thinking about how to negotiate, the next step is to think about when. Save yourself from a fright later on, and be prepared for a salary conversation at any stage of the recruitment process. If the interviewer broaches the subject, then at least you will be prepared and demonstrate that you have thought about this side of the advert. Equally, if the topic of salary doesn’t come up, then wait until a job offer has been made to start the negotiations. If you negotiate at the interview stage, then the recruiter has shown a keen interest in the skills that you have already demonstrated. If you are negotiating upon receiving an offer, then you are in a strong position: the employer has decided that they want you for the role.

Throughout the negotiation process, it is important to keep in mind what is important to you. And whatever the outcome, if you will be joining the company then remember to get all negotiations in writing and sign a contract.

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceInterviews