Consider yourself lucky if you have got a job offer in hand. However, to hold on to it, be very careful about negotiating your salary. Companies have become very conservative about salaries. There is so much competition out there that even a small mistake can lead you to the loss of opportunity. It has to be a “Win-Win” situation for the employer and you as an employee, there is no competition between you and the hiring manager. Here are some tips to help you negotiate a better salary for yourself.
- Do your homework properly i.e., get some of the basic facts around the overall state of the industry in which you are applying. A booming or sunrise industry will offer better packages. Check on the company's profitability and its market position. If you have some friends in the same company, try to find out the urgency to fill the particular vacancy. Superior information will give you an edge during the salary negotiation. Also what is value that you get to the table?
- Set your expectations in terms of Money, benefits/Perks etc. Money would include – fixed salary, incentives, bonuses and any stock options. Benefits/Perks would include –company car, travel, relocation expenses etc. And Other benefits like training, exposure, international travel etc. This will allow you to stay flexible and also provide alternatives to the employer during the negotiation.
- Remember do not discuss about the salary first, give the HR personnel to do the same. Information is the key to any kind of negotiation and a common mistake job-seekers make is telling the employer what you'll accept. Sometimes it is hard not to offer this information -- especially if the employer asks for a salary history or salary requirement. Some employers will also ask -- in a preliminary interview -- what salary you're looking for. In all these situations, you need to carefully decide how you'll handle the situation. The earlier you give up this kind of information, the less room – if any – you'll have for negotiating a better offer when the time arrives. Always try to remain as noncommittal as possible when asked about your salary requirements too early in the interview process.
- Probably the biggest mistake you can make is simply deciding to settle and accept whatever offer you receive. Research shows that younger job-seekers or freshers often make this mistake -- either from not completely understanding the negotiation process or from a dislike or discomfort with the idea of negotiating. Settling for a lower salary than you are worth has some major negative financial consequences -- you'll earn less, receive smaller raises (because most raises are based as a percentage of your salary), and have a smaller pension (since pension contributions are usually a percentage of your salary). Negotiate the basic/fixed salary first & then discuss on the other benefits, HR personnel will try to discuss about benefits and perks before getting you know about the basic/fixed salary. Always agree on the basic/fixed salary first and then discuss about the perks/variable pay and other non monetary benefits which contributes upto 25% of your CTC. Do get the details on Medical & life insurance, travel allowance, pension plans, educational assistance programs, dependent care for parents/spouse, paid holidays, profit sharing and stock options.
- Keep selling yourself as a brand throughout the negotiation process. Keep reminding the employer of the impact you will make, the revenue you will generate and the unique skills and talents that you bring to the table. Highlight your interest and enthusiasm to work for the organisation.
- Don't rush into accepting any offer on the spot, no matter how lucrative the offer is. Buy some time. The job-search these days drags on longer and longer, and when you finally obtain that offer after weeks and weeks (and in some cases, months), it's not unusual to want to accept it right on the spot. But even the best offers should be reviewed when you have clear head – and without the pressure of your future boss or HR director staring at you. Most employers are willing to give you some time to contemplate the job offer -- typically several days to a week. It's when you get the job offer that you have the most power because the employer has chosen you, so use that power to be certain it's the job and job offer for you -- and consider negotiating for a better offer if you feel that it should be better. Just remember that whatever amount of time you ask for is the amount of time you have to make your decision.
- Don’t Decline Job Offer Too Quickly. Many job-seekers reject job offers very quickly when the employer offers a salary much lower than expected, and while in many cases you would be correct in rejecting the offer, it's still best to ask for time to consider it before rejecting it outright. If the money is simply far below the average, you may have no choice but to reject the offer. However, if the money is good -- but just not as good as you would like -- take a closer look at the benefits. A big mistake is declining a job offer too quickly without looking at the entire compensation package. For example, some firms that have lower salaries offer larger bonuses or stock options or pay the full expense of health insurance. Whatever you do in this process, always stay professional in handling the negotiations. If the employer has made you an offer -- then you are their choice, the finalist for the position -- so even if negotiations go nowhere, or worse, keep in mind that you did receive an offer, even if it is not what you expected or deserved. And if negotiations break down between you and the employer, move on graciously, thanking the employer again for the opportunity because you never want to burn any bridges.
- Once everything is said and done – and you have received a job offer that you find acceptable, the last thing you should do is ask for the final offer in writing. No legitimate employer will have issues with putting the offer in writing, so if yours balks at your request and accuses you of not having any trust and tries to bully you to accept the verbal agreement, take it as a MAJOR red flag that there is something seriously wrong.
- End it on a positive note, which is the last step of salary negotiation. Ask questions about the future performance and expectations which will make a positive impression and will end the negotiation process on a positive note.
- Lastly Ask for Final Offer in Writing. Once everything is said and done – and you have received a job offer that you find acceptable, the last thing you should do is ask for the final offer in writing. No legitimate employer will have issues with putting the offer in writing, so if yours balks at your request and accuses you of not having any trust and tries to bully you to accept the verbal agreement, take it as a MAJOR red flag that there is something seriously wrong.
Article by Hemant Pandey