Salary Negotiation: Do It!

Only 55% of people negotiate salary following an offer while 70% of senior managers expect some negotiation.  Candidates are leaving money on the table!  These are survey results from the Robert Half staffing firm released on February 13, 2019, and include 2800 workers and 2800 senior managers. Complete survey: http://rh-us.mediaroom.com/2019-02-13-Survey-55-Percent-Of-Workers-Negotiated-Pay-With-Last-Job-Offer

Women are typically the big losers in the salary negotiation game with only 45% reporting they tried to negotiate pay in their last job offer as compared to 67% of men. Younger job seekers (ages 18-34) are more likely to negotiate than older workers (55+) at the rate of 65% versus 38%.

Workers in coastal metro areas are more likely to negotiate with Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, and New York City topping the list of negotiators in the 70% range.  At the bottom were slightly more Midwest cities of Minneapolis, Cleveland, and my hometown of Pittsburgh, whose job seekers only negotiated 42% of the time.

Negotiation Tips:

  • Challenge your FEAR: It’s highly unlikely an employer will rescind your offer if negotiation is respectful. The worst response may be “I’m sorry, there isn’t any flexibility in our budget.”
  • Do your research: Use resources like Salary.com, Glassdoor.com, and PayScale.com for data on salary ranges, including by location and industry. Supplement this with networking.
  • Delay initial discussion: Don’t mention your salary expectation first during interviews. Sidestep it with “I expect your salary would be competitive with the industry.” or ask “What is the position budgeted for.”
  • Ask for time: If you are caught off guard by a verbal offer, thank the employer and ask for time to think about it stating you may be back in touch with a couple of questions. You can ask for time even after the final offer, reminding the employer that it is a big decision that you, of course, want to consider thoughtfully.
  • Go a bit higher: Ask for at least a few thousand more than your ideal number so you can land on a comfortable number after the employer’s likely counter offer.
  • The ask after the offer: Begin on a positive note, demonstrate research, and highlight a strength. “I’m very excited about the offer and I think we could see during the interviews that we are a good fit.  Based on my market research, your $xxxxx offer is at/below the median for this position, and I’m wondering if there is flexibility for a salary of $xxxxx?  With my background/experience of ________, I’m confident I will be a quick and valuable contributor. “ Stay positive and upbeat.
  • Allow silence: After you make your ask, stop talking and wait for a response.
  • Prepare another ask: If the employer counters about budget or Human Resources policies, consider following up with, “I understand. I’m wondering if there is anyone you could follow-up with to ask about flexibility?”
  • Compensation is more than salary: You may negotiate for vacation, professional development, remote working options, or equipment.  Prioritize what is most important. If you don’t get something, it may give you leverage for something else.
  • End on the positive: Thank the employer for their consideration. Regardless of where things stand, restate your appreciation of the offer, and also your interest in joining the organization if that is so.