According to a new study, 41% of candidates negotiate every job offer. Here’s what you need to do to join their ranks.
After getting a job offer, the first thing most of us do is celebrate. For some, though, it’s time to start negotiations. According to a new study by employment screening service provider JDP, 41% of candidates negotiate every job offer—good or bad.
“Always negotiate,” says Lisa Rangel, executive résumé writer with Chameleon Resumes and former executive recruiter. “This is the secret high achievers know. They don’t wait to be offered a great salary. They ask for it and present proof as to why it is warranted.”
While negotiating can be intimidating, the 2019 Job Seeker Nation report from Jobvite found that 60% of candidates say they’re at least somewhat comfortable negotiating, up from 51% who felt so in the previous year. And for those who did negotiate, 83% say they received higher pay.
“Even though having a conversation about compensation can be uncomfortable, it’s important to do so,” says Janelle Bieler, senior vice president of the staffing agency Adecco. “Being up-front about salary expectations will ensure that you and your new employer are on the same page and that the employment agreement is a good match for both parties.”
Here’s how to boost your starting pay:
DO YOUR RESEARCH
“A good salary negotiation starts on the first minute of the first interview for the employee,” says Paul Sorbera, president of Alliance Consulting, an executive search firm. “It is important to assess the situation and information provided.”
Sorbera suggests trying to find out how long the company has been looking, what kind of turnover they’ve had in the role and why, and how urgent the hire is for them. If you’re the right candidate and you know the company is challenged, it can give you an advantage in negotiating.
Research the market salary range for the position, says Rangel. “Sites like salary.com, payscale.com, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics will be able to shed light on what individuals who do what you do get paid and how the salary may vary based on location and length of experience,” she says.
And find out the organization’s pay strategy, adds Elaine Varelas, managing partner of Keystone Partners, career management consultants.
“Companies choose to be lead payers, midmarket payers, or on the low side,” she says. “Companies can also approach salary based on how competitive the market is for your specific area of expertise. Knowledgeable recruiters may be able to share this kind of market data with you.”
KNOW YOUR VALUE
Understand the value you bring to the company, suggests Rangel. “It’s important to shift your interviewing presentation from a past-salary mindset to a job-value mindset,” she says. “So many go in asking for what they made at their previous position. However, it’s best to go in and negotiate based on the value you bring to the table.”
Tie the value of the salary you are requesting to the impact you will make on the company in a quantifiable manner, and then attach your salary request to this equation, says Jen Hwang, chief strategy officer for the job market app tilr. “Help the employer see that they are getting an excellent deal when it comes to return on investment,” she says.
And be clear about your own situation, says Will Bachman, cofounder and managing partner of Umbrex, a networking community for independent management consultants. “What other options do you have?” he asks. “What is the lowest salary you’d accept? What aspects of the employment package other than cash are important to you?”
CONSIDER THE FIRST OFFER A STARTING POINT
Don’t immediately say “yes,” and don’t accept the first offer, advises Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow, clinical assistant professor of business law and management at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. “Formulate a counteroffer to see if you can improve the offer,” she says.