One of the most important things after completing an interview (and getting an opportunity to move jobs) is negotiating a salary package that will ensure you are rewarded for your contributions. However, this phase is one that leaves many unhappy and often a candidate’s excitement or over confidence can either result in a less than expected income or a job offer going bad.
Salary negotiation can work in two ways. If you are working with an executive recruiter in Bangkok, then your recruiter will be the one negotiating with the employer on your behalf. The other side of the coin is when you are applying for jobs independently, and the negotiation of a salary and package deal is all on your shoulders.
Whichever way you are approaching your job search, it is important to know the ins and outs of what you need to consider and how you should approach this important aspect of your job search.
Know your worth
While salary negotiations are routed in getting the best pay possible, it is also important to remain realistic about your actual value. This is a hard truth to swallow, but you are only “worth” what someone is prepared to pay you and others in your field are valued at.
Your last salary doesn’t matter to the hiring company. Your value to them is based on what other potential hires with your experience, education, skill set, education, and location are earning to do the same job.
The best thing to do before you start interviewing is to understand the market rates for the position you are applying for, as well as understanding the responsibilities that you will be expected to perform at the new company.
You can use your recruitment consultant to gather this information and also do some research and see what peers in this role are making. Ask colleagues at your current company, ask friends doing similar roles for other companies and do some research on industry averages. If you’re having some trouble deciding on an ideal salary figure, aim for about a 10-20% increase on what you’re currently making as long as the responsibilities of the new position justify such a raise.
This isn’t to say that your requirements don’t count. They do. It’s always important to know your ideal salary and not be afraid to walk away if the company doesn't budge higher than this figure.
Don’t jump the gun
First of all, make sure you’ve got a solid offer on the table. If you have won the interviewer's support in your interview, then you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate. Try to delay the salary discussion as long as possible to give yourself adequate time to assure them you are exactly the right person for this job. Make sure they want you.
If you try to start the negotiation process too early in the process, you could appear over-confident and money-orientated which can often be a turn-off for companies. Remember, while the salary can certainly be a huge incentive for starting a new job, try not to communicate this to your potential employer. They need to know that you are fully invested in the opportunity to work for them and not solely motivated by a pay check.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get
Most people tend to undervalue themselves, and this can lead to accepting a lower salary package that you deserve. Studies have shown that new graduates and women are the two types of people more likely to avoid negotiating, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Salary Negotiation is an accepted part of the hiring process, and if you don’t even ask for it, then you are leaving real money on the table.
Remember, employers will have a budget for this hire and will always leave bargaining room so that they have space to move when negotiations do start. They are expecting you to ask for more. Don’t waste that opportunity.
If you are using a recruitment consultant ask for their assistance get through this phase, as it’s in their best interest to ensure the match goes smoothly and you can draw on their experiences to gain the best compensation offer. As with anything, the things you do every day become the things you do well, and a seasoned recruitment consultant is very experienced in ensuring this is done in the most professional manner.
Understand who you are dealing with
When discussing package, see the lie of the land by asking questions that can reveal the employer's stance on negotiations and your future earning potential in addition to base salary:
Are you willing to discuss package options?
How often is pay reviewed here?
Is there a bonus scheme in place?
Would you be willing to consider a signing bonus?
Are there other benefits we could discuss in lieu of salary?
Stand Firm but within Reason
If you are fully interested in the new opportunity you are applying for; it’s important for you to earn a level of income that will allow you to not only be happy but to be fairly compensated for your contributions. Having unrealistic earnings expectations without understanding the market or your “worth” can end in disappointing results for you and the company.
Try to focus on what you can bring as opposed to what you want, and refrain from using words like “I want” or “I expect” and use “if I can” or “ I can bring” to show your value. Normally a recruitment consultant will let you stay out of any face to face negotiations, and they will be able to represent your interests without you becoming involved.
Negotiations of any type are a real challenge and something we all can work on. If you don’t believe me just check your local bookstore and you’ll see hundreds of titles about how to improve this essential business skill. The good thing is, the more you do them, the more you improve.
When negotiating your next package, try out these tips. Your goal is to convince the company that you will add value to them when coming on board and that you are the right person for the job. The more you can communicate the value that you bring, the easier it will be for you to get the package you want.