Show Me the Money!
As the old idiom goes, “it never hurts to ask.” However, when it comes to compensation negotiation studies have found that most people do not ask for a salary increase. In fact, in a Salary.com survey, 59% of employees said they dread even bringing up the topic to superiors. The reason being, fear.
While the thought of having such a conversation may get your heart racing, there are simple steps you can take to help the conversation run smoothly. Whether you are currently searching for a job or working towards a promotion, these are some of the tips and tricks we find most helpful.
Interviewing for a New Job
- Do Your Research – Before the interview, learn about the company’s salary ranges and benefits, as well as the industry salary ranges. Also, you need to know and be able to articulate YOUR OWN value. Look into the average compensation levels for your desired position for someone with your level of experience and for related roles in your location/region. After you have done your research, know the exact number you will be requesting.
Try This: “I’m really excited to work here, and I know that I will bring a lot of value. I appreciate the offer at $XXXX, but was I really expecting to be in the $XXXX range based on my experience, drive and performance. Can we look at a salary of $XXXX for this position?”
- Think Big Picture – Compensation isn’t only about money. There are many other company benefit offerings to consider when the dollar figure isn’t quite where you want it to be.
“Employers need to make sure they’re selling things like culture, if their monetary offer is going to be lower than what [the candidate] is already getting. They need to think about a person’s personal value systems,” said Kim Dukes-River, KNF&T’s Senior Vice President of the Direct Hire Division and Diversity Search and Recruitment.
- Be Patient and Strategic – Don’t discuss compensation too early in the interview process. Talk about it after you feel you have established some chemistry with the interviewer and you feel like the company and the position could be an ideal fit for you. If you are presented with an offer and the salary wasn’t discussed during the interview process, tell them you would like to take some time (2 hrs, 24hrs, the weekend) to review the offer and that you will get back to them within the timeframe you specified. This will give you the opportunity to consider and evaluate the entire compensation package being offered (and also compare it to other offers you may have received during your job search).
Currently Employed and Want a Raise
- Time it Right – When it comes to compensation negotiations, approach the discussion at a point in your career when you are having success, and are able to identify specific areas where you have delivered results, achieved major goals and/ or you anticipate to add more value.
According to Psychology Today, “Thursdays and Fridays find us most open to negotiation and compromise because we want to finish our work before the week is out.”
- Think Beyond the $$ – As is the case with overall compensation for a new job, the same holds true for negotiations within your existing company. Think about other points of value as well, such as bonuses, promotion opportunities and increased vacation time. This is particularly important when you are working for a company where budgets may be tight, but you like/love your job and you want to do your best to make it work.
“We have candidates who realize that it’s about the quality of life. A 20 percent pay cut may put the job back on the board, if they no longer have to travel to and from work every day. If, as your Manager, I know it’s important for you to have flexible Fridays in the summer that could be a great negotiating point for me. It’s a completely different piece of the process,” said Dukes-Rivers.
- Be Considerate of Your Manager’s Interests – Just like you, your boss has needs and concerns. Demonstrate how increasing your salary will ultimately benefit the organization. Suggest possible solutions – while listening and trying to understand your Manager’s views – and then decide among the solutions discussed. This approach will aid negotiations considerably and you will likely build even more mutual respect as a result.
- Take It and Run With It – If the answer is yes, then you have successfully achieved your goal! However, if you hear the dreaded two letter word (no), gracefully accept the answer. At this point, it is your right to ensure that your concerns have been heard so not be afraid to ask clarifying questions.
“I have a team of 8 and I manage every person individually because everyone is motivated very differently. As their Manager, I usually know what motivates them and, since it’s my job to help them reach their goals, I use this knowledge when working with them in creating a plan that will get them to where they need to be,” said Dukes-Rivers.
In Either Situation
- Prepare yourself – Much like any other presentation and/or speech, you need to be prepared. Know beforehand what you will say and practice the delivery. The presentation begins when you walk into the room or office, so take a deep breath and walk in confidently. Start the conversation on a positive note and make sure your request is just that, a request, not a demand.
Try This: “I really enjoy working here and find my projects very challenging. In the last year, I’ve been feeling that the scope of my work has expanded quite a bit. I believe my roles and responsibilities, and my contributions have risen. I’d like to discuss with you the possibility of reviewing my compensation.”
Want to learn more about compensation negotiation? A KNF&T Consultant will be happy to talk with you about your specific situation and offer guidance to get you on the right path!
To contact KNF&T, click here!