In negotiating salaries, there are several important factors to consider. Firstly, you are entering into a relationship you and the employer will live with. Both parties want to be happy and feel the agreement is fair.
Your challenge is to increase your perceived value to the organization. You do that by expressing confidence. You don’t want to be arrogant, but sure, secure and firm about your abilities. Speak convincingly, citing examples of your past successes.
Be sure that your understanding of the position is clear, and that your goals are credible. Be sure that your approach is consistent with the culture of the organization, and that you would be an ideal fit for the position. Your mission is to paint a much more broad picture of your total package of benefits.
Countering the Offer
Keep in mind, the organization usually has a range it is willing to pay. The initial offer will usually not be the utmost high end of the range; unless, however, you have thoroughly impressed the employer and the offer is more than you expected. How would you know if this is the case? The employer would most probably tell you what the normal salary, or amount they were prepared to offer is.
Even then, you should express gratefulness, and then ask if there is any way to raise the amount. Be prepared to justify a higher amount, reminding the employer of your experience, skills, exceptional credentials, education, attitude etc. They might respond, citing the fact that they are offering the highest salary possible at the specific level for which you are being hired.
You may then ask if there is any way to reclassify your level. If you think you might be looked upon as being greedy, you may ask what people who have been in a similar position for two or three years are being compensated. The employer may say that such people deserve more because of their experience with the company. Cite your own experience, transferable skills, and the fact that you are a quick learner eager to excel, go the extra mile, and help the company more than achieve its goals. The higher you stack your deck, the more valuable you become!
Keep in mind the organization’s stated goals, and keep that focus at the forefront of your discussion, not to appear as selfish or arrogant. The more real benefits you offer, and the more you can relate those benefits to the organization’s goals, the more you will be perceived to be right! In any case, be grateful and cordial.
Bonuses and Stock Options
Be sure to ask some questions during the salary-negotiating phase about the benefits program. Ask about the company’s profit sharing and bonus plan. Ask about stock options. The more an organization is confident about it’s growth potential and success, the greater such benefits typically are.
Sometimes, there is some flexibility here. Evaluate the risks. How secure is the company? What is the real growth potential? How well is the company positioned in the market? How strong is the top management? How sound are their policies? What do the competitors offer? You learn answers to these questions through research and by talking to people familiar with the organization and industry. Think, also, about future opportunities to get more benefits.