Congratulations! After much soul searching and heart-to-hearts with friends and family, you’ve decided to accept a recent job offer from a staffing recruiter. The only problem is the salary offer fell lower than expected. Will you negotiate or accept the offer as is? Negotiation is something many of us shy away from, mainly out of fear. A Salary.com survey found 37 percent of those surveyed always negotiate salary. In contrast, 44 percent never bring up the subject. Of those who choose to negotiate, 57 percent were men and a tiny 7 percent were women, according to an article on the Muse.
Getting Past the F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real)
Why does negotiation, particularly for something we want and need, feel like such a scary subject? For some it’s not feeling worthy of making the request, and for others it’s the fear of being turned down. As scary a proposition as negotiation may seem, making the effort really serves your best interests, especially when you consider negotiations can increase a salary by up to 7 percent. Plus, negotiations create a cumulative effect over time. Accepting a job at a higher salary from the beginning means greater opportunity for the money to grow over time through bonuses, investment potential, and 401K options.
- Know why and what you’re negotiating for – Negotiations aren’t always about money. For some, negotiation is about flex time, vacation, better titles or the choice of better assignments. If money is your primary com/advice consideration, it’s important to know your value. To determine this, check online sites like PayScale or Glassdoor to see what others with a similar title and responsibilities earn. Center on a precise number, set the number high in preparation for the inevitable downward negotiation, and decide in advance on your walk-away number.
- Show you’ve done the research – In addition to looking at online sites, take the time to also talk to recruiters and individuals in a similar area to determine how you match up. This includes talking to both men and women. The Muse site recommends looking at free resources such as She Negotiates (good for men and women). This is the time to ask questions and write down accomplishments, awards, and customer kudos that make you a valuable employee.
- This is important, don’t wing it – Preparation for a discussion of this magnitude should begin well in advance of review time. Some suggest laying the groundwork as early as 3-4 months in advance. During this time, it’s advantageous to practice the dialogue needed to ask for a raise. One suggestion to start the discussion comes from Rebecca Healy, a blogger at Kontrary a site for young professionals. The career and money contributor at U.S. News and World Report suggests, “I’m really excited to work here, and I know that I will bring a lot of value. I appreciate the offer of $XX,000, but I was expecting to be in the $XX,000 range based on my experience, drive and performance.”
Steps to a Successful Negotiation
- Step beyond the fear
- Do the necessary research
- Calculate priorities
- Practice negotiations
- Listen for employer’s needs
- Expect to hear, “no,” this is when negotiations really begin
- Continue negotiations (flex time, vacation, title, projects)
- Be brave
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and temporary employment placement services.