Salary Negotiation Skills: How to Negotiate Salary with HR?

Whether you’re an established employee at your company or you’re close to landing your dream job, negotiating a more appropriate salary is something no-one should shy away from.

For a lot of people, salary negotiations can be one of the most daunting prospects of one’s career. However, there are many ways of preparing which will minimise your worries and help you realise not only your own worth but exactly what salary would be appropriate for someone in your role.

If you feel that your salary is fundamentally not reflective of the importance of the work you do, it’s crucial that you approach the issue objectively and compile evidence supporting your case.

What Are Salary Negotiations?

Regardless of whether you’re a new hire or a long-term employee, you should always feel empowered to speak up if you feel your salary and benefits package are not in line with the value you bring to your company.

Salary negotiations are discussions you hold with a representative of either your current or prospective company. A member of the HR department will often be present, if not the primary individual with whom your discussions are held.

Despite many people’s concerns, there is absolutely no reason that salary negotiations should turn adversarial. Remember that you and they are ultimately on the same side. The most productive salary negotiations are those between individuals who acknowledge and accept their common goal: that employees receive suitable payment in accordance with their worth.

Why is it Important to Negotiate Salary?

You need to keep in mind that negotiating your salary is an entirely normal and acceptable practice within your capacity as an employee. Receiving the salary you deserve is all part of the advancement of your career.

Your salary is representative of more than merely what is being deposited into your bank account. It is indicative of your company’s appreciation of your work, your value and your skills. It is also your company’s direct means of supporting you and your work-life balance.

It’s Not Just Your Salary You’re Negotiating

It’s important to remember that your salary encompasses the job-related perks you receive. Negotiating for some of these perks will aid you in attaining the complete salary and benefits package that you feel is fitting for your role at the company. These perks include:

●      Mentoring and coaching. This is, essentially, priceless. Both can lead to not only your own professional growth but also the growth of your relationships with leaders within the company.

●      Health and fitness. As well as medical and dental insurance, negotiating for such benefits as fitness stipends, healthcare and gym membership can add great value to your bottom line.

●      Childcare. The investment of childcare, in terms of both money and time, can quickly add up. Negotiating for childcare is an effective way for parents to secure a more convenient working arrangement.

●      Flexibility. The options of working from home, working while traveling or working to a different schedule can be far more attractive than a higher salary for some people.

●      Training, professional development and certifications. Not every company offers effective professional development or certification programs to their employees. Career-oriented individuals should make sure to negotiate for development resources as part of their benefits package.

●      University tuition reimbursement. College tuition is becoming ever more expensive. Negotiating for reimbursement on your time studying is immensely appealing for those employees who wish to continue their education.

It goes without saying that your pay itself is crucial when considering an offer or signing a new dotted line, but the abovementioned forms of compensation can also be integral to fair salary negotiation.

How Do I Ascertain My Worth?

Before you begin salary negotiations, it’s important to conduct research and find out how much your job is worth in the market as a whole. What are your skills and experience really worth to your employer, current or prospective? By being prepared and armed with evidence to back up your assertions, you will be able to present a much stronger case.

Salaries are dependent on a huge number of factors, including seniority, geography and industry, so settling on a desirable salary will be contingent on you discovering what you can realistically request. Glassdoor’s superb Know Your Worth tool can provide you with a personalised estimated market value for your role, as well as information on what others in your role are being paid.

Once you have a ballpark figure for your market worth, you will be able to compare it to the average salary of the position for which you are vying. Glassdoor can help you estimate the salary for a role before you even apply for it. Links International’s 2019 Asia Salary Snapshot also offers a comprehensive salary guide for professionals across Asia, find out how much you should earn in 2019 now.

7 Need-to-Know Salary Negotiation Skills

There is no single textbook approach to salary negotiations, so it’s important to be highly aware of your environment, your worth and your field before entering into them.

Salary negotiations are not a battle. Knowing how to negotiate your salary entails seeing eye to eye with your superior and you will experience the best possible outcome.

1) Look confident (even if don’t feel it)

Put on that game face. You need to appear totally sure of the position you are taking within the negotiations. Don’t settle. Know your worth and remember why you requested a salary negotiation in the first place.

Remember, too, that negotiations are often opened at the lower end of the salary range, for the simple reason that employees or candidates are expected to negotiate for something more competitive. Be courteous and professional, but equally do not shy away from standing your corner. That said, of course, never come across as arrogant. This can massively harm not only your position in the negotiations but also your reputation in the long term. Always be gracious, even if — especially if — you don’t come away from the negotiations with what you wanted.

2) Resist making — or accepting — the first offer

If you are directly asked what your salary requirements are, try to avoid stating an exact figure. Consider instead responding that your salary requirements are based on both the role you are going for and the overall compensation package. Alternatively, suggest that you feel you need more information about the responsibilities of the role before you can discuss salary. If, for whatever reason, you feel obliged or compelled to make the first offer, aim high within realistic confines, with the goal being to meet their likely counteroffer somewhere in the middle.

It’s also crucial to not just accept the first offer. If you feel you need time to think about it, don’t be afraid to say so. Schedule another meeting for a few days’ time and return with a confident counteroffer when you’re ready.

3) Prepare some solid questions

Show that you have given the negotiations some serious thought by coming up with some key queries for the representative of the company.

●      “How did you come to this figure?” If they make the first move and name a salary, be sure to enquire after the calculations and rationale behind it. This will also allow you to see if what you’re being offered is a hard cap or a potential springboard for further negotiations.

●      “What is the outlook for raises and promotions?” Regardless of whether your salary is negotiable, you should always be aware of what path your career could take in the future should you accept the offer.

●      “Could I have this offer in writing?” Settling on a salary in your favour is great, sure — but it means nothing until it’s on paper.

●      “Besides the base pay, what other benefits are negotiable?” These benefits might include support for education and training, medical insurance, vacation time, paid leave and moving expenses. Also remember that your salary might not ultimately be up for negotiation — but this doesn’t mean your benefits package won’t be.

●      “What metrics do you use to evaluate an employee’s success?” Having this information to hand can pay you great dividends the next time you find yourself back at the negotiating table.

4) Come with a salary range, not a single figure

If you are pressed for your salary requirements, ensure that you always offer a range, based on what others in the field are earning. You can acquire this data from your own personal research, which you can rely on to inform your negotiating position and technique. Being flexible, as opposed to sticking steadfastly to a single figure, helps you in your negotiations in general and also allows you to more easily reach a compromise.

5) Practice your pitch

Don’t let the day of the negotiation be the first time you hear your pitch coming out of your mouth! Ask someone you trust to listen to your pitch so they can evaluate it from a more objective standpoint. Furthermore, practicing your pitch aloud means you will get used to the cadence of your points when contextualised in a conversational setting. Remember, you cannot underestimate the importance of being perceived as cool, calm and collected during a negotiation.

6) Be cognisant of your leverage

Your negotiating power is highly contingent on your current employment status and situation. If you are unemployed and seeking work, it’s more realistic to expect to earn approximately your old salary, perhaps even slightly less, than it is to expect to go in after a break from work and immediately be earning more than you used to.

7) Don’t shy away from demonstrating your value

If your counteroffer is rejected, be ready to explain precisely why you believe your request is, in fact, justified. Show just how the company would benefit from your expertise by citing clear and impressive examples of how you have added value to your former (and current) workplaces. Prove that you have seriously and sincerely evaluated and studied every facet of your salary. What’s more, be prepared for the ultimate question they can throw at you: “Why do you deserve this salary?”

Negotiate for your dream salary

There’s no need to be anxious when considering how to negotiate your salary. At the end of the day, you are just as valuable to your company (or prospective company) as they are to you. Salary negotiations are part and parcel of every employee’s career at some stage. As long as you’re prepared, confident, amiable, professional and sincere, you won’t go far wrong.

At Links International, we understand how daunting the prospect of salary negotiations can be. That is why we go further than any other recruitment agency you will encounter to offer a broad range of solutions, from visa processing to payroll and retained and contingent recruitment. Our award-winning services are designed to cover every aspect of your HR processes and have made us a leader in HR outsourcing in Asia.

Check out our useful job search and salary guide to see what prospects are out there for you and your career, and to help you know your value and worth within your respective field. You can also get in touch with us today and one of our friendly team will be delighted to help you with any and all of your job-related queries.