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Techniques for negotiating salary

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 20th, 2017 12:56 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2010
4284 posts
340 upvotes
Toronto

Techniques for negotiating salary

Hey guys I've had a couple interviews and one of them has already discussed salary with me.

When it comes to the job offer and the part where both parties try to figure out salary, what tips can I use to try to negotiate a higher salary?
I know some methods are flexing your skill set and experience to make it seem like you're worth every penny. Even doing research to find out what would be the industry standard salary of the role ie using Glassdoor or LinkedIn premium. But what else can/should I do?

I had a scenario of where the HR person asked how much I was making in my current role, after answering, she promptly said the starting range of salary was at a figure $1000 more than what I'm currently making.
I wonder if she was being truthful or just making that up as part of some tactic - makes me think, if I gave her a higher fictitious figure, would she have still said that the starting range of salary is $1000 more starting?

Anywho, please advise me of some tips so I'm well equipped just in case an offer or two are made.
17 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2013
4604 posts
810 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
I'd watch out for Glassdoor as it's not always accurate and often skewed.

Saying something too high makes you look expensive and asking for the moon and sky.

Saying something too low may imply a lack of confidence, inexperience/lack of skill/questionable track record/some other reason that is making you ask for that little.

In general bargaining you usually want to shoot a bit over what you realistically will accept. Then the other party plays ball and will go a little lower. Finally you two will arrive at some in-between.

e.g. Industry range is 25-30/hr for some X role, based on 60-105 hour work week. I want 30/hr, they say 26, I'll say 29, then if they don't accept, we would end up at 27-28... But if I low balled myself at 25 in hopes of getting a job, that'd be all I'd get, and I'd look like a newbie. If I asked for 32, it'd be unrealistic, being far over the industry standard.
Jr. Member
Jan 10, 2017
188 posts
85 upvotes
Figure out what you are worth both to the market and to the company. These are very different parallels and your goal is to ensure there is a balanced valuation placed on your hire.

1. The Market
Your own worth - what you would/will accept for a role - is entirely dependent on what the valuation the market places on that type of "role". This seems to be a serious flaw in common sense with the typical professional this day-in-age regarding this logic. You are applying for a role; something with predefined responsibilities and requirements. If you can bring the sun, the moon, and fulfill the requirements the role is offering, then you are applying for the wrong role. This is the problem - everyone thinks they are worth more than the market for a particular role.

Are they right? Yes - they are, but the role that both (1) pay and (2) satisfy all experience/education an applicant can provide will never exist to external hires. These kinds of roles are sold post-hire to an employer by a current employee (or freelance); there are books on this and I suggest people read rather than preach and complain that they are underpaid. So, you need to evaluate the "role" you are in contention for with the "local market" and consider the "industry" as functions in an equation to develop a "range" that your salary should be within. That rage needs to be met and you need to be aggressive because any deviation from your worth vs. your pay compounds each year.

2. The Company
Your worth is only measured in terms of what you are doing to/for a company. If you "can" run a billion-dollar hedge fund through past experience, but are flipping burgers at McDonalds, do you think you're worth +1mm bonus to the company? Sure, this is an extreme - but it's the only way to approach the dilemma between value and pay: in terms of what you do for the company.

Some advice here is to do (1) do research, (2) stick to your guns, (3) don't be afraid to reject the offer. It blows my mind that companies will nickle-and-dime employees during salary reviews/negotiations, yet, spend recklessly on materials, etc. and incur losses that absorb several employee wages. There is a downward trend in wages and, even in an age were role consolidation is the norm, people are getting paid less each year. From the horses mouth, there are a lot of people that were once being paid >125k that are currently applying/competing for roles that have wage expectations of 90-110. Yet, everyone 60-80 has experience that is (and should be) valued at 80-120. Do you see the overlap? That's the problem.

Welcome to saturation - CPA Canada Executives should be stripped of their letters, and banned from accounting. They killed it for all of us over memberships subscription revenue. Meanwhile, police officers are raking in between 100-120k a year because of paid overtime. Do you see a problem with their system of employment and/or wage saturation? No - because they "control" the amount of people in their district.

Control is the solution to over-saturation.
Last edited by Sociology1 on Jul 16th, 2017 9:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Addict
Mar 15, 2005
4978 posts
533 upvotes
glover78 wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 4:02 pm
Hey guys I've had a couple interviews and one of them has already discussed salary with me.

When it comes to the job offer and the part where both parties try to figure out salary, what tips can I use to try to negotiate a higher salary?
I know some methods are flexing your skill set and experience to make it seem like you're worth every penny. Even doing research to find out what would be the industry standard salary of the role ie using Glassdoor or LinkedIn premium. But what else can/should I do?

I had a scenario of where the HR person asked how much I was making in my current role, after answering, she promptly said the starting range of salary was at a figure $1000 more than what I'm currently making.

I wonder if she was being truthful or just making that up as part of some tactic - makes me think, if I gave her a higher fictitious figure, would she have still said that the starting range of salary is $1000 more starting?

Anywho, please advise me of some tips so I'm well equipped just in case an offer or two are made.
Never negotiate based on what you currently make, negotiate around your experience and the market rate for the position.

I had one company fly me out to Boston once and made me a job offer of my current salary + 10% but refused to budge off that even though the going rate for that type of position was probably 20-30K higher. They kept insisting it was a "good raise" for me.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 7, 2009
637 posts
150 upvotes
Toronto
A few tips from a workshop I attended:

Don’t:
- go first or jump at any offer
- don’t quote specific salaries - you want to give a range
- don’t give info about salary history

Do
- be prepared —> know your worth, guess how much they can afford
- adopt a win-win approach
- look, speak & act in your salary range
- prepare responses for scenarios & practice them

Rule 1: never discuss salary until you are offered the job.

Rule 2: let them go first. Trying to get you to go first —> try to put it off until later in the interview.

Rule 3: If they are very interested in you:
- hear the figure, repeat it, be quiet for 10s
- hope they will offer you something better
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2010
4284 posts
340 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks guys for the tips. I may have given a specific salary at this interview, but I will also have another interview with a different company, so I'll use a range then.

If they are the ones to bring up salary, how do I get them to give me am answer first?
Jr. Member
Apr 18, 2017
101 posts
28 upvotes
Really depends on the industry and position as well. Entry level positions, you don't really have much negotiation no matter the skillset. If you ask for too much, they'll just move on to the next person. If its a higher position where experience and specific skillsets matter, then do some research and find out the industry pay for your role and base a range around that.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 7, 2009
637 posts
150 upvotes
Toronto
hockeyfan1990 wrote:
Jul 17th, 2017 12:52 am
Really depends on the industry and position as well. Entry level positions, you don't really have much negotiation no matter the skillset. If you ask for too much, they'll just move on to the next person. If its a higher position where experience and specific skillsets matter, then do some research and find out the industry pay for your role and base a range around that.
^this.
Also, if you are in a more specialized field where you can't find data about jobs typical salary, then you really have to ballpark it.
I've used this with recruiters a few times. I told them I've done my research, but due to the specificity of my role, I don't want to give them a number that will deter them, nor want to sell myself short. I am always open to discussing the numbers in a face to face interview.

Most of the time recruiters are happy/OK with my answer.
Deal Addict
Mar 15, 2005
4978 posts
533 upvotes
hockeyfan1990 wrote:
Jul 17th, 2017 12:52 am
Really depends on the industry and position as well. Entry level positions, you don't really have much negotiation no matter the skillset. If you ask for too much, they'll just move on to the next person. If its a higher position where experience and specific skillsets matter, then do some research and find out the industry pay for your role and base a range around that.
You learn to dance around it.

Usually if someone point blank asks me for a dollar figure I say I couldn't possibly answer that question without understanding the "whole compensation" of the position - including pension, benefits, bonus, vacation, salary etc and ask them to elaborate on all of the previously listed items from their end.

If they still want to force a dollar I usually give them the peak value salary with the condition that it could surely be worked down depending on the quality of the additional compensation / benefits.
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2007
723 posts
39 upvotes
Should of read this before making my new post. Lot of good info. Thanks all!
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2010
4284 posts
340 upvotes
Toronto
Ziggy007 wrote:
Jul 17th, 2017 11:38 am
You learn to dance around it.

Usually if someone point blank asks me for a dollar figure I say I couldn't possibly answer that question without understanding the "whole compensation" of the position - including pension, benefits, bonus, vacation, salary etc and ask them to elaborate on all of the previously listed items from their end.

If they still want to force a dollar I usually give them the peak value salary with the condition that it could surely be worked down depending on the quality of the additional compensation / benefits.
Very good! Who knows I may end up using that line very shortly since I have a phone interview in about 30 minutes, where they may bring up salary again.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2010
4284 posts
340 upvotes
Toronto
glover78 wrote:
Jul 17th, 2017 3:01 pm
Very good! Who knows I may end up using that line very shortly since I have a phone interview in about 30 minutes, where they may bring up salary again.
Yep this happened - they asked again for salary.
Newbie
Jul 1, 2017
41 posts
11 upvotes
I created a thread to look at the sourcing of salary information here:
salary-information-2113272/

This is to determine what salary you should be receiving or asking. If anyone has some advice, please post a reply there.

On a related note, how do you go about negotiating a raise, or at least a top-up to market? I'm in a situation where I'm below market.

I took my role as a contract and at a rate that was already lower than I was comfortable with, but I had the hopes that I would see a revaluation if I were to make the transition to permanent employment. When my contract was extended to permanent employment, my rate didn't change and I started to feel the pinch. Fast forward a year and it looks like I'm in a position where they are going to top my rate up to something inline with the market because the company both agrees and acknowledges that I am underpaid, and they don't want to lose me; the company (as in my boss) has said the former on numerous occasions over the year, and recently started saying the latter alongside the former. The problem is, I'm getting the impression I'm still going to be underpaid and I'm feeling ripped off.

They say you're not supposed to bring friends and colleagues into the equation when negotiating salary, but right now, I'm about $10,000 - $15,000 lower than everyone in my personal network for similar roles. When you consider that I have 3-4 years more experience than the people I'm contrasting against, I am getting this impression that any raise wont be adequate.
Last edited by HelloWorld3 on Jul 17th, 2017 11:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Newbie
Jan 1, 2017
80 posts
37 upvotes
HelloWorld3 wrote:
Jul 17th, 2017 11:52 pm
I created a thread to look at the sourcing of salary information here:
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/salary-i ... n-2113272/

This is to determine what salary you should be receiving or asking. If anyone has some advice, please post a reply there.

On a related note, how do you go about negotiating a raise, or at least a top-up to market? I'm in a situation where I'm below market.

I took my role (Analyst) as a contract and at a rate that was already lower than I was comfortable with, but I had the hopes that I would see a revaluation if I were to make the transition to permanent employment. When my contract was extended to permanent employment, my rate didn't change and I started to feel the pinch. Fast forward a year and it looks like I'm in a position where they are going to top my rate up to something inline with the market because the company both agrees and acknowledges that I am underpaid, and they don't want to lose me; the company (as in my boss) has said the former on numerous occasions over the year, and recently started saying the latter alongside the former. The problem is, I'm getting the impression I'm still going to be underpaid and I'm feeling ripped off.

They say you're not supposed to bring friends and colleagues into the equation when negotiating salary, but right now, I'm about $10,000 - $15,000 lower than everyone in my personal network for similar roles. When you consider that I have 3-4 years more experience than the people I'm contrasting against, I am getting this impression that any raise wont be adequate. When I look at my colleagues, there are people that I have more experience and education, along side being the go-to person for a lot of things that are getting paid as high as $50,000 more than me, or receive bonus entitlements. Granted, some of these people have been with this company for longer than 5 years, but that's a huge margin and I'm getting pissed off. I'm not saying I'm underpaid by $50,000, this figure provides some clarity to the breathing room this company clearly has, but continues to either exploit me or not care because employees are expendable.
There are so many different analyst roles out there. What kind of an analyst are you?

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