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Tips for negotiating salary and other perks

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  • May 26th, 2021 9:14 am
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
5106 posts
4044 upvotes

Tips for negotiating salary and other perks

I have very little experience with salary negotiations or how it works - e.g. is it done via phone call, email.

I haven't gotten a job offer yet but it's looking pretty good and things are moving fast - I don't want to get caught off guard, I want to be prepared especially because the HR person is a seasoned, no-nonsense type person who knows their stuff and can read people, but they are personable and helpful...actually they're great, by far the best I've dealt with. It's also clear that they really like/want me for this job. I'm very qualified for this position and have extensive and relevant education and experience.

What I know so far is that their max salary for this position is close to what I make now, which they're aware of so I'm hoping they'll offer me pretty close to the max. I actually would be OK with taking a bit of pay cut because this is a career switch and this job is perfect for me at this time. I've also had a hard time making a career switch - not many options and very few interviews. Getting my foot in the door would also open so many future doors, so totally worth it. However, if I can get what I make now or a little bit more, that obviously would be preferred, particularly because the commute is going to be brutal (fortunately I can take the GO so don't have to worry about driving but it's LONG and WFH after the lockdown doesn't look like it would be an option, but I'm going to try.

Any tips on how I can negotiate the max salary range should I get an offer? What else can I negotiate for since there's little flexibility with salary and WFH? I was thinking more vacation than what someone would get starting out which is usually 3 weeks and greater work flexibility like compressed work weeks if WFH isn't an option.

TIA
13 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2017
1480 posts
1341 upvotes
hierophant wrote: I have very little experience with salary negotiations or how it works - e.g. is it done via phone call, email.

I haven't gotten a job offer yet but it's looking pretty good and things are moving fast - I don't want to get caught off guard, I want to be prepared especially because the HR person is a seasoned, no-nonsense type person who knows their stuff and can read people, but they are personable and helpful...actually they're great, by far the best I've dealt with. It's also clear that they really like/want me for this job. I'm very qualified for this position and have extensive and relevant education and experience.

What I know so far is that their max salary for this position is close to what I make now, which they're aware of so I'm hoping they'll offer me pretty close to the max. I actually would be OK with taking a bit of pay cut because this is a career switch and this job is perfect for me at this time. I've also had a hard time making a career switch - not many options and very few interviews. Getting my foot in the door would also open so many future doors, so totally worth it. However, if I can get what I make now or a little bit more, that obviously would be preferred, particularly because the commute is going to be brutal (fortunately I can take the GO so don't have to worry about driving but it's LONG and WFH after the lockdown doesn't look like it would be an option, but I'm going to try.

Any tips on how I can negotiate the max salary range should I get an offer? What else can I negotiate for since there's little flexibility with salary and WFH? I was thinking more vacation than what someone would get starting out which is usually 3 weeks and greater work flexibility like compressed work weeks if WFH isn't an option.

TIA
Could you negotiate at least 1-2 days WFH per week?
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
5106 posts
4044 upvotes
ProductGuy wrote: Could you negotiate at least 1-2 days WFH per week?
That's the plan (sorry that's what I meant by WFH 1-2days, not completely remote) but not sure they'll go for it, which is why I'm asking what else I can negotiate on. There's also travel with this job.
Sr. Member
Jun 3, 2006
785 posts
197 upvotes
Markham
It's really no different than any other debate or negotiation. Some of the things to consider:

- Describe why you're a great fit for them
- Does the job require you to outlay any more money (ie. commute costs, buying lunch when in the office, etc)?
- Are you giving up anything other than salary (ie. differences in benefits, RRSP, stocks, target bonus, etc)?
- Consider asking for more vacation or a signing bonus if salary is a sticking point. Sometimes it is due to rigid pay bands.

You need a set a minimum number for yourself where you wouldn't regret the move and be prepared to walk away if it's not met.

There's also
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 29, 2008
3686 posts
829 upvotes
Cash is king of course (i.e. base salary), but as others have mentioned there are other things that could be worth also be worth negotiating - bonus amounts, hiring bonus, RSU etc. The easiest things I think that the employer can concede are vacation time and shortened review period (with corresponding salary increase). Good luck - hope you get what you you’re looking for.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
12060 posts
4368 upvotes
Toronto
Is your profession in demand? and you are very experienced and skillful worker?

Question I raise to this is who needs who more?
If your skill and experience is in demand and unique, they will be more willing to negotiate your offer, if there are 10 other person line up for the same job and same criteria as you, probably not so much.

I successfully negotiated more vacation days when I accepted my last job offer.
Retired Forum Moderator February 2009 - June 2015
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
5106 posts
4044 upvotes
Sorry maybe my post isn't clear. This isn't a case if I will walk away - my minimum salary threshold will be met. What I'm asking is what are techniques/approaches to maximize the offer since I don't have experience with salary negotiations, but if it is the same as any other negotiation then I'm good and also what are commons things that are negotiated (which seems to vacation time and work flexibility - signing bonus, etc. aren't options).

As for who wants it more - I think it's mutual.
Sr. Member
Jun 3, 2006
785 posts
197 upvotes
Markham
It's no different than any other negotiation. What do you do when you're buying something?

1. You poke holes in what they're selling (ie. it's scratched, it might break down, can buy a new one for just a few bucks more, etc). For your negotiation, it's things like increased commute time, spending money on transit/parking, time away from family, etc. You give them a picture that you're maybe thinking that it's not worth it for what they're offering.

2. You tell them you'll think about it and bluff that you're walking away and see if they come back with more. Whether you're willing to do this one is up to you.
Member
User avatar
Mar 8, 2004
348 posts
121 upvotes
Montreal
I’m not an HR person but i work in management. Most places pay scale uses market value and negotiation for added benefit that may include monetary and/or non monetary benefit try to maximize the “attractiveness” of the position. Then afterwards, HR usually try to put objective points as to how salary of specific people fit within those pay scale and how each person should meet those objective in order to maximise the pay scale. You never want to put a person in a situation where it’s not fair for 2 people doing the same job and not having similar salary. If that’s the case, then you maybe in a company where there is a lot of inequalities and may be very prone to be a toxic environment.

That being said. Do a little market research on similar position average salary and try to check for benefits. Compare them to what is being offered, usually, it should be fairly close. What distinguishes a place from another are usually non monetary benefits like vacation policies, work environment, company values, perks (free food?), etc...evaluate if it is worth it and you should be able to target a salary and benefit you would like to have.

Then ask for the different pay grades and scale with their associated expectation so you can argue how you already or will meet those expectations. If you fall in the max of your pay scale, maybe you are due for a position change/promotion. You can suggest that you need more challenges and want to progress. If they have nothing then, it just shows you how they treat good employees.

Hope this helps.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
12060 posts
4368 upvotes
Toronto
Which part you think you are under paid (not only for salary), then start go from there I guess.

Is your old job pay more, is other companies for pay more for the same position?
Do you have more vacation days before and this one is much less?

You need an argument and reasonable point of why they should give more/
Retired Forum Moderator February 2009 - June 2015
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
46085 posts
6576 upvotes
Richmond Hill
hierophant wrote: This isn't a case if I will walk away - my minimum salary threshold will be met.
It better appear to your employer that you will walk away, otherwise what's their incentive to give you anymore than what they already gave?

Tell them you have other opportunities you are considering. That's what I usually do (and it's always true, there's always something else out there)
Jr. Member
Dec 21, 2009
187 posts
124 upvotes
Oakville
Jon Lai wrote: It better appear to your employer that you will walk away, otherwise what's their incentive to give you anymore than what they already gave?

Tell them you have other opportunities you are considering. That's what I usually do (and it's always true, there's always something else out there)
+1 on other opps. If youre a great candidate and say you have other options. They will try whatever they can to poach you.

My having 2 other offers allowed to to negoiate more 40% more and a totally a more senior position. In your case it would be a bit of a bluff, because I had gotten the first offer and turned it down a day later.

Got a second offer after they wanted to meet with me, I said i was going to be countered, got a bit more.

Maybe youc an negotiate signing bonus? WFH would be ideal if you can make a bs case for it.
Banned
Aug 7, 2011
55 posts
68 upvotes
GTA
1. Ask what the maximum is. Don't settle for a range, what is the max number?
2. Make it seem like the employer needs you more than you need them.
3. Offer proper references.
4. Say you have a couple other opportunities you are in the process of discovering/considering.
5. Ask good questions and try to poke holes in what they are telling you.
6. NEVER TELL A POTENTIAL EMPLOYER YOUR CURRENT SALARY. ONLY TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT TO MAKE. if you told them your current salary your chances of negotiating for a higher amount are pretty much dead. If you did this at this point all you got left is negotiating for more vacation.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 23, 2008
5784 posts
1473 upvotes
Milton
Good reading for negotiation: http://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/01/23/salary-negotiation/

There are really solid advice listed by the author , especially these (which others have mentioned already):
  • Negotiate multiple things- including vacation. "When I was negotiating my current job, I asked for 2 more weeks than they were willing to provide, as well as more money. They decided to stand firm on the vacation, but gave me the money I asked for."
  • Be willing to walk away. "I thanked them for their time, and declined the offer when they held firm on the vacation. They came back a week later with an offer for the money."

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