How to Be a Great Salary Negotiator

20 Oct 2020 | 5 min read

But first, what are Salary Negotiations?

These are discussions between yourself and a representative of your current or prospective company that aim to help you secure a higher salary. It doesn’t matter if you’re a long-time employee or a new hire, if you feel that your salary isn’t enough, you should feel empowered to negotiate in order to get what you deserve. 

Why It's Important to Negotiate your Salary

It’s important to understand that negotiate your salary is a perfectly normal part of the employment process and that getting the salary you deserve is part of advancing in your career. Your salary is more than a deposit to your bank account: it’s how your company shows you that they appreciate your work and value you and your skills. Your salary is also how your company supports your career development and health-related perks. 

1. “Do” familiarize yourself with industry salary trends

You may think you deserve a higher starting salary in your new position. But what do the national and local job markets say? Information is your biggest ally. To enter a negotiation fully informed, consult Robert Half’s Salary Guides to determine the going rate for your position and experience level.

Pay particular attention to our Positions in High Demand or Jobs Employers Want to Staff Most section of the Salary Guides. If you’re in the running for one of today’s hottest jobs, the employer may be having a tough time finding someone with enough skills and experience, and that opens the door to negotiate higher pay.

2. “DON’T” stretch too much the truth

Professionals who know how to negotiate salary successfully understand that complete honesty is paramount. There’s no better way to see your offer withdrawn than having a hiring manager find out you invented a competing job offer or inflated your salaries from past jobs. Skip the bluffing, and be honest about your expectations.

3. Make it clear they can get you

People won’t want to expend political or social capital to get approval for a strong or improved offer if they suspect that at the end of the day, you’re still going to say, “No, thanks.” But the more strongly you play that hand, the more they may think that they’re not going to get you anyway, so why bother jumping through hoops? If you’re planning to mention all the options you have as leverage, you should balance that by saying why—or under what conditions—you would be happy to forgo those options and accept an offer.

How to Be a Great Salary Negotiator