Salary negotiations are one of the most critical elements of a job search. But not everyone aces the game as it can be more difficult than you think it is.
Some of us feel we shouldn’t be asking for more money, others don’t know how to ask for more. But you need to understand that salary negotiation are expected by every hiring manager, and it’s up to you how well you negotiate to ensure you don’t regret later.
Don’t be the one that makes these common mistakes during your salary negotiations.
1. Asking for too much
Yes, that’s obvious! We all wish for bags full of money coming our way every month, but at times our greed jeopardises the chances of getting them. An exorbitant amount drives recruiters away even if the candidate appeared promising at the initial stages of the interview.
But can you actually know what the right amount to ask is? Yes, it is possible to have at least a fair idea. If you research thoroughly, you can figure out what are the industry standards, and how much candidates with a similar profile and work experience are making.
Sometimes, the recruiting companies mention (in their job description) the budget they’ve allocated for your position. Your demand should be within that range, or else it’s unlikely that they will accept a demand that exceeds their budget.
The key lies in knowing your professional worth based on your skill sets. Try to figure that out first. If you feel there’s any scope for improvement, learn an additional skill or improve existing ones. If you quote a figure that you can defend, explaining how exactly your skills and experience can benefit your company, you’ll boost your chances of getting what you asked for.
2. Asking for too little
In our desperation for a job change, we often low-ball ourselves just to ensure we don’t miss out on the opportunity.
At times, it’s also plain ignorance at work as we don’t realise that the figure we’ve sought is way lesser than what we or the job profile deserves.
Again, you should never hesitate to ask for a pay hike if you can justify it with your skill sets and experience.
3. Getting the timing wrong
You should always initiate negotiations over salary only once you’ve successfully cleared the initial rounds of tests and interviews.
Many of us get impatient and start discussing money matters before our case reaches the human resources department, which can send wrong signals to the hirers.
4. Giving up on negotiations too soon
What do you do if you get an offer that’s lesser than what you expect? Giving up instantly is definitely not desirable. You should put across proper reasons for your expectations and try to turn the tide in your favour without going overboard.
You never know if your fact-based deliverable arguments may make them reconsider their initial offer and reach at least a middle point. This is perhaps rare, but some job seekers have also been offered bigger roles which met their salary expectations once recruiters got impressed by their credentials.
It’s best if you take a few days to strategise and research before you respond. Utilise the time to improve your arguments, research on industry standards and then negotiate for your expected salary.
5. Accepting an offer in a hurry
Accepting a job offer in a rush may not always work in your favour. Before you say ‘Yes’, it’s critical that you consider all the other available options.
If you’ve applied for multiple companies, try and get all the offers before you single out one. After all, nothing is more regretful than getting a better offer after you’ve signed up for a job that pays you lesser.
6. Not negotiating on take-home pay
Different companies have different policies and pay structures. Sometimes while negotiating on gross pay, we often overlook the net pay or take-home salary.
It’s imperative that you have complete clarity on the pay structure offered. Are there any variable components in your salary? If yes, what are those and how much money do they involve? Is there any other deduction to your monthly gross pay after standard deductions like income tax, Employees’ Provident Fund, and others?
You’ll be naive not to dig deep on this and regret later with your monthly salary amount.
These tips would go a long way in ensuring your next job pays an amount that justifies your capabilities. Happy job hunting!