Is it okay to ask for a higher salary during a job offer?
We have all been there. Once you manage to clear the interview and receive a job offer from a company, a lot of candidates feel uncomfortable in negotiating the salary package for fear of losing out on the job. This can be a mistake. If you do your homework and successfully counter the initial offer made to you, you can end up with a better compensation package. You may also get some added perks and benefits that enhance the appeal of the job. Of course, how you go about asking for a higher salary can make a big difference. Like most things, this requires a little bit of research, tact, and intuitiveness.
In this article, we will be discussing how to negotiate a job offer. Let’s begin.
1. Consider the Offer Carefully Before Making a Decision
When you receive a job offer, it is not necessary to accept it or turn it down right away. Tell the employer that you need some time to think it over. If you feel you deserve a better salary package, then this gives you the time to evaluate your options. In some cases, simply telling the employer that you need a little time can lead to a better offer. However, avoid taking too long to consider a job offer. This can lead to the offer getting rescinded altogether.
If you are not sure about whether to accept or reject a job offer, then reflect on your priorities and what your primary motivation is for finding a job. You need to be honest with yourself about what you want. For instance, are you looking for a job with a higher salary and benefits or does your decision depend upon the type of work you want to do? Evaluate these factors and then consider whether this particular job aligns with your priorities. This will help you reach a decision more quickly.
2. Do Your Research Before You Ask for a Higher Salary
As a candidate, it’s important to do your research and know your worth. This can help you figure out how to negotiate a job offer. It will enable you to understand the type of value you can provide to the organization and defend your demands.
Conduct some research online on the salary you can expect to earn for similar roles in different organizations. When the employer asks for an expected number, you can provide them with a salary range based upon the research you have done. You can discuss why this range is appropriate for the role and how it complements your experience. We suggest you avoid talking about your financial needs at this point and stick to the facts.
You can also look up levels and pay ranges. Some companies have a particular pay range set for a role. However, others do not. Companies also tend to have different levels defined for a particular role. For example, if you are applying for a software engineering job, then the overall pay range will encompass the various levels included in it. These levels are usually reflective of the roles and responsibilities attached to the role, the skills-set required, and so on. It’s important to understand which level you are applying for when negotiating an offer.
We caught up with Anita Pagin, a Senior Technical Recruiter at Carbon, and here’s what she had to say about it:
“Do your research. Go online and find out about pay scales and levels. Make sure it is an authentic source and reflects the current status. Companies tend to go off of a compensation survey, as well. They go off of what other employers are offering and it is all real data. You can use this to negotiate your salary and back up your demand.”
3. Address the Employer’s Concerns
As a candidate, you need to be aware of your shortcomings and vulnerabilities, as well. This is particularly important if the employer declines your demand for a higher salary. You need to be aware of any concerns they may have about your application. For example, if there is a gap in your work history that does not reflect well on your overall profile, then you must prepare ahead and address this question. If you were traveling during this period or had taken up a certification course, then you can discuss these experiences with the employer and describe how they added value to your life.
Remember, flexibility is an important part of negotiating a higher salary. If you can successfully address the concerns an employer has about your candidacy, then it’s possible to meet them halfway and agree upon a salary package that is mutually beneficial.
You can also provide the employer with an incentive while sharing your conditions. For instance, if the employer agrees to a particular condition you have, then you will sign the offer today.
4. Discuss Other Benefits
If you are planning to ask for a higher salary, be prepared to talk about non-salary benefits, too. Often, it is less costly for an organization to offer you more vacation days, remote work options, and flexible working hours. You need to consider what is important to you – a higher salary or other perks and benefits? You must also ask about the following:
- Health insurance coverage
- Retirement savings
- Paid time off
- Professional development
- Work from home flexibility
Asking about benefits is particularly useful if you are considering job offers from multiple companies. In this case, you can weigh the pros and cons of working for a particular company and the type of benefits they are willing to offer besides a handsome compensation package. This can help you make an informed decision.
5. Be Upfront
If you are looking for a job with a specific salary package, then it’s important that you be upfront about it. Let’s take a look at what Anita Pagin had to say about this:
“If it is really important for you to get a certain number and that’s a real concern for you, then you need to be upfront about it and make sure the recruiters know that from the very get-go so you don’t waste your time.”
6. Be Prepared for the Employer to Say No
Negotiating a job offer is not easy and you need to consider how you will proceed if the employer says no or only agrees to some of your requests. You must categorize your demands based on their importance. This will help you figure out what is essential and what isn’t. This approach will also allow you to make a decision more quickly while you negotiate the job offer.
It is also possible that you won’t be able to reach an agreement with the employer. In this case, you must practice staying professional and declining the offer politely.
Know Your Worth While Negotiating
As a candidate, you are perfectly within your rights to ask about the pay range for a particular role you are applying for. If you want to ask for a higher salary, make sure you understand your strengths and capabilities and use them to build an argument.
Remember, accepting a job offer where you are not entirely happy with the salary package isn’t beneficial to anyone. Employers prefer that you be upfront about your requirements. If you accept a job just for the sake of it only to switch three months later when you get a better offer, then this will be a waste of everyone’s time and resources.
To explore more tips on how to land an engineering job and how to negotiate a job offer, click here to listen to our webinar featuring a panel of recruitment experts. From applying to the right companies to preparing for technical interviews, their insights can make the job hunting process much easier for you.