Many professionals struggle to negotiate the deals during their recruitment and stress more on the potential opportunity. Ultimately, it doesn’t happen as expected and in fact, ends on a lower side. That’s when these salary negotiation tips will help you achieve what you want to.
Did you know? Nearly 50% of India’s healthcare professionals have failed to negotiate their salaries and left the money on the table. If you don’t get what you expect, you’re surely going to bear it later.
Negotiation is merely selling your skills at a price YOU decide. The shorter you sell yourself, the lower you show authority in your skills to the recruiter. Once you crack your interview, salary negotiation is the next challenging part on the list.
Reasons you might end up not getting what you want:
- You feel HR people are anyhow the cost-cutting machines and that restrains you
- You don’t know how to command the negotiation
- You may feel awkward negotiating your skills and so on…
So if you are looking for:
- Getting highly paid
- Do’s and don’ts during the negotiation
- How to negotiate over a call?
- What’s next after negotiation?
Then you’ll love the actionable techniques here. Let’s get started.
Salary Negotiation Tips That’ll Result
When it comes to changing a job, there are many things in between right from updating your resume to getting a new ID card. Sometimes, your hiring manager starts the salary discussion first, and then it goes to HR for approval. Sometimes HR may do it entirely.
Anyway, the decisive stage would be your salary negotiation. So here’re the actionable tips to get you started.
1. For Newbies
Freshers generally don’t have much to say about their professional expertise. In such cases, recruiters generally have their hands on the negotiation.
But there’s a way out, ask for a raise slightly more than what is offered just to ensure you are getting industry standard. Advocate this by showing your interest in the opportunity and how you plan to explore and grow.
Once you grab the job, try to carry forward what you committed.
If you are an experienced professional, you need to organize the things even before you sit for the discussion or in fact before your interview itself.
2. Research to Know Your Worth
Negotiation actually helps when you’ve reasons to back it. Going with bare expectations is not gonna help. Find out the ifs and buts you may face from the cost-cutting machines.
Research the competition because you must look around what other companies are paying for the kind of role you’re getting in. Set your lower limit even before preparing for an interview. Draw up your negotiation strategy accordingly.
If you sit across the table without any number in your mind (% and exact figure), you’ve almost lost the conversation to the hiring specialist. So choose the numbers wisely and based on analysis.
3. Show Your Worth
Once your research is done, it’s time to present it properly. You can say “I am asking a fair amount for what I’ll be delivering based on my previous work experience.”
Talk about the salary trends in the domain you’re working. A geographical aspect may be an added advantage if you’re about to live in an expensive city. But, it may be a downside if it’s about special economic zones in India at least.
Present yourself with ease and do not hesitate to explain the basis of your expectation. And yes, don’t give them range. If you do, they’ll start from the lower value as simple as that.
4. Justify Your Craving
Suppose the recruiter tries to convince you for let’s say 15% raise and you stuck at 30%. If things don’t move ahead, the recruiter may seek the reason behind your expectation.
Needless to say, the recruiter always searches value for money candidates. So, explain what special things you have that sets you isolated from the competition.
When it comes to proving yourself at least during negotiation, you must have something at hand to show the recruiter how you deserve what you are asking for.
Negotiation from the recruiter may always be below what you want. Therefore, it is better to start off the discussion slightly above your expectation and then coming down to the middle of the range you thought of.
5. Set Your Lowest Expectation
There are instances when HR people will ask you questions like: “What is the lowest salary you’ll be comfortable with?”. This is the trick some of the recruiters play even when you tell them your first number. So how should someone answer that? Is it ethical to ask such questions? Well, I’ll explain how to respond to such questions at the end of this article.
But remember to keep yourself ready to accept the worst-case and define your last point below which you’ll not consider the opportunity. Don’t sell yourself short.
6. Pitch Yourself Confident
Remember, the direction in which you want to progress the negotiation starts with your statement. Confidence is the outcome of the experience.
Nobody can predict how the discussion will go, but make sure you sound bold in what you say. Not just the tone of your voice but also your body language should show that you are confident.
Practice your pitch either in front of the mirror or with a good friend who can give you genuine feedback.
Some companies right before an interview may ask you to fill up certain forms that require you to mention your professional background. Also, they smartly insert a column to ask for your salary expectation.
This is the fragile situation you certainly want to tackle effectively. Because in a short span of time we rush to put some value thinking that we’ll negotiate after the interview. If you are already prepared to tackle such situations, you’d easily manage what you want.
7. Be Ready With Your Counter-Offer
Don’t forget to keep a note of how the medical policies, perks, and other variable stuff going to be part of your CTC. Some will have fewer variables, but some have a huge chunk of it.
For Indian recruitment, try to minimize your variables as much as you can because when you approach for the next job, that recruiter will simply minus the variables from your CTC and then start the negotiation. That way, you end up getting a lower raise.
A situation may come when you feel a big gap between what you desire and what is being offered. Thinking about how you can counter that will surely help you.
Again, this is the worst-case and you must prepare to take the conversation ahead. Suppose you plan for 8.5 LPA and you get an offer of 6 LPA. You see? the gap is huge.
Answering this way to make a counter-offer would help, “I can understand you. I just want to repeat my interest to grab this position, work on some wonderful projects and foster my skills. I think my profile is absolutely reasonable to ask for 8 LPA.“
This is the way you should back your statement and ask for a raise. You’ll end up getting a high salary and probably winning the negotiation.
8. Take a Pause Before Saying “Yes”
If you think the offered number fits in your pigeonhole, don’t rush to say “Yes” or “I agree”. Take a pause, rethink and convince yourself, this is what you wanted.
Don’t make a doubtful face during that pause. This shows strange to the recruiter that even after so much discussion, you are still in confusion. Instead, use statements like Let me think…<pause> YES.
This is very important not for that moment but for your upcoming time with the organization. You should not feel then, you’ve been paid less because that’ll hamper your performance and make you hunt for the next opportunity.
9. Dare to Say “No”
Rejection is also a part of the negotiation process. Ultimately, both of you are sitting there to reach an agreement and that the employer already feels you as a suitable candidate for the position.
Don’t be afraid to reject the offer if things are not as you anticipate. As someone said, Negotiation actually starts once you say NO.
They don’t want to repeat the whole process to fill the position unless they’ve got an option. So, sometimes saying no increases your chances of recruitment and that too on a higher side. This is not a thumb rule though.
If you accept the offer on a lower scale in the fear of saying no, you will have to digest that later and these things will affect your performance badly. Remember, No said at right time is a sign of a powerful persona.
10. Ask Questions
Before you ask for a hike, you’ll need to ask yourself a couple of questions.
- Have you shown stability in one company at least?
- Did you outperform the job at hand?
- Have your responsibilities increased over time?
The answer to these questions should be “Yes” in your own evaluation. If you meet those, you must explain them with examples when asked.
When you sit for negotiation, don’t hesitate to ask open-ended questions to maintain the tempo of the conversation and show how you’re prepared to work.
- How does a normal day look like?
- Can you please explain how you calculate and reward variables?
- How did you come to this value? (If you want to ask about their salary calculation part)
- Please give me an overall idea about your leave policy.
- When do you want me to join? The notice period is the biggest concern while switching the job so make sure you don’t get dragged in unnecessary emails.
The recruiter can’t simply answer Yes/No to these open-ended questions. And at the same time, you get the important details about your key financial aspects. Two birds in one arrow.
11. Choose Friday/Saturday
This is an awesome technique that often work-out. Sometimes, interview and salary discussions happen on different days due to the lengthy shortlisting process. Walk-in-interview is the best example of this condition.
Recruiters take time and might ask about your availability for the salary discussion. Simply note what their weekends are and propose a day just before their weekend.
During those days, recruiters often find it difficult to restart the discussion on Monday and don’t want to miss their weekly targets. So, it is highly possible that they’ll somehow agree to pay you what you want. This is not a certain situation but if it arises, you can take full advantage of that.
12. Negotiating With Your Current Employer
“My job is great, the company is great but salary? Terrible”.
If this is something you feel, approach the decision-maker in your current organization before tendering your resignation and ask for the salary hike you want. This is the best way to negotiate when salary is the only concern.
Convince your current employer why you feel so. Have some comparable data to present and you may get a hike if you snap it. Few companies call it a salary correction also. Most business-oriented companies retain their performing employees. Make sure that you’re one of them before you talk.
This becomes a very challenging case if your current and potential employers (both) agree to your request. You’ve now to choose the one without hurting relations with the other one.
Responding Some Cunning Situations
What’s Your Current Salary?
First of all, is this question ethical to ask? What do you feel, how your current salary will make them give you an offer?
In Indian jobs at least, this is the most common question. If you see closely, this question is legally banned in other countries e.g. some parts of the US.
You may say, I am okay with this as my calculations are based on that value only. That is a good thing. But a bad thing is that recruiter’s calculations are also based on the same value.
This is the way they close the deal on the lower edge. The actual money allotted for the position may be much higher than what you are getting. They’re simply trying to figure out how short they can buy you.
But the catch is, they can ask you this question even before your interview just to check whether you fit in their arithmetic. Here, you get hardly a chance to ask their budget for the position because you may miss the opportunity right at this point if they think you’re smarter than them. So choose your response based on the situation.
What is the Lowest Salary You’ll Accept?
Sometime back, one of the recruiters asked me this question. Few questions came to my mind. Why he’s asking me this? If I say it also, is it not that he’ll simply consider that value for negotiation?
But instead of answering it with figures he expected, I said “I’ve already mentioned my salary expectation, so let’s proceed with that.“
This question is often asked at least in pharma recruitments in India. But, it is actually unethical to ask such a question. Either they should provide you their range or ask about your target and then proceed.
If you get trapped and tell them the lowest random number, you’ll not get more than that anyhow. So instead of answering it in numbers, it is better to bring the negotiation back on track using the sentence like above.
Negotiation on a Call
Reasons for salary negotiation over the phone:
- When your prospective employer doesn’t have things ready after face to face interview.
- When your interview itself is planned over the call.
Let’s see the action plan.
- Book your slot for the time you are physically and mentally comfortable.
- Choose a quiet place where no one would bother you.
- Check proper network availability.
- Keep your notepad handy with your salary calculations written on it. Mark low, mid, and high points of your salary values well in advance.
- Draw a scheme of your negotiation strategy.
- Conquer the negotiation.
Here’s the example how you can make a counter-offer:
Thanks for this opportunity. I would like to talk about your offer. While researching about CTC that industries provide for the same level of experience and qualification, I was expecting an offer at least exceeding 10 LPA. Can you please reconsider?
This way you can kick-start in a proper direction. One benefit of this approach is you get time to build up your confidence. These things also help when you face video calls.
Negotiation Over Email
There are instances when a job offer is directly sent to your email. Does it mean, you can’t do anything thereafter? You can actually reply with your counter-offer. It is just that you should know how to throw your expectation.
For an offer received on email, one of my colleagues once asked the recruiter to resend the revised offer over a call. Now, this is also sometimes helpful depending on how you sync your frequency with the concerned person.
You can follow this procedure to tick all the boxes of a better negotiator over an email.
- Read and analyze your offer letter thoroughly.
- Highlight the points you’ve doubt and comment out for later understanding.
- Schedule a follow-up call by asking your recruiter about their availability like this
Thank you for the offer letter. I read it thoroughly and want to confirm few package-related things with you. I was wondering when would you be able to discuss this or shall I write it out here.
I look forward to hearing from you!
- Discuss and update your marked offer letter.
- Check and verify your revised offer letter.
Situations may be different but the important thing is, you carry each step to predict the next move a recruiter will make.
What’s Next After Negotiation?
The first thing you should know and ideate is your CTC break-up to maximize fixed income and minimize variable income. This ensures you’ll be paid higher when you change a job next time.
Once you successfully negotiated a higher salary, you need to prioritize a lot of important things.
- Resignation to your current employer
- Smooth transition of your current responsibilities
- Avoiding big roles during your notice period (playing it safe)
- Learning about the new role and developing the required skills meanwhile
- Keeping in touch with your next employer for any follow-ups
- Happily exit the current job without hurting business relations
Unfortunately, negotiation is a complex process with a bunch of strategies, techniques, and tactics. So, don’t forget to balance your thought process and practice-out quite often. Even better, it pays off one day.
Follow these strategies to set up your negotiation process and convert them into actions and results. You’ve now got an idea of how to do it right. What do you think about these strategies? Do you want to add something to this? Comment below.