Author Topic: Salary Negotiation: 32 Job Pay Tips  (Read 2599 times)


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Salary Negotiation: 32 Job Pay Tips
« on: April 18, 2017, 10:16:46 PM »
Salary Negotiation: 32 Job Pay Tips

1. Negotiate. Yes, even if you don't attend one of our negotiation training seminars, just by choosing to negotiate, you'll be raising yourself above most of your competition. How? A Society for Human Resource Management survey found that 8 out of 10 recruiters were willing to negotiate salary and benefits with job applicants. Yet only 33% of applicants surveyed said they felt comfortable negotiating. In our experience, the remaining 2 out of 10 who weren't prepared to negotiate with their recruits are either unattractive to work for, had unwisely started with their best offer, or will be forced to revise their thinking when they realize their true choice.

2. Trading. Use the "if / then" process of negotiation (otherwise known as "logrolling"). When an employer is insisting that you're going to have to make a concession, why not ask for one in return? For example, "If I accept this salary now, then would you be prepared to discuss awarding me a performance related bonus plus a performance review in 6 months instead of 12 months?"

3. Don't show me the money. So when should you talk about the money if not at the outset? At the end? No, but nearer to the end. If you leave salary for last, you're likely to have little to bolster your chances. Keep a few cards up your sleeve. When salary is mentioned you want to be able to trade these cards in, in order to achieve your higher pay package. So if they want you to start next month and to work longer hours, keep these cards close to your chest and say "yes" only when it means you'll be earning more for it. Practice saying "we can talk about that" and "that's possible" rather than showing your tender underbelly by meekly saying "yes" to everything they ask of you.

4. Get all offers in writing. You don't want to commit yourself or turn down other positions without first knowing exactly what is being offered. So don't make a decision before it's in writing. Remember that just because it's in writing, doesn't mean it's carved in stone. This is likely their opening offer, unless you've negotiated together at length before the written offer. An offer in writing is often a starting point for negotiation. Compare their written offer with your meeting notes (you are taking detailed notes at the end of each meeting, aren't you?).

5. BATNA. We said that negotiations should not merely be the choice of a binary yes or no decision. Give yourself options. In negotiations this is often referred to as your BATNA - a term first coined by Harvard's Project on Negotiation. The worst thing you can do is to interview for your dream job or that high rate position - and no other positions. The more job offers you have on the table, the easier it is for you to say "no thanks", or to negotiate without being hijacked by your emotions. So if 2 options are too few, is a hexadecimal range of choices too many? Probably. Have at least 3 attractive options, whilst having more offers is only going to strengthen your negotiating position, you will stretch your time researching each job and attending the interviews. Having other potential options at the time of the interview is the greatest source of power at your disposal, and gives you room or latitude within which to negotiate. If they really want or need you, they're not going to let you waltz into the arms of their competitors, are they?

6. Set your sights high. Are you aspiring high enough? Most geeks don't ask for enough, this is a sad fact of today's marketplace. Agencies and employers typically make an offer, waiting for the IT professional to argue for higher salary, only to be surprised with a meek acceptance. This is usually the symptom of low aspirations. So raise your own price and you're guaranteed to achieve a better result. At first reading, this may sound like a contradiction, we know. Think about this for a moment: one of the most significant ways in which employers judge your ability is through your confidence. If an employer is presented with 3 candidates with roughly similar CV's, and 1 says that he's worth more, who are they going to trust the high risk all important project responsibilities with? A higher aspiration communicates confidence, and confidence inspires confidence and with it higher salaries.

Walk a mile in his shoes

The old saying goes: "Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes". This isn't because you'll be a mile away and wearing his shoes when you're judging him. No, it's to get his or her perspective. So we say: "Before you negotiate with a man, walk a mile in his shoes." Most negotiators spend too little time in the other person's shoes.

7. Ask for More. Following on from 6 above, there's another strange reason why it's in your interest to ask for more. Executives hate to be wrong. So when your boss has made a decision to take you on, they are making a personal bet on your potential. If you perform well, you make them look good to their peers. If you don't perform, they look bad. Everyone wants to back a winner, the most obvious way to measure the weight of their bet on your potential is the figure they put on your head. So it's in their interest to promote those that they reward the highest - as this proves them right. Are you following? This means that the more you get paid, the greater your chances of a promotion - and thus continues your upward spiral. It's not necessarily fair, but a subtle human principle of psychology. So either make this one count in your favour, or risk someone else in your organisation leapfrogging your future progression.

8. Where does it hurt? Put your finger on their pain. It's perhaps the kindest thing you can do, and your salary prospects go up the better you do it. Chances are that your role or project was created to reduce pain, not to increase pleasure. It's been proven that managers and executives are more motivated to act to solve problems, rather than creating opportunities. So find out what problem you will solve and size up the risks you mitigate, and talk frankly with your employer or client about what may happen if they don't use your services. Better you invite them into an unsavoury future than they don't foresee it or underestimate it and then find themselves adrift in a sea that you could have saved them from. The bigger their pain, the larger your gain.

9. Get on the inside track. Get to know people in your target organisation, or better yet - in your target department. Inside information can be the gold dust you need to strike gold. Knowing the right people, winning their trust and asking the right questions can be the key you need to gain the upper hand. This takes time, so start asking your friends who they know.

10. Do your homework. Visit their website - read it, get to know all you can about their industry - past and present. Even if your role is a supporting type that's safely tucked away from the coal face of the changing harsh market, every employer wants staff who are interested in making a difference. Find areas that you're passionate about, remember these just before your interview to fuel your passion for getting this role. This isn't easy to do when you have many interviews to attend, so be selective about the roles you want to take seriously enough to research. It helps to stick to one industry, especially if you're already familiar with the industry. As always, write your questions down and ask your interviewer or friends who have the inside track. Use the web and other resources to your advantage to know the real worth of your skills and role.

A word about your instincts: If you uncover some information that causes you concern and can't find a satisfactory answer. Don't be shy to ask your interviewer. If they don't satisfy your concerns, don't take the role. You don't have to work for an industry or company who's ethics don't sit comfortably with you - so trust your gut. The Negotiation Experts's ethics prevent us from working with tobacco companies.

Play the Corporate Game

If you're working for a corporation, then you better learn the rules of their hiring game.



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Re: Salary Negotiation: 32 Job Pay Tips
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 10:17:10 PM »
11. Rules and Policies. If the employer states that something is company policy, challenge it by asking the basis or reason for the policy. Ask what exceptions have been made, and the rationale behind these. Find a situation or context that would make you exempt from the policy. For example, if the policy isn't applied to contracting staff, then ask them to change the position to a contractual one rather than a full time role. Most every rule has its exceptions.

12. Don't play in the Band. "We can't pay you more than X, as this is the maximum allowed for your grade". Heard this before? Insidiously effective if left unchallenged. Your employer is defining the rules to their own game, and straight jacketing you into their mould. Do you really want to conform? Of course not. So what can you do? Rebel. That's right, break free from the boundaries of their pay bands by creating a convincing argument as to why you are "different", and exceptionally exceptional. With large corporations, this isn't easy. Start by writing out all the ways in which you stand out from the run-of-the-mill competition. These are your differentiators, they set you apart from the pack. Think of it from the other side's perspective - they may value you for reasons that you think are mundane. Be careful to examine the contextual factors:
Is the project or area you're involved with time sensitive? This will likely make it more difficult to replace you in a flash.
Is there anyone else in the company who can do your job? Who else boasts your unique combination of skills and experience? Are they prepared to do your job?
Does your role really fit neatly into a salary category and band? If you can make a good argument as to why your role is unique and different, then you're more likely to persuade.
What is the difference between the grade they want to cast you into, and the next grade or two higher? Make a case for your fitting into a higher grade with a more handsome pay scale.

13. Decisions Decisions! There's nothing so disheartening as negotiating like an ace, only to discover late in the day that the final decision needs to be made by someone else. This often means negotiations start afresh, after you've already played your best cards. So map out their decision making process, paying particular attention to the person or people responsible for making the final decision. Either talk with them directly, or at least get permission to talk with them once you've successfully negotiated with HR or lower level staff.

Beware the Traps

Many employment agencies and companies alike use the following 3 tactics to get a better deal for the company.

14. Read the contract! Generally speaking, the person who creates the game has the advantage. So don't negotiate a superb job offer verbally, only to push a lot of gold across the table by not reading their contract. It does take time and usually isn't written in easily comprehensible language. If you have a friend who's an attorney / lawyer or knows about labour law or contracts, then have them read it after you have. Don't be afraid to ask your employer about anything you are unhappy with or doesn't make sense.

15. Stay out of Range. Your future boss or HR may try to persuade you to state your salary range early on. Try to avoid this if possible by asking what salary range they are offering instead, or say you will consider any reasonable offer. If you have a fairly good idea of what salary ranges are applicable to your situation, and are pressed into a corner to be specific, go for the top end of the salary range. You can always negotiate down.

16. Do not fill in salary boxes. Seen the forms that ask you for your last positions' salary or contract rate? Leave it blank. If they ask for your salary expectation, tell them that you're 'open' or are 'negotiable'. Why? Once you state a salary, this rate will form the ceiling beneath which the negotiation game will be played. Similarly, if you give a salary range, you can guess which end of your range you'll be anchored to.

17. Don't take "No" for an answer. No, doesn't necessarily mean no! You're not the only one trying to get the best deal out of the negotiation. Just because they said they can't meet your salary or compensation range, doesn't mean they won't call back and up the offer later. It happens all the time. Often it's no more than negotiation tactics. After all, if they won't meet your price, maybe it's time to ask yourself whether this is the company you want to work for in the first place!

Your Interpersonal Skills

If you currently use even one of the following 6 interpersonal gems, you are already ahead of the pack. Most are oblivious to the leverage they can achieve, and of course it costs you nothing but time in preparation.

18. Your 60 seconds. Studies show that on average, you have 60-90 seconds to make an impression. Some research even suggests that this process occurs in the first 4 seconds! So, make sure you dress well, appear confident, act friendly, and make eye contact.

19. The 70/30 rule. This means that you listen 70% of the time in the interview or review to learn their position, options, viewpoints, or presentation on what they are prepared to offer. Don't interrupt - ever. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Open ended questions are generally better, as they encourage discussion and further exploration, and will arm you with more detailed information.

20. Take your Time. When an offer is made, don't respond immediately. Take time to digest the salary offer. If necessary, say you will respond within 1 or 2 days in response to the offer. If it's less than what you were expecting, this is the time to bring up your own research to move them northwards. Again, be prepared to illustrate your research with the resources at your fingertips.


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Re: Salary Negotiation: 32 Job Pay Tips
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 10:17:38 PM »
21. Tell them a Story...or 3. Most IT pros know their facts. This isn't enough. You need to be able to make your facts come alive and dance in the form of a convincing story. They've going to buy into YOU, so you need to be memorable and persuasive. One of the best ways to make a great impression is to rehearse your stories. Which stories? Your successful war stories. You know, the Mission Impossible projects you pulled through against all odds. Get skilled at painting scenarios vividly, gather the essential facts on just how challenging it was, and how much money you saved your company. You need to sing your own praises. Yes, it's not as romantic as someone else singing them for you. Unless you can wheel your ex-boss into the interview room, you need blow your own trumpet. Modesty doesn't put much money into your bank account. So investing in your storytelling skills is likely to have a higher rate of return than another technical or degree qualification. Write your stories out and take them to a friend in the Marketing Department for sharpening (Marketing folk can be VERY useful to have as friends when it comes to salary negotiation time).

22. Write down all your questions. Why? Questions get information, and information is power in any negotiation. The better the quality of your questions, the more powerfully you will negotiate. Practically speaking, there's a risk you'll forget if you don't capture them all. You'll find yourself upgrading your questions after seeing them in print - which will guarantee you better answers in the interview. We suggest you create a visual mind map of your questions, and sequence them in a logical order. This should keep you from forgetting to ask your most important questions without needing to pull a question cheat sheet from your pocket.

23. Show your Passion and Interest. Let them know that you are interested. There's a real danger that if you focus purely on negotiating effectively, that they may not know just how keen you are to join their organisation. So tell them what you like about their organisation, and let them know that the reason you're negotiating is that you're interested in joining them. This will increase their interest in you, and may cause them to stop looking for others for the position - thereby increasing your negotiating power.

Create Value

Negotiation isn't all about a fixed pie value claiming exercise. To create a trusting long term relationship and to enjoy a higher pay pack you will do well to collaborate with the employer to jointly expand the pie.

24. The Value of Timing. As a general rule, don't discuss salary until an employment or salary offer is made. You also need to establish value in your employers eyes before quoting them your (deservedly!) high price tag. As until they see value, any price is too high. So find out if you really want the position before you plant your money stake in the ground. There's also a danger that if you myopically focus on your sales price, that you'll be branded as greedy and not seen as interested in their company or industry. You are at your most powerful when responding to their offer. So take your time, don't rush, you may wish to pause the negotiation and think about it for a day or more.
You do need to know whether they're in the same ballpark, or are simply hitting above their own weight. So find out before the interview what their expected salary range is, to avoid wasting both your time and theirs. Usually the job advert states a salary range, so this should hopefully not be a deal breaker.

25. Your Mental Frame. "Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity" James F. Brynes. Think about your thinking, examine your mental frame. Are you viewing your salary negotiation and job as an opportunity or a safety net? Opportunity negotiators perform better, as they have given themselves the mental freedom to be courageously flexible.


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Re: Salary Negotiation: 32 Job Pay Tips
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 10:18:30 PM »
26. Sell your Value. Sell your value, and make your value visible. Stress what you have to offer the employer. Explain why you are the person for their job. Explain why you deserve a good raise or bonus by pointing out your accomplishments. State your sources from your prior research to underpin your facts. The interview chair is not time to become shy or timid.

27. Your True Cost. How much do you really cost? Think of yourself as an asset to your company, and work out how much you really cost. If you don't, you'll risk spending too much time talking about salary and related bonuses only, and not enough time on your real cost. You'll also run the risk of not discovering ways you can save your company money - money that can be shared with you.
So if you have an office at home and are happy working from there some days per week, then what are the cost savings your employer will reap? Do you have your own laptop and accessories?
Did you go direct, or through an agency? If direct, then how much are you saving them in agency fees? If via an agency, then how much are they paying the agent? Could you negotiate your agents fee downward?
Do you really need all the fringe benefits? Would they be happy paying you the equivalent in money instead?

28. Is time on your side? Calculate what you're worth per hour or day, and multiply up the amount of hours you will be working to see if you're being paid your full worth. Many consultancies expect that you work longer hours, including weekends, but don't pay you for this time. So the high salary may look less attractive when you weigh the real opportunity cost in lifestyle trade-offs. Perhaps you should be negotiating a time based pay model rather than a project or fixed rate. So would an hourly rate be better than a daily rate? Alternatively, if you're confident of completing the project in good time or in fulfilling your responsibilities in say 4 days per week, then argue for the full salary on your reduced amount of time. Would flexitime suit you better?

29. Many Goals to Score. Flesh out your goals and interests before going into every negotiation, in as much detail as possible. Make our Salary Negotiation Checklist your own by adding in extra columns. The more distinctions you make, the more material you have with which to negotiate. If you walk into a negotiation with only 1 goal, you risk being stuck in a deadlock. With 2 goals, you risk a to-and-fro dilemma. With 3 or more goals and issues your options begin to open up, and with some creative juices you can build the perfect job offer. So divide your goals and negotiation issues into sub goals and sub issues.

30. The Perfect Job Trinity. The Perfect Job can be yours, but only if you hit bulls eye on the Perfect Job Trinity. Too many IT professionals start their job searching online, looking at ads. This only takes care of the most visible part of the trinity - "Job Offers". Unconsciously they scan roles with an eye out for things that they know they can do - "Your Skills". Assessing your skills should have structure, starting with your assessing and them mapping out fully ALL your skills to date - even the skills from previous careers you didn't think you would end up using again. Usually last on the list is the most important - "What you enjoy". So do you love your job? Yes, we don't use the "L" word lightly. If you don't, then write down all the things you have enjoyed, include hobbies and previous careers. If you do love your job, then you're lucky to be able to add to this list all the wonderful things you love about your current job. This makes sure that you won't take a role that doesn't give you full satisfaction - there's a very real danger of your taking for granted all the things you love, and then missing them when you later realise what they were. So what does all this have to do with salary negotiation? Firstly, you're only ready to negotiate a position when you know it's right for you. Else you'll be unhappy, not excel or be able to perform at your best and want to move on sooner. Secondly, having a list or mind map of all the skills you possess and all the things you enjoy will focus your job searching lens. Thirdly, you'll be able to focus in on the skills that you possess that your employer needs - whether they know it or not. Fourthly, your role may be shaped into one that gives you real satisfaction - and this makes everyone happier in the long run.

31. Don't be Evil. Just as Google's early days corporate motto stated. Promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but... Geeks are famed for telling it like it is. Don't trade on your hard earned professional reputation for the sake of a possible benefit. Being honest does mean you can choose which facts you want to focus on, and which you wish to avoid. This is an important part of "Framing". Choose which part of the picture you wish to focus the frame on, but don't distort the truth. It's likely that you want a longer term relationship with your employer. Industries are smaller than you may think, and people do talk. If you find the other side being economical with the truth - challenge them and give them a chance to put the record straight.

32. Tactical Counters. Beware the tactics. Learning them the hard way is too costly. So should you be using tactics? We suggest not. Tactics are usually dishonest, and dishonestly costs you in the credibility stakes. When successful, tactics may win you money in the short term, but they'll be gunning for you next time around. People want to regain the dignity they see you having taken from them - otherwise known as revenge. Negotiation credibility takes a long while to build up, but can crumble in seconds. Negotiation tactics is a zero sum game that hurts trust and relationship irreparably. You still need to be aware of tactics in order to better be able to identify and neutralise tactics when someone inevitably tries to use them on you. Yes, we've named and shamed the more important tactics in several of the points above, and shared advice on how to counter them. Do pick up a book on negotiation tactics to be on guard and be armed to counter nasty tactics you will undoubtedly encounter.

The Way of the Future

33. Supply and Demand. Taking feedback from readers, I agree that there is a valuable 33rd point that needs to be added. A general rule of thumb in business is that of supply and demand. Perhaps one of the reasons sales continues to hold sway as the number 1 paying career path is exactly because you can't take a degree in sales. Remember what salaries were like in IT before certificatoins and degrees popped up all over the place? Standardisation and regulation leave in their tidy wake more workers who can more easily be compared and traded off against each other, this of course pushes wages downwards. Tertiary institutions are perfect for left brain focussed IT, but woefully poor at the right brain people and high concept skills that sales demands. Another trend that goes hand in hand with this reality is outlined by Daniel Pink in his book "A Whole New Mind". Daniel goes on to make the point that if it's left brained, logical and process intensive, it can be boxed up and learned in the developing world. This pushes supply up still further. Now tell me, how easily can a graduate living in India or China sell a non-commodity product to your clients?

Advice here for techies? Go one of two ways. Either become niche, specialise and target your services, and re-train regularly. Else combine your left brain IT skills with right brain people and conceptual skills to become an uncommon hybrid adding value and ideas with follow through.