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What salary negotiation tips have you learned?

Knowing all the cutting-edge tech and being efficient in it doesn't mean you're all set for earning big bucks in your dream company.

In fact, the employee with the qualities described above combined with the lack of proper negotiating skills is the perfect candidate for them.

Do not expect someone to voluntarily offer you premium sums to reward your future input. Everything is profit-based and be ready to negotiate!

What are some of the negotiation tips that you have used or learned the hard way to score a great salary?

Top comments (23)

recursivefaults profile image
Ryan Latta

Here's a few of the things I do:

  • Negotiate when you get the offer, not before
  • Be willing to walk away from the job
  • Start with 10% more than the offer
  • Have a list of things they don't know about you to justify your added worth
  • Look at EVERYTHING they offer: PTO, Relocation, Bonus, Stock are sometimes easier to negotiate than salary.
lukeswitz profile image
Luke Switzer

Biggest mistake: being young and overlooked value of benefits vs. salary. It’s all about the bennies. You get one sit down, knowing what you want helps materialize it. You don’t simply want more money; you’ll spend it and wonder why retirement is impossible and healthcare unaffordable

itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

Do you have any suggestions on how to ask for benefits info? I've found salary is easy and tends to be upfront nowadays, but being told "Hey we'll give you 100k and want an answer by Friday" and then being like "Sure, Friday works. Can I see the benefits package as well to make an informed decision?" just results in blank stares.

lukeswitz profile image
Luke Switzer

Life’s too short to sit on your hands. If they avoid talking benefits, bring it up without interrupting. Should that be met with blank stares, start talking. Thank them for any they do provide and ask about changes slated for the upcoming quarter. Any more resistance: I thank them for their time and work somewhere that values employee wellbeing.

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itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

I imagine there are responses like "Well, we're a small start-up so the benefits aren't really hammered out so here's the stock options info" or a cheerful "We will get you that during your onboarding."

I wonder if it's worth it to be like I will sign an NDA about your benefits if you can get me them prior to me being on the payroll just so I can actually review the offer.

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lukeswitz profile image
Luke Switzer

I can say benefits are a transparent thing in interviews, then at the point of review you’re already subject to any corporate policy. “New” Startups don’t go public/IPO for a long time. If they sidestep talking about them, likely they don’t exist. In twenty years I’ve never heard of benefits in an NDA- those would be some “special” benefits.

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itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

I might just read AskAManager too much :) There have been posts over there about what to do when you've accepted a job but forgot to ask about the salary and need to ask it before starting and it's like... what!?

madza profile image

Don't be desperate and feel free to walk away is one of the tips, I guess 😉

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald • Edited

Don't take your employer's word for the salary range. Talk to your co-workers. Be open about your compensation, and educate them about their right to do the same.

In the U.S., this conversation is Federally protected by US Labor Law; your employer can face significant fines for preventing, discouraging, or retaliating against your discussing your salary with anyone, including your coworkers. (Know your country's laws; the U.S. is not alone.)

This is not an "awkward conversation," although many managers and HR folks fabricate that idea because they're afraid of pay discrimination being exposed. Discussing your compensation openly is the only way employees can ensure their pay is based on seniority and skill, not on race, gender, or other factors. Inequity and discrimination thrives in secrecy.

It's also not just about you. If you discover that you are paid more than a peer in some sort of minority, and they find out, they will likely be upset...but only at the employer who stiffed them. You've empowered them to negotiate fair pay.

Don't let anyone get you lost in the weeds on this one: this has nothing to do with an unskilled layabout coworker getting paid as much as skilled, hard-working you. It's about compensation being linked solely to skill, performance, and job description, never to gender, race, disability, heritage, religion, or lifestyle.

ngstylez profile image
Alex • Edited

Ask what the salary range is for the role you're potentially being hired for.

It may seem like asking for the limits of your negotiation, but it might help to assess where your offer sits in that range.

And a little off the negotiation topic, but if they don't have established salary ranges per role or if the range "depends on experience", it likely means that they have not put in the effort to establish defined career paths for employees or don't consider pay equity in their company as that important. I think this should raise a flag in your consideration for working there.

shikharjoshi profile image
Shikhar Joshi

Doesn't it looks like the candidate has not done proper research about the company?

robertogongora profile image
Roberto Gongora

Genuinely curious to know how to research more about salary ranges for specific positions within a company?

gregorywitek profile image
Gregory Witek

A few tips both as a candidate and hiring manager:

  1. Always negotiate - there is a small chance that a company will withdraw the offer when you try to negotiate. If that happens - congratulations, you dodged a bullet, you avoided a crappy company. Good companies will negotiate with you, and in the wors case they'll say "sorry, we can't do better, this is our fonal offer"

  2. If you negotiate directly with the company (without external recruiters) - don't tell them your current salary, this gives the company negotiation advantage. In some countries it's illegal to ask about it, in some it's very common - but it's almost always bad for the candidate.

  3. Understand the total value of the offer - pension scheme, health insurance, PTO, guaranteed bonus, maximum bonus, shares - when you compare different offers or an offer against your current package, understand the value of all the components

  4. You can negotiate more than basic salary - depends on the company, country etc. often companies have fixed policies regarding different parts of compensation, but you can always try to negotiate it. They can't offer higher salary - what about bonus? what about PTO? I've had people telling me they don't want more cash, but they want 5 more days off a year cause they want to spind more time with their kids

longevitysoftware profile image
Graham Long

My biggest tip would be to actually negotiate, a lot of people hear an offer that’s near or above what they want and just say yes.

v6 profile image
🦄N B🛡 • Edited

Check out some of the email series on Changed my life.

Also, it's worth checking out

And remember, the biggest discrimination is the kind you do against yourself by not learning to negotiate.

The people who can negotiate will earn way more over their lifetimes, and have better jobs, than those who had no tolerance for risk or failure.

I decided to be one of those people, because companies discriminate against people who do not have the stones to negotiate. I doubled my comp in about 3 years.

aurelio profile image

This might sound so basic that it's obvious but i need to write it just in case there's another "young me" out there reading.

Do not trick yourself into accepting a lower offer or avoiding negotiations thinking that you will discuss a good raise at your first perf review. You're only making excuses.

You will find out it's extremely harder to get the raise you want once you're in the job. There's no easier moment to talk about salary than before you sign the contract. Do yourself a favour and ask for the right compensation.

scroung720 profile image

My recommendation is to compare salary with people working in similar jobs. Then you ask for it or more and if they ask you why are you asking for that amount, you just say that 'it is what the market pays for this type of job' and if you are asking for more than the average then you say that you are above the average and that's it.

It is wrong to go down the path of ego like saying I know too much and I want to get paid too much.

dabjazz profile image

Seeing my progress I am satisfied with $8000 per annum. I just want to be financially independent.

vinayhegde1990 profile image
Vinay Hegde

Invaluable insights in the comments!! Wishing I had encountered them early in my career.

While some were generic, most were specific to American job market, hiring process, cost of living & labor laws.

Adding a few pointers (from an Indian perspective), hoping they help.

  • Never reveal current/expected salary in the 1st HR screening, do it after all the interviews conclude with an offer on the horizon. This is because you'll either get underpaid or be priced out even before the whole process starts.

  • Always get the figure from the company before you reveal, either verbally or written (if specifics are not possible, a range should also work)

  • Don't assume recommendations, experience, certifications or insider connections entitle you to the number you want. You won't get it unless you ask.

  • Certain companies in India often include a lot of jargon around the salary structure (known as CTC) making it look like a lot on paper (variable pay, allowances, ESOPs, conditional bonuses) but very less in actuality. Do ensure you understand each component before you sign-up.

nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor • Edited