How to Negotiate Your Salary on a New Job Offer: 7 Questions to Ask


How to Negotiate Your Salary on a New Job Offer: 7 Questions to Ask

Negotiating salary new job offer

Do you wonder how to negotiate a salary for a new job offer? Salary negotiations  are  often such an interesting exercise, whether you’re in it personally or watching from the sidelines. 

Negotiating salaries and benefits can be tricky. But asking and getting answers to these questions will help.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Negotiating Salary for a New Job

1. Should you negotiate the offer at all?

Some people preach that all offers must be negotiated. But that’s not always the case. Although there are  cases where some supposedly fixed salaries for a certain category of people have been adjusted for one person, it’s not common.

So, you need to ask yourself if you should be negotiating the salary at all. Is it commensurate or even more than what you expected, or hoped to earn? If it is, then that’s fine. One question to ask in determining if you should negotiate at all is “am I willing to walk away from this role if the salary or benefits are not adjusted in any way?”

2. Are you in a strong enough position to negotiate?

Some people say that as a new employee being offered a job, you should always negotiate because the company wants you at that time. But while that’s often true, you have to be convinced that you’re in a strong position. This could  be because you’re an uber prime candidate, you also have several offers or are not exactly in dire need of a new job. 

But if none of the above are your current situation, think again. Remember that your negotiations could put the recruiters off and they could very easily decide to extend their recruitment process or call on some other candidates they might have been considering. So, if you’re unemployed or seriously job hunting, negotiating strongly might not be advisable.

There are times when it is not necessary to negotiate an offer at all as a new entrant.   In such cases, you can  decide to have the conversation six months down the line.

3. What is the market rate for this role and your expertise?

If you haven’t done any research, you’re unlikely to be in a great position to negotiate. You need receipts. You need to know, for instance, what are other companies paying for the role and your expertise?

Even better if you’ve recently been contacted by recruiters or headhunters and been offered a package better than what the company is offering. You can compare your present benefits with the new offer.

Questions to Ask the Organisation/Recruiter

4. Can I negotiate this offer?

This might seem like a rhetorical question and you may expect most organisations to say no. However, this isn’t always the case and decent firms are often straightforward.

They might say they don’t have the power to negotiate it (in which case jump to the next question on this list), or they might say they have a little bit of bandwidth based on other factors. Others might say it’s negotiable based on the market rate (in which case it would be helpful if you’ve done some research).

5. Is there someone else you can speak to up the ladder?

Sometimes first stage negotiations start with the HR or the more junior members of the recruiting team. And if they refuse to budge on negotiations, it may simply be because their hands are tied — and as people say colloquially, such decisions are above their pay grade.

A valid question to ask and consider, then, would be if there is anyone else higher up who could make that decision. If this applies you could write an email or request a brief meeting with such a person explaining your reasons for stalling on the job offer, and requesting a conversation on the pay and benefits. 

6. What other perks come with the role?

Yes, I agree, cash is king. But too many people are often focused on the amount that hits their account at the end of the month. The right approach, however, is to think of your benefits as an entire package — the salary is just one part. For so many reasons the base pay might be fixed. However, companies might be flexible on other elements and perks, and there is so much you can request. So consider what other perks come with the role, and are a good fit for you: from flexible working, refundable commute costs, payment for courses or certifications, extra vacation days – there’s a lot you could and should consider.

7. What’s the salary band/future expectations for this role?

What’s the next band for growth and how soon am I likely to get there? Many organisations operate a band system. So when you negotiate salary it’s helpful to ask what this is and how it operates.

For example, an Analyst role might have a salary band of £30-40k. This would mean that based on experience and other factors, a new hire could be placed anywhere on that band. So, for one who is placed on 30, when can you expect to go up the band or to the next band? What are the indicators for progress? How often are salaries renewed?

Essentially, make sure you have a clear idea of what the possibilities are. 

It’s important that you feel somewhat satisfied with your salary/compensation package.  Treat your salary negotiations seriously. When you negotiate salary, be firm in your expectations, but not pompous.

Have you ever had to negotiate your salary for a new job? How did that go?

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