You’ve just received an offer for a job you will enjoy at a company you really like. Your hiring manager is giving you a brief rundown of the salary and benefits. But, the salary is a little lower than you think you deserve.
This is your moment to ask for exactly what you wanted. Your head is spinning in all directions… What do you do?
Sadly, naïvely taking the job without asking for a noticeably higher salary or a better compensation package is something that many of us botch in the early stages of our careers. Oftentimes, we are not prepared and equipped with the skill to negotiate a salary offer, leaving money on the table.
In this article, to help ensure you are fairly compensated for the work you do, we’ve compiled some advice and tips from our community. (P.S. It also helps if you bolster your salary negotiation tactics with credible and objective data.
Know your job market and negotiate accordingly
Before you step into an interview or a salary negotiation, start by researching the market average and find out how much someone in your position, with your experience and in your location, should be paid.
One way to do so is checking the Malaysian Pay Gap account on Instagram, which can give a glimpse into the salary estimates for all major markets, along with details such as years of experience, a breakdown of the full compensation package, and location.
Perkeso has also prepared a wage guide tool that is easy and effective to use, giving you the salary range in Ringgit that you should be earning. Simply enter your age and the job role to search.
If that is not enough, you can take your research a step further by simply talking to people you know, whether it’s a friend in the HR industry or an ex-colleague who can give you their perspective. This will allow you to enter the negotiation room as informed as possible.
Know your worth
Remember: The pay an employer offers should account for the skills and experience you bring to the table. If the offer is not aligned with the values you provide, come prepared with salary research and personal data that supports your ask.
Help the hiring manager to understand why you deserve what you are requesting. Highlight your strengths, such as the results you achieved and the goals you met in your previous role as well as additional certifications. By tying these additional skills to how they can benefit the new company, you will make a solid case for why you should be paid more than the initial offer.
Possessing certifications or specialised skills can enhance your ability to do the job, so bank on those during your negotiation.
Applying for the role of a marketing manager with 10 years of experience under your belt, with additional Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) certificates and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) marketing, for instance, enables you to command a certain amount of salary.
If the company cannot offer you the salary you are currently targeting, another way to approach the issue is finding out the next performance review cycle and checking with the hiring manager if your salary can be reviewed at that point.
Consider the whole deal and not just the salary
Think beyond your base salary. Aside from your salary, you are looking at an entire deal — health insurance coverage, flexibility in working hours, extra vacation days, opportunities for growth and promotion, support for continued education, and other perks.
For instance, the salary offer may be lower than in your head, but the benefits may compensate for the balance. You may want to take these additional benefits into consideration when negotiating for a salary.
If the company cannot offer you the salary you are currently targeting, another way to approach the issue is finding out the next performance review cycle and checking with the hiring manager if your salary can be reviewed at that point. It’s important to know what the future potential is for a raise or promotion.
Avoid accepting the Initial salary offered
The first rule when going into a salary negotiation is to never settle. Do not feel pressured to immediately say yes to the first amount put on the table. If you need some time to evaluate an offer, communicate with the hiring manager.
We’d suggest scheduling your next meeting at least 24-48 hours after the initial offer and come back with a counteroffer. Bring confidence into the delivery of your pitch, along with a summary of your reasoning.
Tip: It’s also very important to note that confidence should not be confused with arrogance. Be gracious as you negotiate.
Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad deal
The most important thing you can bring to the negotiation table is an open mind and a sense of perspective. If the final offer does not meet your value, you’ll know it’s time to walk away.
Walking away from a job offer will never be easy, especially if you are worried about seeming “ungrateful” with the offer or “wasting” your hiring manager’s time.
But, it’s better to be upfront about your needs and wants than to accept something you are not satisfied with. If the company cannot meet your requirements after a few rounds of discussions, wrap it up and respectfully withdraw.
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