Salary negotiation is a skill that doesn't always come naturally to many job seekers.
It's one of the trickiest subjects to broach for job seekers who are usually focusing on impressing the interviewer as opposed to focusing on salary negotiations.
So how do you get the result you want without putting your potential employer offside?
Source the right information
Tip number one is to do as much research as possible. Indeed, it would be foolish not to when so much information is readily available at your fingertips.
You should begin by looking at the Hays Salary Guide – the most comprehensive collection of regional and sector-specific salary reports available.
For further general information on average figures, often the best sources are the specific industry's professional organisations - these are the groups who conduct salary guides on a regular, often yearly basis.
Your immediate peer group is another rich source as you can conduct your own informal survey with other professionals to gain knowledge about expected salaries, job titles and career paths.
Buy trade magazines or publications which advertise the type of jobs you are looking for and take note of salaries that are published. You should be subscribing to these anyway so you can keep abreast on a whole host of industry information.
There is also a wealth of information on the web and job sites such as hays.ie which has a dedicated Salary Guide section. Speaking to recruitment consultants will give you a clearer idea of market supply and demand and the kinds of benefits you can expect.
For company-specific information, you may need to do more digging. Some companies publish salary information on the careers section of their websites. With others, you may need to inquire further with their personnel departments
Know when to ask
It is important to remember that, even when armed with great salary information, you should always push salary discussions to the later stage of job interviews.
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Certainly, do not broach the subject in your first interview because you will lose negotiating power if you disclose your requirements too soon.
Salary negotiations are normally left to the end of the interview process as it usually indicates the recruiter is willing to employ you and you are willing to accept the package.
Look beyond salary to the benefits packages being offered such as annual leave entitlement, car allowance, health insurance, education reimbursement, pension schemes and flexible working hours. It never hurts to ask for more money, but be careful about the way you ask.
Play it cool
Steer clear of mentioning any other job offers that you may have received. Do not hold people to ransom because it could:
a) backfire or b) damage your future with the company.
One final piece of advice - especially for first-time jobseekers - is that you should never sound too desperate, and do not accept just any job offer. Discussing money with your employer need not always be the cringe-inducing experience many people assume it to be.
Armed with the right knowledge and a bit of confidence, you might be pleasantly surprised with what you can achieve.
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