You managed. After rounds of interviews and debriefing, you were finally offered the job.
Congratulations. After all your research, role-playing, and careful preparation is complete, it’s time to settle into the role.
Wait a minute. What about your salary and benefits package? Did you negotiate that? No? Then there is work to be done.
In today’s hybrid, employee-centric marketplace, employers expect candidates to discuss their salaries and benefits.
1. Introduce negotiations when offered the job
If reading this first tip makes you uncomfortable, you are not alone.
Research shows that 70 percent of employers expect to negotiate with their prospective employees, but the same research found that just over half (55 percent) of candidates brave the water to negotiate their packages.
Those who negotiate their salaries show they are confident and comfortable talking about their worth and worth.
That kind of communication probably helped you get the job in the first place, so keep building on that.
Also look at the other side of the coin. What happens when you simply accept the salary or benefits that are being offered to you without discussion?
You may be seen as a follower rather than a leader. Worse, depending on what you receive, you may be accepting a salary well below the market or your needs.
For example, imagine you accept a salary that is 10 percent below your desired salary. If you are later promised an average cost-of-living increase of 4 percent per year, it will take more than two years to reach your originally desired starting point.
For these and other reasons, the positive aspects of negotiations outweigh the negative. So let’s examine how you can be as successful as possible during this process.
2. Understand your worth
The Covid-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the workforce. The International Labor Organization (ILO) shows that unemployment remains at record levels.
This makes you valuable as an employer investment. You have more influence than you may realize.
Don’t forget to include your years of experience, level of education, leadership skills, and other related skills as part of that leverage. While the pandemic is still impacting the global economy, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid discussing your value in your new business’ ecosystem.
The events that have shaped our lives during the pandemic and now beyond have encouraged both employers and employees to question their career options, culture, values and lives.
What is important to you?
Employers are looking for people who can positively impact their teams. That is a value in itself. Try to define that.
3. Do your research
As you appreciate your own worth, do some research on the worth of your potential new employer. Can you tell how badly they’ve been affected during the lockdown?
Many companies lost revenue. If yes, how are you today? Other companies continued to experience financial growth during the pandemic.
Try to do your research from as many sources as possible.
Also, consider asking some of these questions during your interview.
This prepares you well for your package negotiations.
4. Prepare and practice your negotiation talk
I work with my clients to understand that even their most seemingly informal, casual conversations become part of their brand.
Therefore, please understand that your negotiation talk will become part of your employer’s perception of you when you ultimately accept your new offer.
They are positive or negative. Knowing this, try to keep this conversation positive. Start with gratitude. Once you’ve been offered the job, thank your manager, HR professional, and everyone else who was involved in the process.
When asked about your projected salary, don’t limit yourself to a single number.
Specify a range with a spread of around €10,000. Make sure you are realistic about your lower range number.
5. Make suggestions that go beyond money
As companies venture into the uncharted waters of hybrid work and other new “workforce of the future” models, here’s your chance to propose a range of benefits and ideas that go beyond the salary range you’ve already proposed.
Consider discussing a possible signing bonus to offset accepting a lower salary than what you have proposed. Can you set a work from home schedule? Public holidays? Are there other perks your employer can offer?
This isn’t a competition you have to win in one. Rather, I encourage you to join this conversation to establish yourself as an engaged and active employee who is a confident and courageous leader—not just for your teams, but for yourself. Maintaining your composure will lead to positive conversations – and planting seeds of leadership that will grow over time – whether or not you achieve the pay and benefits package of your wildest dreams.
Write to Gina in care of SundayBusiness@independent.ie
With corporate clients on five continents, Gina London is a leading expert in communications strategy, structure and execution. She is also a media analyst, author, speaker and former CNN anchor. @TheGinaLondon
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