Our Guide to Salary Negotiation

So you've meticulously assembled your application, sweated through some gruelling interview questions, and you're finally made an offer. Congratulations!

But what do you do if you're not too thrilled with the salary your prospective employer is offering you?
Negotiating salary can often be scary and stressful – especially if this is a job you really want – but there are some things you can do to make it slightly easier.

1. Research Your Market!

Knowledge is power when it comes to salary negotiations. Knowing the average wage those in your sector with your level of experience are earning gives you a good range to start from.

Doing a little bit of extra research before your offer ensures that you have a good idea of the state of the current market, and means that you can go into any negotiations secure in the knowledge that your request isn't unreasonable or exceptional for your role.

2. Don't Give An Exact Figure

Ranges are your friend. Once your employer has made an offer (and you'll need to wait for this before you do anything) find out the average salaries in your industry, then pitch a range. Settling on an exact sum right off the bat means you risk getting under offered, or asking for too much. Suggesting a range implies you're open to a discussion about salary, you're not just demanding more cash.

3. Be Prepared To Justify Yourself

If the offer is below industry norm, you might gently suggest that the interests of the company would be better met if they paid a little more for someone of your skill level and experience.

If the offer is within the boundaries of the industry, but you think it could be nudged up a little higher, explain the ways in which your particular skills might benefit the company. Justify your request by referring back to the needs of your employer – e.g. "I know you are eager to ..... and with the ....... skills I bring to the position, you won't need to ....."

4. Use Your Imagination

No, we don't mean make up a market value. If there is little room to move on salary, there may be other ways in which you can maximise the value of your employment package.

Car allowance, pension schemes, gym memberships, extra holiday days are all things worth considering when negotiating a new offer. Perhaps you could ask for yearly salary reviews, or negotiate a sign on/ performance bonus?

5. Don't Freeze Up!

Be prepared for salary negotiations to take a little time – your prospective employer has a lot to consider. To this end, then, make sure you show your enthusiasm for the role. No-one wants to think they're hiring someone who's only interested in the money, and freezing up or putting on a "game-face" in your negotiations will not come out in your favour.

Finally, if the idea of asking for more in your salary negotiation leaves you a little trepidant, bear this in mind:

"Often, people who at least attempt to ask for a higher salary are perceived more positively, since they're demonstrating the skills the company wants to hire them for." **

Of course, if you're being represented by a recruitment company (like Thatcher Associates), a lot of the negotiation can be done behind the scenes by one of our specialist consultants. Makes it a lot easier ;)