How to conduct negotiations about the salary on the way to a new position

You have passed the selection process for the desired position − phone interview, and another in zoom, some kind of test and even a frontal interview, and you've reached the stage of the salary proposal. For many of us this stage isn't easy. Most of us feel uncomfortable when talking about money: we don't want to be too cheeky, too demanding, but on the other hand it is important for us to feel that we are fairly rewarded for the experience and ability that we are bringing to the new job.

So here are a few tips that will help you to act in the best way in order to receive an optimal salary offer.

When do you talk about salary?

In most cases, already at the stage of the first interviews they'll check with you what are your salary expectations, in order to verify that you are positioned in the salary range matching the position. Don't avoid or hesitate to reply to this question − preferably in a salary range and not with a single number. This is a statement of intentions from both parties with the aim of verifying that you and the employer are speaking of the same order of magnitude. Even if there should be a difference between the intention of the recruiting company, in most cases this won't disqualify your candidacy. If the difference is great and can't be bridged, then apparently the position isn't relevant for you from the first and the process will end at this point, but if the difference is small, in most cases the recruiters will continue the process and leave the negotiations for a later stage (but they will conduct the recruitment process with clear recognition of your expectations).

Conduct market research

Check in salary tables or in social networks what is the average salary for the position that you are being selected for − in accordance with your experience, education, and the seniority that you have accumulated in the job. This will help you to come prepared and self confident to the discussion about the salary and the recruitment process in general.

Think about the salary offer in terms of a long term investment

The salary is not only what enters your bank account at the end of the month. It is a good idea to examine it with broader thinking: salary, periodical bonuses for meeting targets, social benefits, vacation and illness days, various benefits such as vehicle expenses, parking, meals, etc. All these constitute an accompanying package of conditions and it's worth money. In the conditions package fix your order of priorities − what is more and what is less important, about what you will agree to compromise, and what less.

You've received a salary offer verbally during a phone call?

Ask to receive for your examination a draft of the contract. The company is supposed to permit you to gain an impression from the contract before the signing meeting − this testifies to seriousness and responsibility − by both parties.

Examine the contract carefully before signing it

If you have comments, questions, or reservations − send them in writing and in an orderly manner to the recruiter, not just briefly and not with a ping-pong of phone calls. This testifies to the fact that you have examined the contract and considered the offer seriously, and will invite the employer to reply to you in writing and in orderly manner regarding all the sections that you have indicated. Start from the assumption that not all your requests will be accepted; you may be "compensated" for lack of agreement in one section by agreement to another section. Keep an open mind and a creative approach. In different companies different methods of remuneration are usual and sometimes you will encounter a non-routine but worthwhile offer.

It is reasonable to assume that not everything you request will be accepted

Don't reject out of hand a proposal that you received only because it doesn't satisfy you. Your future employer will prefer to hear from you what you are not happy about, and maintain contact with you, so that you will give it an opportunity to improve the offer, rather than removal of your candidacy.

The salary isn't what you want? Don't wreck the negotiations

If you didn't succeed in improving the basic salary in the work contract, try to fix an agreed date on which the salary will increase "automatically" and the amount of the raise. This will save you from the need to discuss the salary again and will permit the employer to get to know you and your performance and feel better with the salary raise, and prove to you that you are worth it.

Remember that not every section and promise can be inserted in the contract.

The daily working relations are based on verbal understandings, trust, and mutual respect. These are at least as important as the sections in the contract. It is (very) important to specify the relations and the basic agreements between the employee and the employer in a contract, but there is not less important your general feeling regarding the company and the recruitment process that you underwent: the trust, security, impression from the atmosphere and the inter-personal relations, and the feeling that "there's someone you can talk to". Don't ignore your intuition and take it into account when considering the salary offer.