In this challenging economic environment, it is important to negotiate tactically for a raise. Opinions may differ as to what those tactics might be, but there are seven points the real world experts agree on.
- Ask the right person. This should be the person who makes the financial decisions, rather than HR. A human resources manager or assistant usually has no power over pay levels. Although they are appointed by management to conduct pay discussions, important information is often not passed on or is altered en route.
- Know what others are being paid. Find out what others in similar positions or with similar responsibilities are being paid, not only within the company but by competitors and others. Gather facts from published data, word of mouth and recruitment companies. It is no longer enough simply to rely on raises occurring alongside cost of living increases. This is a con that has been sold as a fact. Do your research and negotiate what you deserve. Never sell yourself short.
- Choose your moment. Timing is everything. Consider the work patterns of your company, and select your interview time carefully. Book an appointment rather than simply knocking on a door. You never know what you may be interrupting and your unexpected appearance may prove to be counter-productive.
- Be prepared. Always bring evidence of your value to the company. A description of your role is not enough – that is what you are being paid for right now. Market yourself. Find out what the decision-maker places importance on (including personal not just business) and ensure that your pitch plays to those principles. Emphasise how your strengths and abilities are helping the company to achieve its goals and success.
- Decide when to set your expectations. This is up to you, as even experts have different ideas about when to set your salary expectations. On one hand, you may be doing yourself a disservice by getting in early and setting a rate which eventually may turn out to be less than those who follow you. On the other hand, you may save time. Recent research suggests that those who make a high request early on may end up with a better result than those who wait to make a more measured request.
- Don’t make threats – remain professional. It’s unwise to threaten resignation without actually having another job to go to. You may also be construed as aggressive that can be used as an excuse to deny you, and if your employer does not give you a raise, you have left yourself without any options. If you make the threat and then stay on, your standing will have been severely compromised and may hurt your chances in later salary negotiations. Be diplomatic yet assertive and remain professional at all times, no matter what the result of your negotiations. Self control is your negotiating friend.
- Decide whether to bargain. Employers often anticipate that you will negotiate, and for more senior roles, this expectation may be set into the first offer. Consider the first offer carefully and decide if, in the current economic climate, it is worth asking for more. When you have settled on a figure (include benefits and bonuses), get it in writing immediately. Two people do not always have the same recollection of a meeting, and a good job is not worth the risk of later confrontation.
Is there any other tips you would like to share, we look forward to hearing about them.