That’s it: a job offer! After weeks or even months of searching, you may be tempted to accept immediately, without negotiating. Wrong! Here’s how and when to negotiate a salary when you’re hired.
1. Get ready. Research the company and the type of jobs it offers. This will give you a better idea of what you can try to get and what to negotiate on. You will have less room to manoeuvre if the company has a collective agreement with a well-established pay scale. However, according to the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, half of private companies offer bonus pay, which allows you to go after more.
2. Take some time to reflect. Finally, the offer fell through! Whether it’s tempting or a little disappointing, ask for some time to think about it, to prepare yourself for the counterattack. Most people are afraid to ask for this time to think about it for fear that the offer will be withdrawn, but that rarely happens, according to Ellis Chase, career coach and author of the book In Search of The Fun Forever Job. Just one day will allow you to assess the situation with a clear head.
3. Make yourself look good. To get the salary you want, you have to convince your interviewer that you deserve it. Highlight your achievements and prepare your arguments on the subject. You must demonstrate, without being arrogant, that you are indispensable to this company. Deepak Malhotra, a professor at Harvard Business School, explains that you also need to help your interviewer convince his or her own superior, by identifying the negotiation points where the company will be more flexible.
4. Always ask. It’s a well-known fact that if you don’t try anything, you get nothing. Always ask for a higher salary than the one offered, while justifying it. Maybe he’ll say yes right away. If the answer is no, your interviewer will probably be open to the idea of negotiating another point, such as a bonus or paid vacation, as long as he or she is convinced of your value.
5. Don’t forget any aspect. In a salary negotiation, it is not only the money that counts. Prioritize the other aspects of your work: paid vacation, telework, flextime, bonuses, pension contributions, etc. A 4 p.m. pick-up from daycare may be more important to you than an extra $5,000 in salary. Don’t leave anything out, or risk derailing negotiations if you bring something that wasn’t discussed on the table when you reached the agreement.
6. Alternate easy and difficult questions. Start by putting the person you are speaking to at ease with easy questions, such as the computer equipment used, and then move on to a more sensitive question about salary. Without jumping from rooster to donkey, this Ellis Chase-endorsed technique will help you avoid focusing on the one thing that’s important to you. By appearing to be making a concession elsewhere, you may be able to get more on something that is actually very important to you.
7. Put it in writing. The golden rule: once you’ve made a deal, don’t forget to write it all down, to avoid unpleasant surprises when you start your new job!