How to negotiate salary

Salary & benefits

You've submitted the perfect application, nailed the interview and have just been offered the job. It might seem like the process is over and you're ready to move on. But the final hurdle can be one of the most daunting.

The last step is to negotiate terms with your potential new employer, which of course includes negotiating your salary. As your job offer hangs in the balance, how do you maximise your salary without pushing it too far?

Here are three tips for negotiating salary with a new employer.

Be prepared

Before you go in to a negotiation, it's crucial that you know what you're aiming for. You'll need to do a bit of research.

Whats the normal pay range for your position? Whats the upper limit on what you could reasonably expect to be paid? What's the minimum you'll accept?

Spend some time researching the market rate for your role. You might need to check trade journals, salary guides or salary comparison sites, talk with friends in your sector or have a look at similar advertised jobs on job boards such as CV Library. After a bit of research, you'll probably end up with a salary range for your role. You'll want to be aiming for the upper end of that range when you enter negotiations to give yourself a bit of wiggle room.

It's worth also thinking about the minimum salary you'd accept for the role. Of course, we hope you'll be earning more than the minimum, but knowing what your walk away limit is will provide a useful baseline.

Focus on value

In any salary negotiation, your salary is actually only one part of the story. The reason they're offering you a job at all is because they think youll add more to their bottom line than you'll cost in wages and benefits.

If you can demonstrate the value you'll bring, it'll be easier to justify your worth and command a higher salary. Talking in terms of the amount of cash you'll bring in to the business (or will save the business) is the most powerful way to show how much you're worth.

For roles that aren't in sales or marketing, that can sometimes be difficult to do. But with a little creativity there might be a useful way to frame your value to the business.

Keep quiet

Throughout the whole recruitment process, there are lots of opportunities for your potential employer to ask about your current salary or your salary expectations. It's definitely worth remembering not to bring the topic up yourself until after a job offer unless asked first by your interviewer. Some employers may see this as being a little presumptuous before an offer has been made.

If you give your target number before they suggest a rate to you, don't worry what they'll say. You'll only ever be told you're too high or you're in the right range. You're at a huge advantage if your potential employer discloses their salary range first though, and when they do, they'll set the lower limit from which you can negotiate your salary upwards.

When asked directly about your current salary or salary expectations, it can be difficult to resist giving your numbers. But holding firm and instead talking about the role, your new responsibilities and the value youll bring to the organisation will pay off in the end.