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8 Golden Rules of Salary Negotiation

You are finally through the initial stages of the recruitment process and are now in the final round. You like the job and you can gauge that the interviewer prefers you over the other candidates. The job offer is made, but you feel that the salary quoted is lower than what you deserve. Simply accepting the current offer will not help and neither will declining it. So, what do you do next?

In many cases, poorly designed compensation packages can be a deal-breaker. However, remember, the recruiter is on a budget. So, while you may have a desired figure in mind, the recruiter may not always be able to match it. In such a case, it is important to be able to negotiate in a way that both parties are satisfied.

Since salary negotiation is a tricky process, here is a list of rules that you should follow: How to talk about salary history (without ending up underpaid)

1. Never accept the first offer

The first rule of any negotiation is to never agree to the first offer made by the recruiter. If you accept it, there is no scope for any further negotiation. If you do not have a counter-offer in mind, ask the employer to give you at least 24 to 48 hours to come to a decision.

In today’s age, an employee’s compensation includes components over and above salary such as stock options, bonuses and insurance, among others. Therefore, you can negotiate and ask for other such perks as well.

Here’s more on what not to do during negotiation: Do you Know about these Five Negotiation No-Nos?

2. Avoid sharing a number

Make sure you never share a number unless requested to do so. When the prospective employer asks for your expected salary, quote the percentage increase you have in mind and then wait for them to revert. Once they make the first offer, refer to point one above.

3. Keep emotions at bay

Salary negotiation should be conducted in a formal and professional manner. Do not become emotional while negotiating. You may have myriad thoughts and feelings, however, make sure that none of that affects your negotiating abilities so as to avoid taking an emotional decision.

This article will tell you how to plan your budget as per your salary: How to budget on an entry level salary?

4. Find the balance

There is no point in suggesting a number that the employer would not be able to pay. So, understand your market value beforehand by speaking to recruiters and others from your field, and balance it with your employer’s pocket to be able to successfully negotiate.

5. Practice role-play

Before heading in for the interview, you should be prepared for any situation. Role-playing helps with such situations. Practice in front of a mirror or with a friend, and stay at it till you’re comfortable with the conversation.

6. Know your worth and help them understand too

It is only when you know your worth that you can make the person on the other end understand the same. Once you help them realise the asset that you are going to be for the company, it is easier to negotiate the salary. If it helps, you can talk about your salary history as well.

Some more tips on judging what you’re really worth: Be Paid What You’re Really Worth

7. Don’t underestimate the importance of likability

It is a basic rule, but still as important as any other. The recruiter will fight for you if he thinks you are worth it. Don’t be afraid to quote a number that is higher than the one offered. If the recruiter likes you, he/she is sure to try for a better offer.

8. Set the tone right

Being professional and polite is the key. Sounding greedy or arrogant will not help your cause. So, while negotiating, it is best to be polite, kind and honest but firm with the recruiter.

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