Negotiating Offers

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Recent research has shown that only about 29% of job seekers attempt to negotiate their salary. Therefore, most people are missing out on the opportunity to receive a higher salary or benefits. It has also been found that among those who negotiate, almost 84% of job seekers receive a higher salary or additional benefits. See full article on CNBC. It has also been found that women on average are less likely than men to negotiate with potential employers. Considering that most employers are willing to negotiate, it is very important to pay attention to how much you can expect given your skillset, experiences, and the position you are applying to.

Key Considerations During Negotiation

  • There are several factors to consider when negotiating an offer. When you first receive an offer it is okay to simply obtain all the information about the position, salary, and benefits first and request additional time to determine your negotiation method.
  • Negotiation does not always pertain to the salary. You can also negotiate benefits such as insurance, retirement benefits, day care services for dependents, working conditions, moving expenses, start date, flexible work opportunities including flex hours or remote work, professional development in the form of further education or attendance to other conferences or workshops, tuition reimbursement, etc.
  • As you are getting ready to negotiate, the article in Forbes, “6 Steps for Negotiating your Salary” can be a good place to start. A few of the author’s recommendations are summarized below.
    • Employers expect you to negotiate. Even if the offer meets your expectations, it is okay to negotiate. As mentioned before, you could negotiate other aspects in addition to salary.
    • It is best to ask what your prospective employer would pay you before you set up your expectations.
    • It is very important to carry out your research ahead of time to know how much you can expect as a salary. It is ok to go back and forth in the negotiation process until you as well as your potential employer are comfortable. When carrying out your research, also consider the cost of living in the region where you would be working. See the Salary Research Resources page for more information.
  •  When negotiating an offer, make sure to plan for the conversation ahead of time. Take time to prioritize your expectations and what you value. You can then go down your list until you feel satisfied. If they do not agree to one of your highly prioritized expectations, you can address what you have next in your list to arrive at a compromise.
  • After you complete the verbal negotiation conversation, make sure to request a written document with a revised contract. Review it to make sure that it aligns with the verbal conversation.
  • For more information on negotiation, see the article by Business Insider that describes the experience of one job seeker, the blog post on this topic by Robert Half, or advice on The Recruiter.

Salary Research Resources

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Wage Data

  2. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Salaries and Wages Data

  3. JobStar Salary links to over 300 Salary Surveys

These are a few examples of where you can start your research process for salary information. You could also speak to people in your industry to gain more information on this topic.

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