Talent Management • 4 min reading

Salary Negotiation: 4 Expert Answers to your Most FAQ

If you’re currently looking for a job or if you’re in the process of recruiting, you also know that you won’t be able to avoid the question of compensation. If thinking about salary negotiation is a source of anxiety, or if you just want to put the odds in your favour, the answers to the following questions should help you gain some clarity.

When is the best moment to start the discussion about salary?

You’ve applied to a position where the salary was not posted or you’ve been contacted for a job but have no idea about the salary being offered. In both of these situations, your curiosity is likely piqued and you’re wondering when you’ll finally be able to access this valuable information.

Should you take the lead and ask the question directly? It all depends on your situation. If you were contacted by a recruiter, you can ask them for more salary information immediately. If your salary expectations and the employer’s salary scale are drastically different, continuing the discussion will lead to nothing. But don’t close the door fully… yet. You can always let recruiters know that you’re open to similar positions with different pay.

If you’re in contact with an employer directly, avoid discussing salary during your first interview.

On the one hand, it gives the (bad) impression that pay is your primary source of motivation. Most employers rightly want employees who are passionate about their job and believe in the mission of the organization. If a recruiter thinks pay is the only reason for your application, you probably won’t be included in the next stage of recruitment.

On the other hand, by approaching the salary issue too quickly, you reduce your wiggle room in the future. So don’t reveal your hand too early or you risk losing your leveraging power. Generally speaking, if you’re called for a second interview,  you can start asking about the offered salary.

What’s the best way to approach salary negotiations during an interview?

When it comes to interviews, nothing beats great preparation. The same goes for your salary negotiation. To increase your chances of leaving the conversation satisfied, start by knowing your numbers.

The first thing to do is to conduct a search on sites like GlassDoor, PayScale or Monster. You’ll get an average of the salaries received by people in your area with similar experience who are currently in a similar position to the one you’re aiming for.

After this initial step, if you can, feel free to survey your surroundings. Asking financial questions is always tricky. However, if you explain your situation to people in your professional circle (former colleagues, mentors, etc.), they’ll most likely open up about their current salary. This information will allow you to further specify your expectations.

Don’t stop there. Don’t hesitate to connect with recruiters who know your industry. These people are in the best position to give you a clear and realistic idea of ​​how much you can expect.

One last tip: take your time. If you feel like you don’t have enough information to communicate your expectations to recruiters, tell them you need some time to think it over. Once you name the amount, you won’t be able to go back. Don’t sell yourself short! This will only complicate future negotiations.

Should you reveal your previous salary?

In the United States, more and more states are prohibiting recruiters from asking applicants for their previous salaries. Studies have shown that sharing this type of information contributes to, among other things, maintaining pay inequalities. In addition, revealing your previous salary may prevent you from getting a salary increase in the future.

If an employer or recruiter asks you this question, you might want to play the confidentiality card. Because it’s not always easy to do, here are some sample sentences you can use to get around this thorny topic:

“I’d appreciate it if you could show me the salary scale you’re offering based on what you’ve budgeted for.”

“I’d like to learn more about the position so that I can give you a relevant estimate.”

“This position is not exactly the same as my previous position. So I don’t think we can compare.”

What weight does salary have when it comes to job satisfaction?

You’re now equipped with several tools and strategies to get the salary you want. However, in some cases you may be faced with a dilemma: the position you’re offered is ideal, but, for financial reasons, the company can’t provide the compensation that meets your expectations.

The decision whether to accept this job offer is affected by your financial situation. Beyond your obligations, certain factors must be considered, including the impact of your salary on your future job satisfaction.

A growing number of studies, such as the one conducted by Forbes in 2018, show that salary is no longer the primary criterion for employee happiness. Flexibility, the ability to complete tasks without close supervision, and the ability to find meaning in one’s work are among the things that would help people thrive, according to another study conducted by Mercer.

Some companies concerned with the well-being of their employees are implementing programs aimed at increasing job satisfaction. Among other things, the possibility of remote work, longer than average holidays, access to a gym as well as daycare services and cleaners. All of these initiatives reflect a type of corporate culture where positive impacts go beyond wages.

This research proves that money doesn’t buy happiness. So be sure to negotiate skillfully, but: if your dream job is there in front of you, maybe don’t let the pay stop you.









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