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How to negotiate the salary you want


> Wait for the right moment

Don't mention the 'S' word too early on: when you've convinced the recruiter you're the right person for the job, he or she will be far more open to negotiation! 

Watch and wait for the tell-tale signs that indicate the employer is keen: questions about your notice period, whether you've got any other interviews/job prospects lined up, whether you have any restrictive clauses in your contract, etc.

Ideally, wait until you have a fairly concrete offer before you start discussing money matters. 

> Always speak last

In negociation, the first person to speak and lay their cards on the table is in the weaker position, so try and get the employer to go first. It's tricky: go too low and HR will be putting the champagne on ice to celebrate their bargain new employee; go too high and you could scare the company into thinking they can't afford you.

"If things are going well, take the initiative and ask what the salary would normally be," suggests Daniel. That way, even if the offer is too low, you're in a position to haggle. 

Do your homework beforehand and work out what the industry norm is for someone with your skills, training and education. You can get a good idea from Salary.com.

> Outline what you can bring to the company

When you get to the haggling stage, highlight everything that you can bring to the company (anything from sales development to better organization). 

"Make an effort to show what services you can bring to the company, rather than why you want them to employ you," says Daniel Porot. Convincing arguments will justify the salary you feel you deserve. 

> Consider other perks aside from money

If you want the job, you need to be prepared to concede a few points: start date, location, holiday entitlement, etc. 

However! "Don't forget to consider any other perks that come with the job, because they can make a big difference to your outgoings: company car, accommodation, parking space, reimbursement of expenses, medical insurance, pension scheme and share scheme."

If you want the job, bear in mind that while the salary itself might simply not be negotiable, the company may be prepared to grant you extra perks instead.  

Tip: Get an idea of the company's pay policy, how you can expect your salary to evolve, and negotiate your next pay review. Agree on a deadline for your next pay review and get it written into your contract.

> Don't bluff about how much you earn. 

"If you inflate your current salary, you'll come across as less confident and less convincing," warns Daniel. Or the recruiter may simply see straight through you.


Sarah Horrocks
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