One of the most frequent questions we at Murray Resources, one of the top Houston staffing firms, receive from job-seekers is whether or not it’s appropriate to negotiate the salary and benefits when offered a job.
The Short Answer is Yes
Depending on the type of position, level within the organization, and the leverage you bring to the table, candidates should consider negotiating their salary/benefits when offered a job. In some cases a negotiation is expected, as this step provides the first opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills of persuasion, professionalism, and contract analysis to your new employer. For example, if you have been offered a senior sales position and accept the first offer extended, your future employer make question your ability to negotiate with potential customers. They also may question how much value you place on your own credentials.
Do Your Research
The first phase of a successful negotiation begins well in advance: preparation. Put yourself in the best possible position to have your demands met by entering into the discussion with well-researched facts and information to substantiate your claims. Explore the typical range of compensation within the industry for the type of position you’ve just been offered, and be sure to get your information from more than one source. There are a number of websites, including Salary.com, Vault.com, and Payscale.com. It’s also always a good idea to have trusted members of your own network weigh in on the issue, particularly if they’re involved in a similar industry. While you may be uncomfortable asking a friend in a similar position how much they make, try phrasing the question in a way that less directly addresses their own earnings: “How much do you think this company would be willing to pay someone in the position I’ve been offered?” Houston staffing firms such as Murray Resources are also good sources of market salary data.
Set Your Goals
Aside from just doing your research, the other crucial aspect of preparing for a negotiation of salary and benefits is determining what you personally want. Jack Chapman, career coach and author of Negotiating Your Salary, How to Make $1000 a Minute, advises to have an ideal number, a satisfactory number, and a no-go number set in your mind before you enter into the negotiation – and the same applies for your benefits package. Your ideal number represents the amount you would want to make in your perfect situation (within reason of your position’s typical compensation). The satisfactory number is one that’s based more on research and your own worth- what value you can bring to the company. And your no-go number, arguably the most important, is the figure over which you’d walk away from the offer. Having this number set firmly in your mind will prevent you from accepting a low ball offer and compromising your own worth. Remember to keep in mind that you are negotiating a compensation package, not just a salary.
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