Salary Negotiation Tips: How to Get Paid Fairly

By Jose Uribe-Lopez - January 11th, 2022

employees shaking hands during salary negotiation

Are you about to accept a new job or promotion? Congrats!

Now comes the tough part. Did the employer offer what you were hoping for? If not, how do you ask for fair compensation based on the industry and the value you bring? For those who want to stay in their current position but ask for a raise, how do you effectively address the topic with your manager? 

Dr. Vanessa Ann Claus, a career coach and Senior Faculty Associate for CSU Global’s Human Resources Management undergraduate and graduate programs, shared her expertise around the tricky subject of salary negotiations. 

Watch the webinar now to hear Dr. Claus’ insight and advice.

Pre-Employment Salary Negotiation

There are a few items to remember when negotiating salary before accepting a position.

  • Advocate for yourself: Professionally state your needs while focusing on facts instead of emotions.
  • Go higher: Give a slightly higher number than what you want, as typically, the company’s return offer will be a little lower. However, the number should be reasonable. Use the Bureau of Labor Statistics or other reputable online resources to support your requested number.

Employed Salary Negotiation

When asking for a raise in your current role, remember to consider the following:

  • Demonstrate your contributions: Show what you bring to the organization and how you have benefited them.
  • Consider the company’s status: We all have some idea of the financial health of our employer. If they are struggling and you demand, “I need a raise of $50,000 to stay here,” your chances of receiving that pay bump aren’t great. And don’t forget about the industry as a whole—is it expected to rise or fall in this fiscal quarter? If it’s booming, then you have a better chance of success. You don’t necessarily have to wait until the company has achieved all of its revenue goals; however, consider the timing when making these requests.
  • Account for inflation: Finally, consider inflation when negotiating for a raise. This year alone, inflation went up 6.2% while most raises were approximately 3%.

Negotiate for More Than Money

If a higher salary is not in the cards, there are other items to negotiate on—for both pre-employed and employed negotiations. These can include more vacation days, other benefits, or schedule/work location flexibility. “Of course, what you can ask for varies depending on the job and organization, but know there may be other options,” shared Claus.

Salary Negotiation Techniques

First and foremost, stay level-headed. Remember that salary isn’t personal and managers typically don’t have full autonomy in determining their employees’ salaries. If they can adjust compensation, there is likely a detailed process they have to go through, which takes time. Also, always make sure the negotiations and agreements are in writing. “I see so many examples of people who have negotiated or renegotiated their salary with an employer, only to have the employer forget about the conversation,” said Claus.

Make it clear that you want to work for/stay with the company.Give ultimatums.
Give your employer time.Just quit—see this stage through.
Be specific about your needs.Focus only on why you need the money.
Come prepared (e.g., denote contributions, strengths, industry trends, etc).Set unrealistic and uninformed goals.
Ask for offers in writing, especially if you plan to use them for a counteroffer.Bluff.
Focus on facts rather than emotions.Make threats or seek pity for your situation.

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