How to negotiate the right salary for a new role

Written by
Changeboard Team

26 Jul 2010

26 Jul 2010 • by Changeboard Team

Be clear about what you want to achieve

When looking for a new role, it's important to establish, understand and manage expectations of those you are engaging with right from the very start. The first touch really does set the scene.

At a basic level, when you consider a salary range, try to understand if there is a target salary within the range; while this will often depend on experience, there will always be a budget and this can help you understand their benchmark.

You must also be very clear about what you want to achieve, i.e. why are you in the market? What are the push and pull factors? What does a role and offer need to look like from any company for you to accept it? How much of it is about money? And never lose sight of what it is that you will offer them.

What will you contribute to the business?

We all know the interview process is a sales process for ourselves, and negotiating offer and package is essentially closing the deal. The overriding consideration if you want to achieve a specific offer is that you must clearly demonstrate what you can offer the business that warrants such a package.

While competencies allow an interviewer to assess your suitability for their company and role, they also allow you to establish your worth to the business. Clearly there must be an ROI with any piece of senior operational or strategic recruitment, and demonstrating measurable and specific increased revenue, cost savings and/or efficiencies is a clear way of highlighting your worth.

Demonstrate your worth

In 2009, market conditions being as they were, many organisations where budgetary constraints were in place, did look to attract candidates with a wide blend of experience; for example, strong operational experience coupled with expert planning knowledge. This was based on the assumption that there were more people who had to be flexible about what package they were willing to accept for the skills they have. 

In 2010, the market is already different, and strong candidates can pick up multiple offers. So, if you have a range of skills, ensure these all come across strongly - look to prove, if necessary, that you are Jack and Master of all to secure the best package.

Consider your options carefully

So, having engaged properly, having managed the potential employer's expectations about your desired package, and having demonstrated at interview the clear and practical value you will add, the final stage - offer management - should offer no surprises.

If the offer's too low, suggest what you would accept and negotiate. Dont feel obliged to take the first offer, though - assess it and progress it only if its right. If the offer is far from the mark, it suggests youre not on the same page and perhaps the role/employer isnt for you.