Before going into salary negotiating, it is critical to know exactly what your value is. If you do not know exactly what your value is, then it is a shot in the dark when you ask for a raise or try to get the most in your next job.
You may end up letting the employer decide what your pay increase should be, and it may be disappointing to you. Millions of people negotiate for a higher salary, but not so many get the maximum increase in compensation that they could.
Doing extensive research before you approach your boss for a pay increase or before you discuss salary negotiation at job offer time, is an imperative. It is like a game of chess. You cannot reveal to your opponent what your next move will be. Likewise, you do not want to reveal your salary history if you can avoid it, and don’t discuss salary too early.
Know how much compensation you can command before you ever discuss salary negotiation with an employer.
If you are looking for a new job or are trying to ask for a raise, do salary research on the Internet first. There are great sites like SalaryExpert.com or Payscale.com who calculate all the salary information that is available.
One challenge is understanding the reliability of the source of the information. If a resume website is reporting salary ranges as reported by their list of job seekers, it may not be as precise as if the salaries are reported by the human resources department of the firms that are seeking to recruit personnel.
If you are not worried about being forward with others, you may just outright ask. I recommend using some tact in this approach, but it is less offensive than it once was. You might just discover inside intelligence about the salary range for that job.
Better yet, if you can ask a valued human resources friend, you may find out not only about the company you work for, but you may also find out about other companies in your market. Whatever information you can find out, will be useful, as long as the source is someone you can believe.
Salary comparison is done on frequent basis by human resources personal within companies and between companies as well. There are even research reports published by large research firms and human resource organizations that share information openly about their hiring practice in their regions. If you are able to gain access to one of these reports, you have the diamond mine of information you need.
Salaries are often reported on the basis of a salary curve. Take for example, a software developer in a given city with very specific experience in Microsoft technology. They may earn $70K or $80K or more. The reporting will show the percentage of workers who are earning in the top end of that range, middle of the range and bottom of the range. It is very clear based on the chart.
If you perform well at your job, then you know it. Think about your performance critically and honestly, and determine using intuition where you think you fit in, as far as a percentile basis. Don’t worry if you think you’re in the lower regions. It may be lack of experience or tenure. If you are in the top end, you know you’re a high performer and you’re providing a lot of value to the company.
I have found it to be very useful to point blank ask friends at work where they feel I should be on the salary scale. They know themselves and measure themselves against you. You should do this with someone you have a very good raport with. You will get great direct feedback.
It is critical for you to know the value of the skills you bring, and be able to measure them in quantitative terms. That is financially describably terms. Hard cash numbers resonate with employers. If you can say, I saved the company $150,000 last quarter due to the efficiencies I implemented, you are on a great platform to justify your salary negotiation.
Best of luck to you in your next salary negotiation.
Author: Trevor Davide GrantThis author has published 6 articles so far.