According to the BlueSteps Executive Compensation Survey (2013), many executives (over one-third) felt that they were not being adequately compensated for their work. If you have reached a crossroad in your career where you might be able to negotiate your salary, it is vital that you are equipped and prepared with the skills to ensure you end up with the compensation you deserve. BlueSteps has therefore compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for salary negotiation to help you on your way.

3 Compensation Negotiation Tips for Success

Research the value of the role: It is important to know exactly what you are worth to the company in order to know the limitations of your negotiation. There are now a plethora of websites that assist executives in calculating the worth of their role to make negotiating easier. Make sure that you consult at least a couple of sources so that you can ensure that the figures you are using are reputable, while also taking into account the size of the company in question.

Research in the context of your geographic location: While preparing for your negotiation, you should also take into account the location of the company that you will be negotiating with, as this can impact the average salary for your role.

Prepare a counteroffer: It has been said that around 50% of jobseekers accept their first offer, not without realising that most employers are expecting them to make a counteroffer – leading them to settle for much lower salaries than they deserve. Preparing a counter offer that you can explain intelligently citing your research on the average salary and what you would bring to the role will help support your desired figure. 

3 Compensation Negotiation Pitfalls to Avoid

Being the first to disclose a figure: It is a general rule of thumb that the last person to name a figure wins the negotiation, so if you can, it is definitely worth holding out. If you find this too awkward, you may want to give a vague salary range (based on your research), starting at a mid-range salary. If it is possible, waiting for them to begin negotiations leads to higher levels of success.

Accepting the first salary offer: Don’t be afraid to present your counteroffer or ask for some time to consider the offer that has been presented. Being too hasty, when it comes to the first offer in the negotiation process, can lead to a deduction in your potential salary. Also, make sure that you receive the offer in writing.

Not negotiating beyond base pay: Negotiations can include more than your base pay. Make sure that you have also considered holidays, healthcare, flexible hours, work from home, scheduled salary increases, minimum severance and other perks when you are speaking to your company.


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