What is a competitive salary? How can you use it to your advantage?
When an employer says that they’re offering you a competitive salary, it means that it is either the average for your role, or higher. This is definitely something that you can discuss between you and them, as they clearly have a higher budget available to them in order to hire a quality candidate.
Knowing that, all you have to do is prove that you’re the quality candidate worth stretching for. Use this to your advantage by doing your research – is the industry average set to increase this year? Whilst it’s the average salary, does the job role you’re applying for require extra responsibility or skills that should be reflected in your pay?
There is room for growth; if you can’t have a higher starting salary now, there’s nothing wrong with asking what potential your role has for future progression. Asking about promotions, bonuses and salary increases shows the employer that you’re keen and ambitious, and the information you gather will let you know if the role is worth going for.
How to actually negotiate
Negotiate your salary by making a case as to why you deserve it. For example, you can explain the ways that you over-qualify for the job, and would be bringing into the business something above the pay grade. You might have extra knowledge and work experience that wasn’t even in the job description that would really benefit the overall team. Perhaps there isn’t an ‘’x’ position in the establishment yet, and you would be able to fill that gap.
You should aim to express your interest in accepting the offer or staying at your job, but that only the salary stands between you and a ‘yes’. For example: ‘I’m beyond happy to have been offered a role here, and I’m ready to hit the ground running. However, I’d be looking for a salary of at least X amount’’. This would communicate your expectations upfront and inform the manager that a higher salary can keep you on.
Show your research by actually ‘naming your price’. A.K.A instead of saying you want ‘a higher salary’, give an exact figure , as it shows that you’ve done enough research to decide the salary you think you’re worth. You can ask for slightly higher so that the manager will counter-offer with a lower figure that you’re still happy with. What you’d want to avoid is asking for something ‘within the range of x to y’, as the manager will obviously offer you a figure at the lower end. Use your own intuition to decide the level of flexibility the person has in front of you.
Negotiating whilst face to face is most effective as you can be receptive to the person in front of you. You’ll be able to read whether they are keen to hire you and if they want to contemplate any further. Otherwise, your next best bet is to discuss over the phone, as you’ll be able to hear their tone of voice and communicate with your own.
Keep a calm and collected demeanour throughout the negotiation process – and do not take offence to any low offers or if they refuse to budge on salary – it’s probably not because of you, but because of the budget that the manager has been given!
As you would do with an interview, a negotiation must be prepared and practised. As we’ve mentioned before, the opportunity to negotiate can range from the job interview, the job offer and during a review period as an employee. If you want to negotiate your salary at any of these points, you need to have rehearsed what you want to say, and work that into the discussion!
We wish you a successful negotiation!
But don’t be disheartened if you fail to get your preferred salary. If you decide to turn down your offer, it will be because you know that you can earn more with the skill and potential you possess, and it’s worth looking for something else!
If you do take the offer, you will still have the opportunity to earn more than your starting salary! Employees should have reviews with their senior management at least bi-annually to discuss their progress and performance. Here, you can negotiate your raise by proving your successes at the workplace and making your case again. Changes in staffing might mean that you’ll get a promotion way before you expected – so there’s always another chance to talk about salary!
Don’t forget that many workplaces also increase the salary of their employees the longer they work there. Some also give candidates a bonus when they first start as an extra incentive. In fact, many employers on Placed App offer these bonuses and more! Find your next job on Placed and put our tips into practice!