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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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So you got the job? Here is how you negotiate your salary

It is crucial to advocate for yourself when starting a new job. Picture: File

It is crucial to advocate for yourself when starting a new job. Picture: File

Published Jun 26, 2022


The consumer price inflation increased to 6.5% in May 2022, from 5.9% in April 2022, according to Stats SA.

With the cost of living only going up, from fuel and cooking oil, to rent and interest rates, South Africans’ pockets are feeling the pressure.

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In this climate, it is crucial to advocate for yourself when starting a new job by asking for what you are worth.

Here are seven ways to negotiate for a fair salary when starting at a new company:

1. Research industry salary trends

Before you start the negotiation process, you need to know what others in your field are earning. Numerous websites offer salary information based on your field, experience, and area.

Arm yourself with as many facts and as much information as possible so that you are not exploited.

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2. Be respectful but firm

The ball is in your court. You have already received the job offer, which means that the company or organisation has seen the value you can bring.

You have the opportunity and right to start this process.

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3. Practice your motivation argument

You need to know exactly what you are going to say and how to say it.

List questions that you might be asked in response to your proposal.

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Why should you be given the salary you have chosen instead of the one that was on the table? What would necessitate its increase?

This will give you the confidence to state your purpose convincingly and with conviction.

4. Choose the appropriate time

Pick your moment wisely, but do not wait till the last second.

Before you sign your contract, inform the hiring manager or an HR department representative that you would like to negotiate your salary.

5. State your case

You already know what will be required of you in this position, but start the negotiation process.

By asking more questions, this will set the tone for the conversation.

Highlight all your accomplishments. Be specific about why you want this salary and what you will bring to the table.

6. Be prepared for push-back

Everything might not go as smoothly as you may have hoped.

You may receive some scepticism on your offer, and whether it is warranted.

Continue the negotiation calmly and stick to your original points.

7. Compromise if there is no other option

Your figure may be found to be steep for your soon-to-be employer.

However, you might be given another that is slightly lower than what you had aimed for.

Think about whether it will be enough for your needs and more. Know when to concede.

8. Prepare for rejection

Sometimes the answer could be a simple no. With the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, some companies are still climbing the uphill battle of economic recovery.

Do not be deterred, you can also ask to negotiate for a higher salary at a later stage.