We ask a number of experts for the dos and don’ts of negotiating to help you secure the salary you deserve.
VP Sales at Bayt.com
Do check the market rate
It’s important to know what your peers and counterparts in your industry are getting paid. If you are getting less than average it’s a good time to ask for a raise. Remember that it’s okay to quote an amount during the negotiation process. Aim high at first, and it will eventually lead to a mutually agreeable figure. Bayt.com’s salary search is a great tool to help you find out what a good starting point is. Other ways to find out the average salary in your industry are to ask people within your professional network and check online forums.
Don’t be unprepared
It’s unwise to simply go to your boss and complain about not being paid enough without doing your homework. Did you do something extraordinary for the company? Have you not received a raise in the past year? Are you consistently reaching your targets but feel under-appreciated? Always start a conversation about a pay rise with proof in hand. Prepare a list of counter questions and arguments that your manager might bring up so that you don’t fumble in the negotiating process.
Do discuss pay face-to-face
Personal meetings are the best when seeking a pay rise. Set a time and place to meet with your manager in a private setting such as a meeting room. Always be calm and confident and never get emotional while putting forth your case.
Don’t ask at the wrong time
If you have received a pay rise in the past six to nine months, then you should probably reconsider asking for one again. Observe the state of your department. Is your boss talking cost cutting? Has your company experienced losses of late? If so, it’s perhaps better to put off the conversation until the situation improves. The same principle applies for new employees, as well.
Do ask at your appraisal
During your year-end appraisal, budgets are usually being reviewed at this time, and you and your manager can have an in-depth discussion about
Don’t over-promise for a raise
If your boss expects you to put in double the hours in exchange for a pay rise it’s not worth it. By this, we don’t mean that you shouldn’t take on more responsibilities. It just doesn’t make sense to put in 12 hours for a contracted eight-hour working day. Remember work-life balance is essential, too.
Managing director at Monster.com
Do think beyond the salary
There’s more than just your salary that you can negotiate. Bonuses, unpaid leave, relocation expenses, flexitime, severance and predetermined timeframes for salary reviews are all negotiable. Vacation time and health insurance coverage are established by company policy and are non-negotiable.
Dr Annette Schonder
Consultant at LifeWorks
Don’t make threats
Avoid the often fatal mistake of asking for a pay rise coupled with the threat of quitting. This strategy often ends in a lose-lose situation. The company loses a good employee and you end up having to leave despite your excellent work performance.