Salary Negotiation Guide

Waiting Until the End

If you engage in salary discussions prior to finding out what a position requires and before you’ve established your value with the employer, it will be more difficult to negotiate a better position for yourself. This is true even when a salary is non-negotiable.

What if this is not possible? Then try to neutralize the issue by either stating or asking something close to the following question:

“If you don’t mind, I would prefer giving you a specific answer after I’ve had a chance to learn more about the position, its corresponding responsibilities and your organization.“

Questions to keep in mind:
* What are the duties and responsibilities assigned to this position?
* How does your organization structure its pay system, personnel policies, and promotion as well as dispense rewards?
* Is performance important for compensation increases and promotions or is seniority the key factor?
* What is the salary range for this position?
* How much would someone with my qualifications and experience receive in this position?

Note: Don’t state a specific salary, discuss in terms of ranges.

Examining the Offer

- Examine the benefits carefully, but settle on a base salary figure first.
- Consider the benefits as an expected part of a job rather than as part of the salary consideration.
- Some employers will offer a fixed benefit package while others will give employees a menu of benefit options from which to choose.
- Find out specifics in terms of benefits.

Questions to keep in mind:
* When do benefits begin?
* Does the policy include dental and vision?
* Are spouses and dependants covered?
* Is there a co-payment?
* Will the company reimburse for doctor’s visits or prescriptions prior to insurance activating?
* When do vacation days start accumulating?
* Can you clarify if two weeks of vacation means ten or 14 days?
* How many sick and personal days are offered?
* Do overtime hours count toward extra time off?
* Do you offer a loan forgiveness program?
* Do you support employees pursuing higher education?
* If so do you offer tuition assistance and flexible scheduling?

Get Your Offer in Writing

- Once you have reached a verbal agreement outlining your compensation, it’s important to get your offer in some form of a written agreement. This agreement should include the following:

* Duties and responsibilities
* Expected performance
* Evaluations
* Compensation

- When you ask for the agreement in writing state that you would like a copy of the agreement both for your own files and one to be placed in your personnel file.
- Sometimes drafting such an agreement will take a few days but look at this as valuable time to evaluate your offer.

Follow up

Time Frame
A common professional courtesy gives you anywhere from 48 hours to two weeks to either accept or deny an offer. Know how long your particular offer lasts before a final decision must be made.

Ask Yourself Some Important Questions
-Is the job worth what I am being offered?
-What are other employers offering for comparable positions?
-Is this job aligned with my long and short-term career goals?

Write a Letter
Always follow up any decision with a thank you letter.

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