Just thinking about talking to graduate applicants about negotiating salary, benefits and remuneration packages may lead you to think along the terrified lines of “What if they decide not to hire me because I asked for more?”
Navigating these negotiations can be pretty tricky, especially when you’re a fresh grad applying for a job for the first time. First of all, most are not sure when, how, or how much to push for. And secondly, if done wrong, it can result in an unfavourable position.
In order to negotiate effectively, you’ll have to do some homework and investigation if you want to convince your recruiter to agree with your appeal. Sprouting something like, “Because I’m worth the price” isn’t going to cut it!
What is your price?
Although everyone has their own salary range in mind, remember that you will need to adapt your expectations according to the type of job you’re applying to. For instance, you might want to be more reserved about your negotiation in extremely structured jobs, such as management consulting jobs; or jobs where there is an enormous amount of supply.
Also, take note of the culture of the organisation and industry: How much are most applicants to this company requesting during their negotiations?
Research the employer and the market
During the negotiations, most recruiters usually start off on the lower end of your range, so it is up to you to persuade them into agreeing to a higher amount. A good trick to use is to quote a figure towards the higher end because it’ll give you some space to negotiate. If recruiters ask you how you arrived at your range, promote your available skill sets and how you can help develop the company better than the other applicants.
Conversely, there are also some recruiters who advertise the salary as a “negotiable” matter, which usually means that you’ll have to propose a number. The negotiations will then be done based on those numbers instead. Don’t attempt to jack your price up just because you’re given the opportunity to get the ball rolling!
Some avenues where you can begin your research include:
- Online advertisements and job listings
- Family and friends
- Contacts in the industry
- Careers services
- Professional unions
Other things to take note of
Be sure to weigh your remuneration package against your long-term career objectives, the experience that you want to gain and the company culture that you will be working in. Mull over some compensations that you may be offered in return for what could be a lower salary offered. This could include things like private health cover, the provision of a car, the quality of your technology assistance, or even bonuses. Discuss these in detail, such as about the basis on which the bonuses are paid. If you’re not sure how to go about this, ask experienced family and friends about what to look out for before you go for your interview!
If you’re going to explore the boundaries, however, be prepared to do thorough research on the company’s needs and objectives. Draw up a basic outline of how you intend to achieve the criteria you set for yourself to help the company realise its goals too. Come prepared with your outline as it indicates preparation on your part. If the recruiters agree to your proposition, then you’ll have to make sure that the information is clearly reflected in your contract of employment.
Also, take note of some common mistakes you should avoid:
- Not finding out the range you can negotiate for
- Bluffing and creating fictional job offers
- Being too eager or coming off as insincere