Tips on Negotiating your Salary

1. Accept that salary negotiation can be part of the process

  • Many perceive asking for money is an uncomfortable task. However, you need to ask for the salary you deserve and anticipate how to negotiate your wages

2. Do your research!

  • Visit Vancouver Central Library-Business Desk on the 4th floor for salary surveys, look up directories of professional associations, government reports and business and industry-specific trade magazines
  • Read advertisements for similar positions which do state a salary range
  • Talk to people in similar positions- if you don’t know anyone personally, set up an Information Interview with someone within your field

3. Be prepared to have a purpose and objective before entering the interview

  • Try not to focus on the compensation, but rather concentrate on how you can benefit the employer, this will increase your value to the company when you have a purpose for meeting and exceeding their needs / goals

4. Avoid mentioning a salary figure first- try to have the employer make the first offer

  • If you are asked about your salary expectations, refer to your willingness to be flexible, and that you are looking for a competitive wage
  • If the interviewer asks for what income you were making before, be careful to qualify this if you are looking for an increase in salary
  • If the interviewer insists on a figure, state a range based on your research findings

“I understand the current rate for this position is generally between $_____ and $______.

Other Suggestions:

“I am interested in knowing what the salary range is being considered?”

“Before I can respond, are you able to provide more details on the level of responsibility and hours involved?”

“I’m looking for a competitive salary, however; it is not my top priority at the moment. I know that your company has a good reputation and offer its employees a fair wage. My priority is to gain valuable Canadian experience in which I have the opportunity to grow professionally, offering my skills and years of experience.”

“What is most important to me right now is continuing my profession in Canada. I would accept a salary that is considered appropriate within the salary range for the position, taking into account my skills and experience”

5. Know your bottom line

  • When talking about salary range, don’t reveal your absolute bottom line; if you quoted a figure that is too low, you may come across as not valuing your skills sufficiently. If it is too high, you may be out of the running due to unrealistic expectations
  • Before the interview, ask yourself what is the minimum salary you are willing to accept?

6. Track your Success

  • Keep records of your accomplishments throughout the year, including paper files, emails that clearly demonstrate your work performances related to employer’s goals/objectives
  • Make sure you have actual figures to discuss from your last job e. g. cost savings, increased productivity

7. Be Flexible & Reasonable

  • If you have extensive experience in the industry, you should be receiving the mid-point of the salary range, not the minimum. If you have limited experience or have just completed your education, expect the lower 25% of the salary range and work your way up

8. Consider the benefits

  • Remember to discuss fringe benefits (i.e. holiday, medical, insurance, pension). The ‘job perks’ could account to 15-28 percent of your total salary
  • Discuss company’s policy on acquiring future raises based on performance review; will you receive a raise after a specified period of time, i.e. after probation period or after one year?

9. Make an informed decision

  • Don’t rush! At the end of the negotiation, you may feel pressured to make a decision. Ask the interviewer for 24 hours to consider your options and make a decision you are comfortable with
  • Are there opportunities for promotions or career growth within the company? How is the working environment? Do other employees seem happy?

10. Think “Win-Win”

  • Think of ways to find a solution that is appropriate for both parties. If you find that there is not a mutually agreed upon resolution, part amicably as best as possible. You might find yourself working for the employer in the future and don’t want to burn your bridges!

*For further information on negotiating your salary, visit your friendly Employment Counsellor at Skills Connect-Back in Motion!