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How to negotiate your salary?

Prepare to negotiate your salary in a job interview

Salary is one of the most important criteria when choosing a job. It is ranked in the TOP 5 of the most important criteria with happiness, the meaning given to the mission, job security and possible career development. How to negotiate your salary in a job interview in 2022? 

Difference between remuneration and salary

First, you should remember that salary is only part of the total remuneration of an employee.

  • Salary is a sum of money paid for work performed. We generally speak of gross salary (before taxes) and net salary (what comes back to you after taxes).
  • The remuneration includes salary and all other benefits that are not included in the salary: restaurant voucher, insurance/healthcare, transport, company car, company accommodation, etc.

The distinction is important because it will come into play when you want to negotiate your compensation.

Prepare yourself

Preparation is very important when you want to negotiate your salary during a job interview.

During your preparation, many factors must be taken into account, including your profilethe current job market and especially the added value that you will bring to the company. Never forget that if the company is recruiting, it is because they need you!

Your profile

Your level of studies, the school or university from which you graduated, your past professional experience, these are all elements that will help you position yourself and know what salary range you can claim. But this is not the only criteria, it is also necessary to take into account the external factors.

The job market

Your job sector, the city/region in which you want to work, the type of business you are targeting (Small, Medium or Large companies) will also affect the salary that will be offered to you and your negotiation margin. Keep in mind that it is easier to negotiate your salary in a small structured business than in a larger group where there are often salary scales and career paths.

Your added value

What will you bring or what have you brought to the company? What will be or what have been the positive impact of your work on the company?
When you get ready to negotiate, prepare some hard facts that will help you justify the salary or raise you are asking for.

Approach the question well

Addressing the issue of salary can seem complex and easily make applicants uncomfortable. However, this is an important step and you should not be “ashamed” to mention your salary expectations. On the contrary, a candidate who brings up this subject can be seen as being daring!

With a recruitment agency

If you work with a recruitment agency, the recruitment consultant will normally have validated your salary expectations with you on the first call. It is this same consultant who will take care of negotiating your compensation for you with his client, the company you are targeting.
In these cases, it is no longer necessary to discuss the salary with the employer because you will have known about the remuneration beforehand.

Without a recruitment agency

If you are applying directly for a position within a company, then you will have to address the issue of remuneration yourself during the interview.

First, conduct your interview in a natural way. Answer the recruiter(s)’s questions and make sure the position meets your expectations. In particular, this will give your recruiter the opportunity to raise the famous question “Regarding your salary expectations, how do you position yourself?”.

If the interview ends and you haven’t been able to clear up the salary issue, take the lead and use the last part of the interview to ask: “In terms of pay, what’s your range for this position?”.

Use a range of salary

It is important to always use a range when talking about salary. Indeed, this makes it easier to find an agreement between employer and candidate during an interview.

Your “low” range will be your minimum acceptable for a given position, below which you no longer agree to negotiate.

Your “high” range, on the other hand, must be realistic and represents a salary you would be happy to work for.

Speaking in a “range” of salary makes it possible to provide a framework for negotiation, to adjust expectations on both sides and to know your negotiating margin.

The method of the anchor (or Anchoring)

It is simply a question of giving a range which will then serve as a reference point for the negotiation. A simple and effective solution would be to ask the recruiter what the expected salary range for this position is. So:

  • If the high range given by the recruiter is below your expectations, you may try to negotiate higher.
  • If the range given is above your expectations, then you will have the opportunity to negotiate your salary even better!

This is the reason why it is preferable to know the range of a position before taking a position.

Negotiate your employee package, not your salary

It is obvious that the sum collected at the end of the month is important for any employee, but remember there are other aspects of the employee package that you could use in your negotiation. By including other elements of compensation in your negotiation, you create more room for negotiation with your employer.

At an equivalent salary, an employee who will have the right to work remotely, who will have transport covered, insurance, a supplementary pension or meal vouchers will be in a greater position.

Salary/remuneration negotiation is not always a pleasant time, but with preparation, knowledge of the market and confidence, you will succeed in making the most of it.

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