Salary Negotiation Doesn't Have to Hurt: 6 Tips for Success

Finally. After much searching, finding the "ideal job,” submitting your resume and excelling in the interview, you get a call from the hiring manager with an offer for the position. And then? Reality sets in as you realize the next step: salary negotiation.

There are some who fear this part of the job search process. After all, negotiating salary can be a tough and unpleasant experience. But there's no reason to be anxious. By using our tips on how to negotiate salary, you can improve your chances of getting the offer you’re looking for ... maybe even more.

1. Research current pay ranges

It’s important to do research on similar administrative positions and their salary ranges so you know you are being offered a rate that is fair and appropriate to your level of experience and expertise. Keep in mind that pay can vary widely depending on your location, the type of company that's hiring, employment conditions in your area and other criteria. That's why it's helpful to consult tools such as the OfficeTeam Salary Guide, which can help you factor all of the variables and plan your salary negotiation strategy. You can also consult an administrative recruiter in your network of contacts. These staffing professionals work with employers and job seekers every day, so they're tuned in to current salary trends.


Calculate Your Local Salary Range


2. Let the hiring manager start the salary negotiation

Allow the manager to name the dollar amount first. This ensures you don't paint yourself into a corner by citing a preferred salary below the employer's initial offer. It also gives you the opportunity to truly think about the offer you receive and prepare a counter, if you feel you deserve to earn more. It's OK to ask for some time — usually a day or two — to weigh the proposed salary. You don't want to drag your feet and extend the process beyond a reasonable amount of time. But realize that salary negotiations don't have to be completed in a matter of minutes.

3. Demonstrate your value if you counter the manager’s offer

If you're unsatisfied with the proposed salary, remain calm and provide reasons from your research as to why you believe you should be compensated at a higher rate. Include an explanation of the potential contributions and expertise you can bring to the administrative role. If the manager does not accept your counter and suggests a different amount, let him or her know you would like more time to think about it and do any additional research before you respond.

4. Be confident and stay positive

Having inner strength helps you to stay focused and resilient so you’ll be able to keep your wits about you throughout the salary negotiations. Remember that most employers aren't trying to convince you to accept the lowest offer possible; they want you to feel respected and be satisfied with the pay so you are excited about the new position and motivated to do a good job.


Learn Salary Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid


5. Look at the entire offer

Ask the employer about tangible and intangible perks to the position, and don’t discount these “extras.” Often, benefits like a flexible schedule or tuition reimbursement add value and complement the salary under negotiation. You may find they balance out lower starting pay.

6. Know when you can’t negotiate any further

If the company is unwilling to offer a higher salary or doesn’t have much leeway to negotiate within the salary range, be gracious. If you feel it’s in your best interest to turn down the position, maintain a professional demeanor, because your paths may cross again in the future. It’s not unheard of for a manager to call back in a few days and accept a counteroffer because he or she really wants you for the job.

Gain insight into the latest administrative salary trends to help you better prepare for your own salary negotiation.