Negotiating Pay the Right Way - Synthesis of over 50 Negotiation Strategy Websites Drilled Down to the Important Rules of Thumb

Have you ever been taken advantage of during a salary negotiation? Have HR personnel ever tried to pin you down on a number early during the process? What if it is a dream job? The truth is, hiring managers are expecting you to negotiate. Learn how.

When developing the concept of SalaryScout, a site that allows users to anonymously exchange compensation data, I researched hundreds sources related to salary and salary negotiation. Rather than keeping these hidden away in my own personal bookmarks, I thought I would post them so that everyone can benefit. Enjoy!

After looking at many of these, I came to the conclusion that there probably isn't a single best way to conduct negotiations. It depends a lot on the job and the person you are negotiating with. Many of these are good, however, others aren't so good. Regardless, I think this list is a great starting point for learning how to negotiate. Don't forget to signup at SalaryScout and find out how much others are making.


1. Don't tell them how much money you'll take - let them give you the first offer.
2. Document your job's fair market value and be prepared to prove it - use the internet, library, professional associations and networking groups to find out what is fair.
Business climate factors
        - Overall state of the economy and the industry in which you compete
      - Overall unemployment rate and the general employment picture
       - Demand for industry- and profession-specific knowledge and skills
Company factors
- Profitability
      - Position in the business cycle (startup, growing, stable, turnaround)
    Hiring manager factors
       - Urgency of the company's need to fill the position
       - Decision-making authority
       - Staffing budget
    Applicant factors
       - Other opportunities in the job offer
       - Technical expertise, unique knowledge/skill set
       - Resources (financial depth, networks, etc.)
       - Level of competition/availability of other candidates
         - Career risk of the job offer
3. Know what you want and what the employer wants - salary v. bonus.
4. Appeal to fairness in negotiations based on other similarly situated people are receiving.
5.Negotiate but don't make your future boss feel like you are a schmuck - remember you will have to work with him/her.
6. Don't be greedy or unreasonable
- don't make the process adversarial.
7.Do not take an offer on the spot - think about it and respond after a few days - tell them that you need a few days to think it over.
8. Consider the entire package as a whole: insurance, stock options, 401(k) plans, pension and profit sharing plans, salary progression, company car, training, tuition, vacation days, paid holiday, and sick/personal days. 
    Know what you want in a negotiation session, and know what you are willing to do without. Negotiate one point at a time. Negotiate base pay first and then the points the employer would easily agree to. Save for last the issues of conflict. Be prepared to back off, or not even bring up, issues that are not important to you.
9. Don't talk about how much you need - talk about what you deserve.
10. Meet with them in person to negotiate - be enthusiastic but noncommittal

11. If the employer is firm on the offer, ask how often performance reviews are conducted; see if you can get reviewed on a faster timetable.

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