5 IT Salary Negotiation Tips - InformationWeek
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5 IT Salary Negotiation Tips

Asking for more money doesn't have to be difficult. Here's how to make that stage of the interview process easier.

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LinkedIn: 10 Important Changes
Many job hunters loathe the salary negotiation process, and it's no wonder: According to a new Staffing and Recruiting Pulse survey from CareerBuilder, two-thirds of candidates are disappointed with employers' offers. That's up 6 percentage points from last year. But what makes the process so uncomfortable for job seekers? Nicole Williams, career expert for LinkedIn and founder of career consultancy firm Works, says it has to do with confidence.

"Many people think that the root of the process that makes salary negotiations uncomfortable is talking about money," she said. "But what helps is really having the confidence to ask for a fair salary and believing that you deserve it."

Being prepared before you enter that process will help with confidence, said Eric Larson, partner at executive recruiting firm Riviera Partners. "You need to know what you want and you need to know what you can expect to get," he said.

[ Don't forget to pay it forward: 5 Ways To Be A Stronger IT Mentor. ]

Here's a look at five tips for successfully maneuvering the salary negotiation process.

1. Know The Market.

When you've reached the salary negotiation stage of the interview process you need to know what others are being paid to determine whether an offer is fair, Larson said. If you're working with a recruiter, you can expect that they have access to this data and probably won't present you with an opportunity unless it matches your needs, Larson said.

But if you're job hunting on your own, knowing what to expect is crucial. Use your current salary as a benchmark and visit salary websites to determine a likely range. These sites include Salary.com, PayScale, GlassDoor and Vault.

2. Be Practical.

Once you have determined a likely salary range, reassess your salary requirements and focus on being practical, Williams said.

"Never over-ask. If the average range is $50k to $60k, don't ask for $100k. You'll seem greedy and you'll probably be turned down," she said.

3. Be Honest.

Honesty -- both with yourself and your potential employer -- is essential, Larson said.

"Candidates who are vague or coy can run into problems later down the line," he said. "They're afraid to talk about their salary requirements because they want to get as deep in the process as they can. But it's best to lay out all the variables. Know your salary range going in, communicate it honestly if you're asked and be realistic."

4. Prepare An Answer To "Why?"

Confidence is key to negotiating well, Williams said. If you're asking for a higher salary than what the employer is offering, know why you deserve it.

"The one question you should be prepared to answer is, 'Why are you worth it?'" Williams said. "You need to know what you're bringing into the company that makes the investment in you worth their while."

Be prepared to talk about your accomplishments, your ideas and what skills and attributes you know you can bring to the table better than anyone else.

5. Know When To Seek A Counter Offer.

Know where you stand with your current job and what it will take for you to move on. When you receive an offer, think hard about whether you want to ask for a counteroffer from your current employer, Williams said.

"If you like where you are working but received an offer you can't refuse, don't be afraid to go to your boss and talk numbers," she said. "Bring in your portfolio and begin to talk about the accomplishments you've set for the company."

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User Rank: Apprentice
11/20/2013 | 11:55:40 AM
Huge asterisk (*) on number 5...
As an IT recruiter with over 20 years of experience, I have to disagree with the last item regarding using a counter-offer as a negotiating tactic. If you are thinking about leaving your job, then you should think long and hard about exactly why you are leaving. Money will NOT change the negative factors that are pushing you to find a new job. And if you accept a counter-offer, you will now create a host of negative factors. Your boss will never look at you the same way, as your wandering eye shows disloyalty. The outside company that you end up turning down will be upset and you've burned that bridge. There are more reasons, but essentially you need to first figure out if you can fix the problem(s) at your current place of work. If not, then go job hunting, and then go from there. But once you make up your mind to leave and you receive a satisfactory offer elsewhere, then go. Don't let fear of change get in the way.

If the sole reason for job hunting IS money, then you need to weigh the pros and cons of talking about it with your boss. Everyone's situation is different. You may have the type of relationship with your boss/management in that asking for a raise is met with agreement. Or the opposite: Your boss looks at you funny and essentially tells you that it is what it is, and go elsewhere if it's not satisfactory. Or worse.

Regardless, you need to be VERY careful if you want to employ the tactic of using a counter-offer to get what you want. That's a dangerous dance.

User Rank: Apprentice
10/29/2013 | 3:45:22 AM
re: 5 IT Salary Negotiation Tips
This might be
cheating... but the easiest way to negotiate a higher salary is to hire a
professional to help you. As a professional salary negotiator myself, I have negotiated
higher salaries for over 700 people. My trick is to handle the entire salary
negotiation over email. Negotiating by email improves the odds for an amateur
negotiator. ThatG«÷s because it takes away your employerG«÷s ability to "read
you" in person and bluff you into taking less. Over email you can carefully
choose every word. And a professional like me can squeeze HR to get every penny
you deserve. Let me help you get it right. The only rule is that you can never
tell ANYONE that you had outside help. If you want
a professional salary negotiator to get you a higher salary, you can watch a
free tutorial video at: www.NegotiatingSalary.com/Free...
User Rank: Strategist
8/15/2013 | 5:07:46 PM
re: 5 IT Salary Negotiation Tips
It's difficult to know the market even within your existing company, let alone at a new place you are interviewing with. And Sometimes you current employer defines/titles the role differently than the industry, making industry wide comparisons meaningless. Example: My company treats the Business Analyst role as a highly paid professional postition. My wife's company treats the BA role more or less the same as clerical position.
User Rank: Author
8/13/2013 | 2:39:08 PM
re: 5 IT Salary Negotiation Tips
I have heard some real negotiation horror stories, but one of the frustrating situations is when you go through a lengthy process with a stated range, decide you like the company, and then get a lower offer. Does anyone have advice to share on how you handled that situation?
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