A common topic we have to teach our clients is, how to negotiate their pay once they have a job offer in mind. Although we always recommend a 1 on 1 coaching service since there is nothing like practicing with a real recruitment professional, we’re here sharing you some of our best tips around the matter.

In speaking with one of our coaches Darren – he says “many job seekers are in shock when they get the job offer. They’re thinking about the fact they got it, and want to lock it up as soon as possible.”

In saying that, we tend to find that there is an opportunity to negotiate the pay package, as in actual fact – most employers expect some form of a negotiation to happen.

“Employers don’t particularly love the idea, but you’ll be surprised how many budget the time to do it. Candidates should think about that if they feel they are worth more.”

“The first step is to thank them and tell them you are thrilled with the job offer, and now you need time to review the job offer in detail”, says Darren.

Our clients tend to find this is an ideal way to buy extra time to calm yourself and perform a bit more research around the job offer.

As a next step, it is helpful to do additional research about what the market is paying for this type of job, as well as how well suited you are for the job responsibilities.

For the market – you will want to research job websites, career websites and pay reports to understand what is being paid. For example if you’re applying for a marketing manager position in a major bank and getting offered $40,000 – this could be a way off the market average of $60,000-80,000.

But Darren explains “don’t make the salary negotiation process seem rude. No employer wants to be offended that others are paying more than they are. They probably already know that and don’t want to hear it due to budgetary constraints.”

A key point is to consider how well suited you are for the job description. Read what they are looking for. Are they looking for someone with exactly 5 years of marketing experience, with at least 3 in retail marketing, and a postgraduate degree? Do you have exactly that, or slightly more? If yes- then you may have good grounds for negotiation.

Darren considers, “If you solemnly believe that the skill set you have is hard to find in the marketplace, and IS actually required by the employer – it is likely the employer is very keen on you. If their second best alternative is a candidate who has nothing close to you – once again, you may have good grounds for negotiation.”

We find it is helpful to make a list of your key achievements, and strengths – and compare these against the job description that has been advertised. Focus on the benefits and explain how you are able to add additional value for your skills, but that you also feel you need to be compensated for that.

But in saying that, there are some cases where a negotiation may not be the best card to play. While it doesn’t hurt to ask, it can come across as offensive if you negotiate and you are hardly suited for the role.

“Perhaps if you are say a 1st year junior and you were fortunate to receive a pay package comparable to someone in the job for 5 years – it may not be a good idea to negotiate.”

Through the pay negotiation process, we recommend that you still imagine that you are in a job interview. If you’re trying to have your pay raised, you need to continually resell yourself as the best person for the job. It is helpful to find the employer, or whoever is making the decision, that you have say, 5 years of experience in this field, and a master’s degree; plus reiterating why you are able to bring added value to the company. Refer to previous successes and how you have gone beyond the call of duty in previous jobs.

Darren concludes; “All in all, many hiring managers expect candidates to try get more. Usually they are prepared to go higher than the starting offer. You just have to ask, but if you aren’t sure – it is helpful to get help from one of our coaches by means of a one on one session. Even if you have your facts straight; you don’t want to damage your long term relationship with the employer by getting this part wrong.”