As a ‘head-hunter’ with over 15 years experience in both providing CV writing services for executives, and  placing them into board level positions, I understand that once you have received a job offer, the negotiations have only just begun and a careful choice needs to be made on your part.

Today’s marketplace is far less buoyant, which means that in making a career move and deciding upon your new role and new place of employment, you should carefully evaluate all the factors, one of which is salary.

One thing which is often overlooked in a recession is that salaries are still, in the main, negotiable. This means that you should not necessarily feel obliged to accept the annual basic salary rate that is initially offered to you. Rather, you can work to negotiate a package that will truly suit your needs in the long run, saving you from feeling undervalued later down the line.

Here are a few tips to ensure that you get the salary you want:

Do your research

Get in touch with some professional search firms or senior level recruitment agencies which deal in your particular field and ask advice on typical salary ranges. Look out for roles of a similar level, and in your target industry which are being advertised in the press and on-line executive job portals such as exec.appoinments.com and jobs.telegraph.co.uk.  This way, you’ll have a better idea of the going rates in your profession. Also, be sure to take into consideration geographic factors which could serve to make your ideal salary higher or lower than the average.

Evaluation your skills

Before you enter into a salary negotiation process, make sure that you have a firm understanding of your job skills and what they are worth on the open market. Pick out a number of key achievements which you have made in your career to date, such as cost savings you have initiated or commercial contracts you have secured and be ready to quantify them.  You can also gather salary information from a variety of on-line sources, most of which are listed on the useful links in our site www.gpcvservices.co.uk.

Factor in the entire remuneration package

When evaluating a salary offer, do not just look at basic salary -make sure that you consider the package as a whole.   If there is a bonus structure in place, ask what percentage of bonus has been achieved in the past and negotiate a larger percentage based on key deliverables and milestones.  Calculate the monetary value of shares, health plans and pension contributions and try not to be fixated on basic salary alone, which can tend to be a short sighted view.

Specify a preferred salary range

When you are initially applying for a role, do not specify your current salary, instead articulate a liberal preferred range.  This way, you cannot be held to an exact figure, there is room left for negotiation and you will not be selling yourself short.

Look at the opportunities for progression

Whilst you may not be able to negotiate your ideal salary initially, it may be possible to negotiate a review after 6 months based on performance.  Ask if the company has a good track record of promoting its employees and find out about the opportunities for advancement within the role being offered.

Don’t be too aggressive

When negotiating your salary package, adopt a soft-sell approach. If you are professional, calculated and well prepared, you are far more likely to secure a salary which you and your future employer can be mutually satisfied with.

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