Job offer negotiation is never a comfortable task for either the candidate or employer. Yet, about 39% of employees say they negotiated their salary in their previous job offer, with younger candidates between 18 and 34 years old being more likely to do so at 45% of their age group. With the up and coming workforce feeling more confident about requesting additional perks as part of their job package, those who don’t may be selling themselves short.
It can be intimidating for an applicant in the tech industry to negotiate for a job offer, particularly if he or she possesses a niche skill-set that has narrow employment opportunities. Negotiation can also be confusing because of an inner conflict of interest. On one hand, you feel a need to assert your hard-earned market value, but on the other, you risk souring a professional relationship off the bat and jeopardizing your offer.
So, while a highly-qualified technologist may feel far more comfortable resolving glitches in an information technology discipline, it can be unnerving to negotiate with an experienced human resource manager familiar with industry norms.
Fortunately, there are few solid guidelines an applicant can follow to reduce the stress of salary negotiations and increase their chances of earning a respectable income.
When it comes to how to negotiate a tech job offer, there are three primary factors to consider.
- When to negotiate.
- What to discuss.
- How to start a win-win discussion.
When to Negotiate
A job applicant should not negotiate when applying for the job because they have not yet received a job offer. They should not negotiate during the job interview either, because their focus should be on understanding the company’s history and values, as well as all the details of the open position. You should also avoid striking up the conversation the second after receiving a job offer, because you will need a little time to review the offer to decide if you will accept it.
So, the best time to negotiate is after the interview, after receiving the job offer, and after reviewing the salary and the compensation package. In other words, the best time to negotiate is when the hiring manager expects to hear an acceptance or rejection.
What to Negotiate
Before negotiating, a candidate needs to thoroughly understand the job description and requirements, as well as the industry pay scale and local market. Without this basic understanding, the applicant will be at a huge disadvantage when negotiating with a hiring manager for a higher salary and excellent benefits.
The candidate should take the following two step before requesting an interview to finalize the contract:
- They must have a clear idea about the job description and the job requirements. If something is unclear, then they should ask questions about roles and responsibilities.
- They must research the salary range for the industry. It is possible to get industry salary information from websites like indeed.com, salary.com, and payscale.com.
How to Negotiate
Attitude makes a huge difference when negotiating. The candidate should remain calm, positive, and polite during the job negotiation discussion.
Any form of manipulative behavior, like comparing the prospective employer unfavorably to past employers, will quickly sour the negotiations. Instead, the candidate should focus on creating a win-win situation by talking about how much they will contribute to the company. Essentially, why does that individual deserve a higher salary based on their unique skill-set and experience? What sets them apart from other candidates they may have hired before?
In summary, when thinking about how to negotiate a tech job, consider the best timing, understand industry norms, and maintain a positive attitude during the salary negotiation discussion.