Thanks, this was a great read. I had not even thought about to find out when salary budgets are set and present your case in the right time.
I am living and working in sweden, almost all advice you get about salary negotiations here from labour unions and other “experts” is about being well prepared in presenting your performance and how your skills has improved over the last year.
The employers on the other hand are more sophisticated, at least in the finance/IT sector from which I have personal experience. Managers are often trained how to act during the negotiation, one trick is to make the employee feel a bit intimidated to make him/her settling for a lower number.
I my experience the manager often wants to make the first bid and offer a very small raise, the idea is that you are then likely to back down if you wanted a raise substantially higher than offered.
An other thing I also have noticed is that the mindset of the employee is to much focused on “loyalty” when in fact the employment could be seen as a strict business-deal, which it is from the employers point of view