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How To Succeed In Your Salary Negotiation

Negotiation never feels easy, but with Hired latest event, She Wins shows us how simple it can be.

Image of 3 illustrated hands holding money — saying ‘nothing less’
Illustration by Rachel Brockbank

For Equal Pay Day and Hired’s campaign launch of #NothingLess, we had the opportunity to attend an event where we were introduced to the work they were doing with this campaign. We watched a great video produced by Hired in honour of Equal Pay Day — 2nd November in the US, and 14th November UK, which signifies the date that women essentially start working for free to the end of the year, compared to their male counterparts’ pay. You can see Hired’s full report here: The State of Wage Inequality in the Workplace.

Part of this event was also practical, we were educated on how we could negotiate higher salaries by the She Wins team. If you’re not familiar with She Wins before, this is a company the founders met and bonded over a wish to close the gender pay gap for future generations. Both Claire and Kate know that doing so will help everyone in society and want to create a fairer society for all, especially those who are underrepresented such as women.

The aim of the workshop was to help us understand the fundamental principles of negotiation and develop our own strategies for negotiating authentically and confidently.

We learnt a lot at this workshop through listening to the theory, examples of the situations as well as role-playing situations and improvising based on what we had learnt, with the room between our hopes and expectations and the companies’ budgets. Below we’ve included our top tips from the evening below:

Analyse what you want before going in

One of the biggest takeaways from the event was to make sure that you spend time preparing before your conversation about salary negotiation. Search the internet, speak to recruiters, and talk to men in similar roles — it’s the best way to ensure we are getting a fair deal.

Write down what you want, including job title, salary, bonus, stock options, flexible working, training/education, and benefits.

You’re never only negotiating with one person

Remember there are multiple stakeholders involved with seats on, watching, and influencing: the ‘table’. When we have conversations with our direct manager we need to look at the bigger picture as a lot of the time it’s not just your line manager that has a say here. There may be hidden influencers therefore it’s really important to have powerful allies throughout the company.

It’s not just your needs

Bear in mind the business needs as well as who you’re negotiating with personal needs as you must present benefits to both parties in order to be successful in negotiation.

Business-wise, work out what is important for the business and their KPIs, and how your promotion or salary increase will impact these. Once you understand how your request will impact these you can then ensure that what you can offer, them in terms of your unique selling points counteracts any of their reservations.

On a personal level, take some time to get to know your manager, you want to know what your manager cares about, what motivates them and what they get out of it. This will make the negotiation process easier as you will also be able to cater to their needs or worries and frame your offering in such a way that eliminates any concerns.

Strategise — think about numbers

When going into a negotiation about salary it’s important to set your opening position, for example, you’ve done market research and spoken to your coworkers and recognise that the top amount in this field is around £85,000. This value is what you would be blown away with if you were offered.

The next number for you to think about is the Target Value. From your research, you know that £75,000 is that this is the amount that you want a deserve. This number is what you really want to walk away with.

Finally, you have the Reservation Value. This value is the bare minimum you will take. For example, this may be £65,000 as you know this is at the bottom end of the pay bracket, but it is still an increase of your current wage of £55,000.

By going in with research and set figures not only does it show that you’ve done your homework, but it also means that when you get into the process of discussing numbers you won’t accidentally agree to something that you’re unsure about.

BATNA — Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement

Simply put BATNA, is what our alternative is if our negotiations fail or are unsuccessful. We might have another job offer to fall back on, or we may be able to get more training at a company before moving on. Ideally, we want to work out the negotiation ranges of the employer and as well as our own and where they overlap: ‘Zone Of Possible Agreement’ (ZOPA).

Last but not least…

  1. Never answer the question of what your previous salary was. It is illegal in 17 US states to ask this, so you definitely don’t need to.
  2. Try to keep positive, good vibes in the room. Being confrontational or aggressive isn’t a very successful tactic.
  3. Never say yes to an offer immediately, take time to reflect, even if just a night and then close.

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Write by Yas Caon.
Edited by
Liz Hamburger.



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