Salary negotiation is one of the most dreaded aspects of the job hunting process. Most candidates have felt awkward or uncomfortable about requesting more money, in fear that it may be taken as rude or unprofessional.

The truth is that salary negotiating is anything but unprofessional, and if you know how do to it correctly you’ll be able to better set yourself up for your long-term future.

Stanford negotiation professor Margaret A. Neale puts it into perspective perfectly: if you obtain a salary of $100,000, but your co-worker at the same position was able to negotiate a $107,000, then your co-worker will be able to retire a whopping 8 years faster than you.

Our recruiting agency wants to help you get those 8 years. We have over two decades of experience educating employees in Arkansas and all over the United States, and here are 5 tips that we believe will put you in the best position possible to negotiate the salary that you’re worth.

1. Research the average salary for your position.

Before you start anything, you need to have a good barometer of the job market in your field so that you can accurately determine what you are worth. Google search what the market usually pays for employees at your position. If you want to get the most accurate information possible about your job market, you can also use websites like PayScale.com. You will need to keep your geographical location in mind as well. For example, if you’re looking for a job in Los Angeles, research additional insight about the average pay for employees at your position in the Los Angeles area.

2. Use your value to relate it to a specific need of the company.

Companies love it when an employee has done research prior to the job interview, so before your interview, you need to fully lay out how your experience and skillset can help the company achieve a specific goal. You have to know when to be your best cheerleader, and really let your knowledge and hard prior work shine. When you are able to clearly articulate who you are and how you’re able to benefit the company right out of the gate, it makes you stand out from the rest of the candidates. This is going to get you a solid foot in the door when it’s time to start salary negotiations.

3. Use the power of silence to your advantage.

For many candidates, the knee-jerk reaction is to fill any silence with as much talk and explanation as they can, but the more you talk during salary negotiations, the more you’re likely to receive less. When you ask for what you want, let the interviewer have the responsibility of saying yes or no. Sitting back and allowing the interviewer to properly respond exudes confidence in yourself and it puts the ball in their court. Don’t overwhelm them with too much information and nervous chatter.

4. Inquire about benefits beyond the paycheck.

If the company doesn’t meet your desired salary, ask them if there are sign-on bonuses, healthcare expenses, or relocation bonuses are available to make up for the difference. There are other ways you can obtain what you’re worth, and it’s completely reasonable and common for candidates to ask.

5. Don’t immediately decide.

Whether they offer you more or less than what you expected, do not decide to take it or leave it on the spot. Let them know that you appreciate the offer and that you wish to take a day or two to think about it. This is a powerful tactic that can sometimes lead to the company offering more money to ensure that you don’t reject the offer. If you communicate your decision on the spot, you’ve lost all of your leverage to obtain the best possible salary.

There are so many more ways that you can negotiate a better salary, and that’s what our recruiting agency is here for. If you have any questions about negotiating what you’re worth, please feel free to contact us.

Carter Recruiting and Associates is one of the largest independent recruiting and outplacement companies in Arkansas. Our headquarters, located in Little Rock and our satellite office in Conway, both service accounts nationwide. We have satisfied clients and references from some of the largest companies in the state. With over 50 collective years of experience in the recruiting business, we have a vast amount of resources and knowledge to ensure a job well done.

Cherie Richardson

Cherie Richardson

Cherie is the owner and president of Carter Recruiting and Associates. She holds a BA in psychology from the University of Mississippi and has over 30 years of experience in the recruitment of executive and manufacturing professionals. Cherie’s work has been instrumental for new plant start-ups, as well as building and maintaining relationships throughout the region and state of Arkansas. She is a member of the National Association of Female Executives and the National Association of Women Business Owners.