When Salary Negotiation Is Not So Easy

Daring to negotiate your salary when a good job offer is on the table is not always easy. As evidence, only 36% of Canadian workers negotiated their compensation as part of their last hiring process, according to a recent survey by Robert Half.

59% of those who did not negotiate said they were satisfied with the salary offered, while 19% of the respondents said that they were rather uncomfortable negotiating their salary even if they hoped to get more money.

What is the profile of those who negotiate?

The survey also found that the higher the candidates’ salary, the more likely they are to negotiate it. In fact, 41% of Canadians earning more than $100,000 annually had addressed the issue of their pay when they were last hired, making it the most negotiated pay bracket.

The survey also highlights the fact that men are more likely to discuss their income. In fact, 40% of men asked for more remuneration compared to only 31% of women.

The key to success: preparation

But before embarking on such a conversation with your future employer, it is better to prepare to put the odds on your side, explains David King, senior district president for Robert Half. “Salary negotiations are a great opportunity for candidates to showcase their skills and highlight what they can offer the employer.”

“To have a good discussion on compensation,” he continues, “you have to do your research and prepare. Examine local compensation trends in your industry, target the benefits that matter to you, and even consider potential scenarios. The better you prepare, the more comfortable you will be in the discussion.”

The managers’ point of view

In another survey of managers this time, 39% of respondents said they discussed compensation with candidates during the first in-person interview, while 25% of managers waited for the second meeting. This shows that it is common to negotiate salary, even at the start of the hiring process, and that you should not hesitate to talk about your salary.

And no matter when the time comes to raise it, King said, it is important that hiring managers also know local wage trends and the most popular benefits before negotiations. “A well-balanced and competitive compensation plan is essential to attract candidates, but flexibility and openness in discussions ultimately provides a more positive and constructive experience for both parties.”

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