Essential for Job Seekers - How to Go About Salary Negotiations

When it comes to landing your dream job, securing an offer is a major milestone. However, to make sure you're getting the compensation you deserve, knowing how to negotiate your salary is an essential skill for every job seeker.

Understanding Your Salary Package

Salary calculation

Before diving into the negotiation process, it's crucial to understand the various components of a typical salary package. In general, a salary is composed of three key elements:

  • Base Salary: This is the core of your compensation package, representing your fixed monthly income.

  • Performance Bonuses: Many companies offer performance-based incentives. These are additional earnings based on your achievements and contributions to the company.

  • Additional Bonuses: Some organizations provide extra bonuses, which can be tied to various factors like project milestones, attendance, or service length.

It's worth noting that when companies advertise positions, they often mention "×N," which typically refers only to the base salary. During salary negotiations, make sure to clarify the amount of your monthly base salary and ensure it's accurately reflected in your employment contract.

How Should You Respond to "What's Your Expected Salary?

candidate answering the interview question asking about salary

The most important thing is for job seekers to understand their own abilities and the market rate that matches the position. First, you should find out the budget for the position. You can use Recruitery to search for related positions and see the salary budget offered by companies for that role. 

Second, you need to make an objective self-assessment. For example, consider how many of the skills required in the job description you possess, your past internship experience, and the value of that experience. Combining your actual situation and competitiveness with the position budget, offer a salary slightly higher than the expected range. 

How can you determine the exact price? The answer is quite simple – try interviewing with several companies, collect multiple job offers, and weigh them to get an idea of your market value.

What Should You Discuss During Salary Negotiations?

Compensation isn't just about the take-home salary; it also includes various subsidies, promotion mechanisms, growth opportunities, social insurance/provident fund, employee benefits, and more. 

Besides basic salary, there are some things you should consider discussing with HR as well. 

  • Discuss performance or overtime standards,

  • Subsidies (such as housing allowance, meal allowance, transportation subsidy, communication allowance) 

  • Bonus Systems (monthly, quarterly, year-end, project, attendance, service length, employee referral) 

  • Salary increase mechanisms social insurance and provident fund contribution rates, year-end bonus payout timing (and whether it can be counted towards the base for the next year, for companies that don't use the lowest contribution level) 

  • The existence of corporate pension schemes, supplementary commercial insurance, non-cash employee benefits (such as health checkups, gym access, team travel, holiday gifts, shuttle service, etc.). 

  • During salary negotiations, you can explore different aspects to secure the best benefits for yourself or work on increasing your base salary if the benefits fall short of your expectations.

What to Do When HR Says They Can't Offer a Higher Salary?

Interviewer raising her hand signalling no

First, don't panic and don't treat HR as an adversary. After all, HR's job is to efficiently recruit talent for the company. Sometimes, HR may be constrained by the budget they can offer. You can ask HR to consult their superiors. 

When negotiating salary, use reason and appeal to emotion, mentioning factors like the cost of living in the city, the need to accumulate capital as a recent graduate, and the level of alignment between yourself and the position.

Alternatively, you can openly share the offer you have from another company and the salary offered, while expressing your preference for the current company due to your development plan and the company's culture. 

This can be used as leverage in your salary negotiations. However, it's essential to avoid threatening HR by saying, "If you can't offer me a salary of XXk, I'm not interested." Remember that positions always have multiple candidates. When negotiating your salary with HR, be sure to use a cooperative tone and negotiate firmly but respectfully.

If you have successfully negotiated a decent salary, make sure to formalize it into the official job offer quickly to protect your legal rights! 

Final Thoughts 

Mastering the art of salary negotiation empowers you to shape your career and ensure fair compensation. It's not just about the numbers; it's about aligning your skills, aspirations, and worth with your job. 

By discussing your full compensation package, maintaining a professional and cooperative approach, and formalizing your negotiated salary, you're on the path to a successful and rewarding professional journey. So, seize the opportunity, take control of your future, and secure the recognition and rewards you deserve. Best of luck in your job search and negotiations! Your bright future awaits.