How to Negotiate Your Salary, Signing Bonus & More

How to Negotiate Your Salary, Signing Bonus & More

The question we get from candidates quite
a bit is what’s the best way for me to negotiate my salary and some very basic negotiation
techniques apply whether you’re negotiating your salary or anything else. The challenge
is when I’m negotiation my salary it’s very personal to me and therefore it’s much
harder and much more likely to make a mistake then if I’m negotiating for a car or a refrigerator
which is much less personal, right, when I get into my salary myself worth and all those
things are tied up in that but the answer is very simple actually, in any negotiation
the person that first puts forth the number usually loses so you don’t want to be the
first person to put forth the number. Now if the employer or potential employer asks
you what you were making, what are you making or what did you make at any point in time
in your history, share it with them. Be accurate, do not exaggerate it by 10% hoping that you
can get a bump from there it is far too easy in this day and age to check and verify exactly
what you are making. And most employers do now ask for compensation verification so what
you want to do when they ask is what is it you’re looking for for this opportunity,
what are your salary expectations for your next step, what does a good offer look like
for you any of those questions. The answers really simple, I’m only looking for what’s
fair based on my experience and background and the challenges of the role and then don’t
say a word. Should I Ask for More Money
When you’re looking to take your next step, right, and I don’t care if you’re at a
manager level looking to go to Director or at an AVP level looking to go to CMO. The
reality is you’re going to get up every day and go work in this environment and the
most important thing is that you’re excited about doing that. Now most people don’t
want to go do that for free so there is an expectation of compensation but even the most
well paid job if you don’t really love what your doing is going to get old really quickly.
So now as we say make sure that whoever is offered the opportunity expresses that offer
first as far as what the next step is then you have the opportunity to go back and if
it’s not something that meets your expectation and ask for more, right, so typically what
we find is that if you are a local candidate, a candidate that is not going to require relocation
the bump you’re going to receive from company A to company B is typically around 10% it
might be a little more if you can get a 15% you’re doing great. If they are asking for
you to relocate that’s additional complication for you, additional complication for your
family, you have to go through a lot of pain to do that and in that case we are seeing
more of a 15% increase from where you were to where you’re going to be.
Should I Trust Salary Guides? So there is a lot of information out on the
internet about what salaries should be, right, and what salary guides are or what salary
is for this industry or for this organization. And the reality is we have found them to be
unreliable and the other reality is it doesn’t matter all that much because the only thing
that matters is your career and how to move yourself forward as much as possible and you
want to take a step forward both from an experience perspective and a step forward from a compensation
perspective every time you make a move. What you don’t want to do is worry about how
does that compare to who else is in this role or how does that compare to anything else
because you’re coming at it from your unique perspective and as long as your growing that’s
the most important part. What else Should I Negotiate
Outside of the main factors of compensation, the main factors of compensation, what’s
my base salary, what’s my bonus, and what’s my stock or long term incentive if there is
any offered with this position. Then you get into the smaller kind of pieces of the puzzle
like paid time off, signing bonus things that are important but probably not make or break
to you taking a job or not taking a job, right, and certain things you can’t negotiate,
you can’t negotiate healthcare, you’re not going to get a better package then the
person coming in next to you. You really can’t negotiate for the match on the 401K, that’s
set across the organization, it is what it is. The things you can negotiate that are
smaller items are paid time off; typically there is some flexibility and some wiggle
room on that. If their offering you two weeks, you’re not going to get five but you might
get three and most organization have some flexibility for a sign on bonus and really
the amount of that sign on bonus varies a lot based on your level in the organization
but it’s always okay to ask. Should I Take a Counteroffer
The other thing you run across from time to time is we have a candidate get a counteroffer
and this is very simple, don’t take it. There was a reason why you were looking to
leave in the first place. There was a reason why you chose to go specifically to the employer
you accepted an opportunity with and you need to go ahead and follow through on that commitment
that you made. Counteroffers are made as a reaction to you leaving and a fear about what’s
not getting done because you’re not there. It’s not a proactive step to help you grow
your career. It’s not something that they thought was the right thing to do for you
until you said you were going to leave. And if you except the counter offer there will
always be that question of is this individual looking, are they someone who can stay with
this organization and it really negatively impacts your ability to get promoted going
forward. The other thing we find and there’s plenty of research out there on this is that
well over ninety percent of candidates who accept a counter offer, well over ninety percent
of people who accept a counter offer are not with the firm they took the counteroffer from
within twelve to eighteen months and that’s because your loyalty is in question and your
never looked at the same way again. You’re actually better off leaving the organization
and coming back years later, in which case no one will ever question anything then you
are staying there through a counteroffer.


  1. This is great stuff! I am just wondering what next to say if an experienced employer asks you to then suggest a figure that is "fair", after the "I am just looking for what is fair based on…." line. Thank you!

  2. Nailed the counter offer. I resigned from my job. They counter offered with a better job. I accepted. I stayed 11 more years. However the reason I resigned in the first place re-surfaced again. I resigned and left.

  3. the tip on employer can verify compensation is no longer relevant. the fact is, now in 2019, they simply CANT because 'data privacy' is a big deal and they should obtain a signed written consent before they obtain any information, unless they are willing to pay fine once an applicant file a complaint or better yet sue them. The thing is, if a company asked for any proof of salary, dont work for that employer, go somewhere else, same goes if applicants are asking way beyond, just ditch them, find someone else.

  4. Thankfully more states are making it illegal to ask for salary history or current salary proof. It’s completely irrelevant data anyways … the new job, roles/responsibilities, environment, benefits etc should be priced according to the market data and firms willingness to pay … not on a what each candidate used to make.

  5. This is pretty bad advice, at least from the standpoint of telling them your current or past salary. The employer doesn't need to know that and is actually illegal in some states. So at no point should you tell them or have to, just say its confidential or just say your salary requirement for the job youre applying for is x amount

  6. It makes sense when asked, to say that what you make now is what you deem as fair for the role, and your experience.

  7. This is bad advice, my current salary has nothing to do with my future salary……employer always add on to your job once you start…I work weekends with no additional pay…my value and qualifications today supersedes my skill 2 years again did my current employer pay me more noo…. I am so mad listening to his I might have spelling errors but I don't care.

  8. Paycheck to paycheck is how I live … most live this way on earth … Do u think that is what God had in mind for his Queen… ???? U might ask yourself …
    Are U in good hands …!!! Lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *