Home Jobs & Career How to Negotiate Your Salary in a Tough Market

How to Negotiate Your Salary in a Tough Market

by delta
0 comment

Salary negotiation is not easy, and that may be especially true in an uncertain economy. While a down market presents its challenges, this doesn’t mean you have to settle for less than you deserve. Let’s talk about how to approach salary negotiation as a jobseeker navigating a tough market.

Before you enter any negotiation, it’s essential to research your industry’s average salaries and determine your worth. Try Hired’s Salary Calculator to do just that. It’s powered by real salary offers on the Hired talent marketplace.

Is now a good time to negotiate your salary?

Rora’s General Manager Jordan Sale shared some of her negotiating expertise. Jordan prefers to avoid promising whether it’s a good or bad time to negotiate. She views salary negotiation as personal and dependent on individual circumstances.

“If you have a job, three job offers, savings in the bank, and you are maybe going to take some time away from work, then it’s a great time to negotiate. If you have been unemployed for months, are running out of runway, and were barely able to get a job offer after interviewing over and over, it may not be quite as good of a time to negotiate.”

Jordan encourages jobseekers to not get swept up in the urgency and scarcity of the market. Instead, really think about where you are. Evaluating your current situation is what will truly shed light on whether it’s a “good time” to negotiate.

Jordan also explained how “companies are certainly trying to use the current market to dissuade candidates from negotiation.” Jordan adds, “I would be shocked if anyone tries to negotiate right now and doesn’t get a stock line from the company such as:

  • ‘Because of the market, this is the top of our range’
  • ‘This is as high as we’ll be able to go’
  • ‘We have a lot of other candidates in the pipeline’

Expect to hear this and don’t pay too much attention to them.”

Ultimately, Jordan emphasizes jobseekers must distinguish the company’s stock language around the offer and what they’re hearing from the hiring manager. The hiring manager is the person who owns the role. Jordan says, “If they are reaching out to you every two days to see how you’re feeling about it and saying they are really excited for you to join, you are in a great position to negotiate.”

The hiring manager is responsible for extending an offer (or taking it away if circumstances change). So, if jobseekers receive “consistent messaging from the hiring manager and recruiter saying it’s competitive and they can’t move on the offer because they have other people in the pipeline, it’s probably not as good of a time to negotiate.”

Approaching the salary negotiation during a tough market: 5 tactics.

1. Practice your pitch

Ginny Cheng, Global Head of Talent at Oura and another panelist at the Ahead of the Curve event reminds jobseekers to “think of negotiation as a conversation.”

She adds, “Regardless of the market, you should get comfortable with asking and negotiating because practice will make it less awkward. You’ll continue to need to influence and negotiate once you start working in the company. We’re always negotiating at work.”

While you want to be assertive and communicate your needs clearly in the conversation, you should also be empathetic and open to listening, i.e. read the room. Understand that businesses too face challenges during economic downturns. That doesn’t mean you should undervalue yourself but achieving a balance portrays confidence and understanding.

2. Find new avenues for salary research

Ginny says, “Pay transparency on job descriptions offers a foundational understanding and helps jobseekers know if they are at the higher end of the salary range or vice versa.”

Salary transparency is a key aspect of Hired’s matchmaking service and a core part of our mission to make hiring more equitable, efficient, and transparent for all. Jobseekers list a preferred salary on their Hired profile as part of the transparency of the marketplace process. This provides better matches with employers and eliminates one of the biggest potential obstacles to efficient hiring.

Related: Empower Your Career: Understanding Salary Inequality in Tech (2023 Research) 

So what can talent do as part of their research? Ginny recommends they “look at competitors’ job descriptions that have the job pay range. This gives an idea of the company you’re applying for. Is it similar in size or scope? This provides better knowledge to do that research.”

Another idea for doing research: Ask about compensation philosophy. Jon Dobrowolski, Hired’s VP of Product (and the virtual event’s moderator) adds, “This is something so many people miss out on. Ask folks doing similar work to you. It gives you an idea of pay ranges at their companies without directly asking how much they make. That could put you in a position to have a good conversation with a recruiter or a hiring manager.”

Quick Tip: Feel awkward asking or don’t feel you know them well enough to ask? Try this method. Ask if it’s “more than X.” Yes? Ask again, increasing “X” by 5-10K. Try to understand the salary number or the compensation package, as respectfully as possible, in order to compare apples to apples, as best you can.

3. Consider non-monetary perks

While the base salary is essential, don’t forget about other benefits. Perhaps the company can’t budge on the base salary but is open to offering more vacation days, flexible work hours, professional development opportunities, or even stock options. These perks may even outweigh a higher salary in the long run.

Tip: Discover what you can negotiate (besides salary) in our Ultimate Guide to Salary Negotiation 

Jon reflects on his own experience as a hiring manager: “I saw this recently with someone that we had to, unfortunately, turn away: They had a very high salary ask. We were dying to get them into the company. But they didn’t help us understand what they valued as much as the money. Help us help you by explaining where we can offer additional learning development opportunities, a sign-on bonus, or something else that gets you where you want to be.

Without understanding what is valuable to you as a jobseeker, it’s difficult for us to construct an offer that makes sense for everyone. The more information brought into those conversations, the more successful everyone will be.”

4. Have a Plan B

Always be prepared for the possibility that negotiations might not go your way. This could mean having another job offer in hand or being ready to decline and continue your job search. It’s essential to know your bottom line and be willing to walk away if it isn’t met.

5. Consult a salary negotiation mentor or coach

If you’re uncertain about how to navigate the negotiation process, consider seeking guidance from a mentor or a professional coach experienced in salary negotiations. Our recommendation? Rora – a group of experienced job offer negotiation professionals (like Jordan Sale) dedicated to helping top researchers and engineers land the right job.

Stay optimistic while negotiating your salary in an uncertain economy

Negotiating your salary in a down market may not be ideal. However, with preparation, empathy, and a clear understanding of your value, you can navigate the salary negotiation process successfully. Remember: tough times don’t last but tough negotiators do.

You may also like

Leave a Comment


Delta-Compliance.com is a premier news website that provides in-depth coverage of the latest developments in finance, startups, compliance, business, science, and job markets.

Editors' Picks

Latest Posts

This Website is operated by the Company DELTA Data Protection & Compliance, Inc., located in Lewes, DE 19958, Delaware, USA.
All feedback, comments, notices of copyright infringement claims or requests for technical support, and other communications relating to this website should be directed to: info@delta-compliance.com. The imprint also applies to the social media profiles of DELTA Data Protection & Compliance.

Copyright ©️ 2023  Delta Compliance. All Rights Reserved