6 Secrets to Getting the Salary You Want
Anchal Murawala

Congratulations on coming this far on your interview process! Now you have an offer in hand, how do you navigate your way to getting a higher salary? Did you know employers rarely predetermine a specific salary until they’ve met their perfect match? If that perfect match is you and the employer qualifies you as top talent, now’s the perfect time to execute your negotiation skills and seal the deal!

1. Dollars and sense

It’s a common misconception that lowering your salary expectations leads to greater success in landing a job. Employers are often skeptical of this scenario and don’t necessarily see it as a good thing. They’ll wonder why you feel the need to offer less, thus raising red flags. It can even lead them to questioning your ability to do the job.

If you are pitching yourself at a lower rate than market value, you must first ask yourself if you’ll be happy to receive your nominated rate for the foreseeable future, because that’s the reality if you are successful. Being acutely aware of your true market value is key to securing an employer who is willing to structure a comparable salary package for you.

2. Identify market worth

It’s possible to acquire the data of comparable salaries through various online salary surveys and other similarly publicly accessible instruments but undertaking a comparison becomes more difficult the more senior you become. It also becomes more critical, given there are bigger stakes at play. Seniority tends to deliver greater monetary compensation but it also often achieves greater complexity in package structure, given the nature of flexibility in remuneration these days.

Invest as much time as possible researching the types of packages employers are paying people with similar experience and capability to yourself and who are employed in comparable roles. Conduct your research using the internet but also draw upon your physical network, such as suitable colleagues or professional acquaintances.

Engaging the services of a skilled recruitment consultant will also assist you greatly in accessing this type of information. Determining your worth in the market should be one of their greatest areas of expertise. Leveraging the knowledge of a skilled and specialized recruiter will support you in determining your value in the market, leaving you in the best position to maximize it.

Once you have realistic expectations and accurate information, you can confidently walk away from any negotiation that undercuts your minimum expectation knowing your request is fair and reasonable.

3. Pick your perks

Remember, a salary package need not only consist of cash. As much as you might love the idea of receiving an abundance of cash, it’s also important to carefully consider non-cash options. Suggesting a package that consists of non-financial benefits is particularly effective if you’re already aware the employer can’t afford to pay you the monetary compensation you’re chasing.

You’d likely be surprised to know just how much variety is creeping into the perks of salary packages these days. Benefits unheard of in the past are now offered, such as regular accrued days off, assistance with accommodation, flexibility in work location and hours, gym membership, stock options, a car…the list goes on.

In recent years, employers have demonstrated their desire to offer more flexibility in the structure of salary packages and this trend has definitely increased. Employers have realized creativity is necessary on their part in order to attract and retain the highest quality talent. Obviously, the reality of any creative request of this nature comes if and when a prospective employer knocks back your request. Ultimately, the choice is yours to decide the deal you feel comfortable settling for.

4. Don’t make it personal

Believe it or not, sometimes candidates feel inclined to share their personal situation with a prospective employer in hope of playing the emotional card. Emotional blackmail such as attempting to make an employer feel sorry for you having so many children or a huge mortgage will probably work against you, not for you! These factors aren’t the concern of your employer. Instead, focus on your unique capabilities and bargain why these deserve a suitably generous and tailored package of compensation.

5. Ask for more

The irony of the job search is that most people work primarily for money, yet financial remuneration is often the last topic discussed in any recruitment process. A guide is to nominate 10-15% above your acceptable level of remuneration, and bargain from there. Imagine if you received your nominated amount straight up? It does happen!

If the employer is keen enough to make an offer to you in the first place, remember that you’re very likely what they consider to be their perfect match. They’re unlikely to rescind that offer, simply because you’ve asked for greater remuneration. The majority of employers will investigate further to see if they can restructure the package on offer in a more favorable way for you.

6. Request to be shown in writing

Finally, assuming the negotiations are successful and both parties verbally agree in principle, it’s time to request a formal letter of offer. It’s highly recommended you also request a detailed outline of the agreed salary package and its inclusions for your review. Before signing on the dotted line and celebrating your success, ensure what is written is what was discussed and agreed upon. It pays to ensure both you and your employer are on the same page when it comes to expectations of the job and the remuneration.


Anchal Murawala is an Senior Associate at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Financial Technology & Data sectors.

You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent - 5 Proven Steps to Secure the Best Candidates Possible” here. Alternatively you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on info@datasearchconsulting.com for a more detailed discussion.