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Getting the salary you want: top questions to consider

The key to a successful negotiation is being prepared for the discussion before it occurs by having a good idea what you are worth and why.

For this, there are a number of considerations. It is important to understand how the company you are interviewing with is performing. Have they posted record profits for the previous year, or is their financial performance below their targets? Have they made many redundancies in the past 12 months? 

All of these factors will have an effect on whether the organisation is going to pay above/below or on the market rate salary for a role. Find out how much employees carrying out similar roles are paid. The key is to demonstrate your views with good examples of similar jobs both from inside and outside the firm. You can do this by benchmarking your salary against salary surveys in your sector.

Are you aware of market conditions?

The key to a successful negotiation is being prepared for the discussion before it occurs by having a good idea what you are worth and why. 

Generally being aware of market conditions is crucial – if a recruitment consultancy is managing your application, they should be able to help you with this. Is the area you are applying to short of quality candidates at the moment? Are there a high number of roles appropriate to your skill set available in the sector? 

What is happening to salaries in your sector?

Have general salaries been rising or falling within the sector? It is important you know the answers to all of these questions so that you understand what level of salary you are able to request and what is realistic. Request or download our UK Salary Calculator to keep in touch with market rates.

Are you being realistic about your salary expectations?

In the current climate, it is very important to be realistic. In the face of current economic uncertainty, employers are generally still being fairly cautious and are unlikely to react positively to wild salary demands. Again, the key to this is doing your research.

Are you considering the overall package?

Try also not to be lured into a false sense of security by the top-line salary figure. Make sure you do your salary sums because you may have increased costs in your new job. For example, you may need to travel further to reach your new office or workplace.

Of course, the reverse can also be true. Your new salary may not be as high as you'd like but there could be other benefits; a company car, free health insurance, gym membership or other perks. You need to take all of these into consideration. Never forget, that this is the wage you're going to be living on. So the greater actual salary you secure the greater your financial security.

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