Ultimate guide to salary negotiation: Tricks to try today
As it is with anything, the most ingenious ideas for how to do something tends to be from someone outside of our field.
In 2016, professional poker player Haseeb Qureshi famously leveraged offers from Google, Yelp, and Uber to land a $ 240k starting salary at Airbnb. That is more or less double the starting pay of a software engineer fresh out of bootcamp.
The following tips are a condensed version of his articles as published on Medium:
Express your keen interest in the opportunity, but never take the first offer that comes your way.
Instead, politely ask instead to discuss the specific details of the offer whether in-person, over the phone, or via email. Whichever method works best for your confidence.
Never state outright a salary range that you are expecting.
Why should anyone be expected to indicate a package that works for them in the absence of vital information about a company’s salary benchmarks, bonus payout, yearly increment, stock options, vacation policy, work flexibility, parental benefits, etc.?
Instead, be honest about where you’re at currently salary-wise and what salary surveys point to as the benchmark pay for this position.
Mention that you’d need more specific details about the company’s compensation policy to make an informed decision about what you are comfortable with. Also, that you are in the midst of interviewing at other firms.
Time your job applications so that offers happen at more or less the same window.
Offers can and do have a deadline. The strongest leverage you will have is multiple offers on the table, better yet with competitors of this organization.
Scarcity almost always creates demand.
The Big Ask: So you’ve been presented with the offer and all necessary details around and about it.
You’ve weighed the pros and cons of taking this one offer versus another. You lean more favorably towards this one offer because you’re excited about the opportunity or company.
Now’s the time to ask, with as much care and politeness as you can possibly muster. Now’s the time to be specific about what it is exactly that you want.
Gently mention your other offers, remind the employer again why you are excited and are such a great fit for them.
Better yet, offer valid reasons for why a better salary package helps you achieve specific goals you have in life, financial or otherwise.
Do you need to pay off student loans, start a family, finance your MBA, or support your parents? Cite actual reasons to recruiters as they are probably why you are asking for more in the first place.
Don’t be the sole decision-maker when buying for more time to consider the opportunity. Say you’d like to discuss the offer with your family or mentors or pet before making a final decision.
Constantly sell yourself in a way that truly resonates with the company’s business objectives.
This doesn’t mean saying: ‘I have X number of years in this field and I am Z-qualified or certified.’ That’s weak and self-focused. Make it instead about the company.
As you negotiate, demonstrate your cutting insight into the gaps that this organization is facing and how you are a perfect fit.
Doing so also show you are genuinely motivated by new challenges, a career path, bigger scope, the opportunity to work alongside bright people, and not just by the money and perks.
Challenge assumptions, ask questions nobody thought to ask, explore alternative ways to sweeten the deal.
If base salary isn’t something the company is able to budge on, get creative about any of the following: stock options, a salary review upon confirmation, signing bonuses, special allowances for training, further education, commute, or relocation, more time-off, flexible work arrangements, anything really that matters more to you than it does to your employer.
Regardless of where you are with your job application, make sure you don’t commit these 7 rookie mistakes of salary negotiation and start practicing these tips we just recommended.
Not convinced yet that offer negotiation is a skill you can master? Read on for why you should always be negotiating.