A negotiation is a series of communications (either oral or in writing) that reach a conclusion between the new employee and hiring company. Successful negotiating is planned and requires strategy, presentation and patience.
You have many tools available to find different salary ranges. You need to utilize these tools prior to interviewing or negotiating.
- NACE Salary Calculator Center (The National Association of Colleges and Employers)
- Glassdoor.com and Salary.com
Gather as much factual information as you can to back up the case you want to make. For example, if most entering employees cannot negotiate salary, you may be jeopardizing the offer by focusing on that aspect of the package. Turn your attention to other parts of the offer such as their health plan, dental plan, retirement package, the type of schedule you prefer, etc.
Chances are that you will not know the person with whom you will be negotiating. If you are lucky enough to be acquainted, spend some time reviewing what you know about this person's communication style and decision-making behavior. Since most people find the unknown a bit scary ask yourself what approach to negotiating you find most comfortable.
- What will make you confident enough to ask for what you want?
- How will you respond to counteroffers?
- What are your alternatives?
- What's your bottom line?
- What is your strategy?
Be sure you know exactly what you want, not approximately. This knowledge does not mean you will get what you want, but having the information will help you determine what you are willing to concede. Unless you know what you want, you won't be able to tell somebody else. Clarity improves communication, which makes for more effective negotiations.