How to handle salary negotiations & counter offering

You have applied for your dream job, been for several interviews, completed psych testing and a practical and you finally have a job offer….but…. the salary is lower than what you expected. What happens now?! We have outlined below our top tips for how to handle salary negotiations and your current company’s counter offer. It’s a difficult situation to navigate, but with the right guidance you will be able to get the best possible outcome for you!

  1. Outline your salary expectations at the first interview.

    This may seem like common sense and the straightforward thing to do, but for many people, bringing up the salary topic is daunting. You don’t want to seem to forward, or that you are focused on money, or even feel like it may jeopardise your chance of getting the role… the list of excuses go on! Despite your reservations, an employer will actually appreciate you bringing up the topic, as it will save them time in the long-run if you have a non-negotiable base salary! It’s best to know up front what the role is offering, so you don’t get to the end of the recruitment process only to be disappointed.

  2. Don’t shift the goal posts

    If you have outlined your salary expectations in advance, don’t shift them up half way through the recruitment process. It’s best to stick your guns and be open and honest about what you are on, and what you want for your next role.

  3. Inform the employer or recruiter if you are going to other interviews

    It’s ok to be attending multiple interviews at once. But, be upfront and let your recruiter or the employer know so that if they really want to hire you, they have the chance to move quicker or even increase the salary they would like to offer you. Plus, if you end up with two offers on the table, the recruiter and employer both know that they are genuine, rather than you trying to play them off against each other for the best “deal”.

  4. When you receive multiple offers, let both parties know that you have an alternative offer

    Then, give them a timeframe of when you will come back to them with a decision. It is not a professional look to suddenly go silent and not return calls. It’s best to be open and honest.

  5. Be prepared for a counter offer

    There is a high chance an employer will counter offer. Know in advance whether their is a price-tag or package that would entice you to stay. If you are seriously considering a counter offer, again let the recruiter know and then give them a time frame that you will make a final decision by.

It’s best to be open and honest throughout the recruitment process about your salary and expectations. Never lie about what you are on - more often than not, recruiters or employers will clarify what salary you are / were on when conducting reference checks!

Good luck! x

insightsRachel Wilson