Problems with Negotiating Salary

Problems with Negotiating Salary

Negotiating salary is a critical part of landing a job, and important for ensuring an appropriate reward for your expertise and on-going work. It is something that many of us have difficulty doing effectively, and often we feel uncomfortable having that conversation at all.

Negotiating salary is made more difficult in the current climate because having applied for a job directly to a company’s in-house recruiting portal, if they’re interested in you you’ll receive an initial phone call where you will be asked, along with some other basic questions, what salary you’re looking for. This makes negotiating salary further down the track more problematic, but can also lead to the conversation terminating if your salary number doesn’t fit into their range.

While I understand why this question is asked, it is unhelpful from the job seeker’s perspective because often the recruiter doesn’t share, or doesn’t know, much detail about the role and so it’s difficult to evaluate whether the role is right or at an appropriate level for you. Frustrating to say the least, particularly if you never hear back from the recruiter – they’ve made the decision in isolation. Evaluation for a job/candidate opportunity at this stage, is very one-sided.

Not only that, it is also possible that this question-and-box-ticking approach misses potential opportunities to hire great people who have a broader, or more varied skill set from the one the organisation wanted. And with a bit of innovative thought and re-jigging of an organisational structure the business could greatly benefit by hiring laterally.

With Australia’s current hiring practices, it seems to be a requirement for the candidate to disclose salary figures right at the start of the interaction. How then is it possible to negotiate salary from there?  It’s certainly more difficult but not impossible and by following a few guide lines, you should be able to negotiate the appropriate salary. Please contact me if you’d like to discuss strategies and your own situation, and in the meantime here are some tips of what NOT to say when you get to that critical salary discussion.

Negotiating Salary – what not to say!

  • “I can’t accept this offer – it’s too low.”
  • “I went to a top University/Business School.”
  • “I achieved a very high GPA (Grade Point Average) at University.”
  • “Many other companies are talking to me about potential jobs.”
  • “I earned more money than this in my last job.”
  • “I need more money than you’re offering because I have financial commitments to cover.”
  • “I work harder/longer hours than other people do.”
  • “I’ll be the best employee you’ve ever had.”
  • “If you don’t increase your offer, I’ll have to decline it.”

If you’d like to discuss strategies for negotiating salary, please contact me on 0400 076844 or via

Katie’s bio can be viewed here.