5 salary negotiation tips for entry-level employees

p 1 just graduated here are 5 things you must know about salary negotiation


After a chaotic yr that noticed widespread layoffs, furloughs, and closures, the category of 2021 can’t be blamed for feeling lower than assured getting into the job market. Although they might really feel inclined to take the primary supply introduced to them, analysis means that graduates don’t have anything to lose by negotiating a greater compensation bundle, and lots to achieve.

Based on a latest examine carried out by Employed, a job-placement service for tech and gross sales professionals, negotiation might help enhance pay fairness, enhance the worker expertise, scale back turnover, and enhance earnings for years to come back.

“It units the trajectory for the expansion you can anticipate over your profession, so realizing your honest worth early on can really assist you to develop your pay in a good means all through your profession,” says Employed’s CEO Josh Brenner, including that equitable pay may also scale back turnover. “Our research discovered that two-thirds of tech employees are paid lower than their counterparts, and once they came upon, over 40% of them began to look for new positions.”


Employed’s analysis additionally discovered that better transparency is slowly chipping away on the pay hole, however there may be nonetheless a lot extra progress to be made. Males have been provided greater salaries than girls for the identical job 59% of the time in 2020—down from 65% in 2019—with whole compensation averaging 3% much less for girls, down from 4% the yr prior. Youthful employees, nevertheless, have been extra more likely to demand­—and obtain—honest compensation, in comparison with different generations. “My recommendation for new grads is that they need to at all times be negotiating for a good salary,” says Brenner.

Listed here are 5 methods new grads can guarantee they’re paid what they deserve:

1. All the time Negotiate

Hockey corridor of fame inductee Wayne Gretzky famously stated, “You miss 100% of the pictures you don’t take.” Entry-level employees is likely to be hesitant to push for a greater compensation bundle, however consultants recommend there may be little or no draw back to making an attempt. In truth, negotiating, even when unsuccessful, could make candidates appear extra engaging to potential employers.

“Although it’s tremendous scary for lots of people, even senior leaders, it exhibits that you just’re advocating for your self, and that’s a very good high quality for a younger grownup to have,” says Jenny Foss, a job-search strategist and founding father of profession consultancy JobJenny.com. “This isn’t about getting more cash or extra perks for your self, however displaying proper out of the gate that you just’re anyone with confidence, that you just’ll advocate for your self, and people are nice traits.”

2. Know Your Price

The important thing to a profitable negotiation is a powerful understanding of what expertise you convey to the desk, and what the market has deemed as applicable compensation for these expertise. Happily, as we speak’s graduates have far better entry to salary data and employer information than any era earlier. Earlier than sitting down for an interview, it’s vital to hunt real-world compensation information particular to your trade, area, employer, and ability set.

“Negotiation isn’t entering into and saying, ‘I want more cash due to my automobile or my hire.’ They don’t care,” says Foss. “You wish to go in having performed some analysis and actually eager about the worth you possibly can supply, and why it will command a bigger salary, so do analysis utilizing the instruments out there as we speak.”


Foss provides that junior employees are sometimes made to really feel like they’re interchangeable, and naturally concern that pushing too laborious will trigger them to be disregarded. She emphasizes that it’s vital to not lose sight of the worth you supply, even with out important prior expertise.

“You’ve simply invested 4 years, 5 years, six years, eight years of your life studying expertise which can be going to be immediately helpful to your first employer, and corporations don’t rent entry-level folks in the event that they don’t really feel that individuals proper out of school are of worth to them,” she says. “Know that you just’re needed, know that you just’re wanted, and perceive that the majority cheap firms anticipate negotiation.”

3. Use Non-Salary Compensation to Discover Center Floor

There’s much more to employment than simply salary, so relating to negotiation, it’s vital for new graduates to take the complete compensation bundle into consideration.

Based on Andres Lares, a managing associate of the Shapiro Negotiations Institute and writer of the forthcoming e book Persuade, limiting negotiations to a single quantity reduces the chance for a mutually helpful settlement. “Whenever you’re negotiating over one factor, there’s going to be one winner and one loser; it’s very tough for each to be ok with it, which is the worst-case state of affairs beginning a brand new job,” he says.

Lares explains that there are all kinds of things that might be included in that dialog, from job title to trip days, remote-work insurance policies, bonuses, healthcare plans, and different perks. That’s the reason it’s vital for each events to be up-front about their priorities.

For instance, if the employer’s high priorities are conserving salaries in line with these of current employees and sustaining a strict trip coverage, the worker might negotiate for a extra versatile work schedule, a home-office stipend, and a extra prestigious title.

“You’re pushing for your priorities, they’re pushing for their priorities, and since you’re negotiating over a number of facets you’re more likely to not solely get extra of what you need, however you’re additionally extra more likely to each be glad,” says Lares.

4. Know When to Broach the Topic

Discovering the suitable time to have the compensation dialog is usually a problem, particularly for these with much less follow. “If you happen to do it too early, it insinuates that you just suppose it’s already within the bag. If you happen to do it too late, it feels prefer it’s sprung on,” says Lares.

That’s the reason he recommends delaying the topic if it comes up too early, and returning to it after getting a greater understanding of the position. In any case, you shouldn’t negotiate compensation earlier than realizing precisely what’s anticipated of you anyway.

“If you happen to can work 5 days remotely and don’t want to maneuver from Iowa to New York Metropolis, you’ll anticipate a unique compensation bundle,” he says. “You possibly can say, ‘Let’s get again to that additional down the highway,’ which is an efficient negotiation tactic to make use of, as a result of relying on a number of elements, you may change issues.”

Lares provides that candidates ought to intention to return to the topic as soon as it comes down to some finalists. “You wish to push it again till the purpose the place you’re feeling like you’ve a very good probability to get the position,” he says.


5. Let the Employer Make the First Transfer

When the time is true for that dialog, candidates ought to insist on letting the employer make the opening supply.

“If you happen to throw out a quantity straight away, and so they have been planning to pay the next quantity, you’ve simply locked your self into the decrease quantity,” says Foss. “Likewise, in case you throw out a quantity that’s too excessive however have been keen to simply accept one thing a bit decrease, you may worth your self out of consideration.”

As a substitute, Foss advises candidates to ask the employer what they sometimes supply employees in related roles or with related ranges of expertise. In some circumstances the supply will likely be according to their expectations, but when not, it’s incumbent on the candidate to advocate for what they really feel they deserve, utilizing analysis and information to again up their calls for.

“Most firms—significantly bigger firms, however even some smaller firms—they put out the primary supply, irrespective of if the particular person has zero years of expertise or 30, with the anticipation that the particular person could come again and wish to negotiate,” she says. “Most firms gained’t put out their best possible supply proper out of the gate.”