Breaking into the Canadian job market can be particularly challenging. So when you do receive an offer, it can feel like the proverbial weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders, especially if you’ve been on the market for a while.
Now it’s time to make sure that, as a newcomer to Canada, you’re being compensated appropriately.
Negotiating job contracts can be a struggle for many new prospective employees, but it’s important to remember that these discussions are a perfectly normal part of the hiring process and getting the salary you deserve is a crucial component of your career advancement.
If you are working with a staffing agency, your recruiter can guide you through the process prior to submitting your resume. But if you’re in direct talks with a company, the question then becomes: how do you advocate for your own self-interests?
Tips on Preparing for Negotiations
- Basic market research
- Find your salary range
Research your respective salary band – the low and high end of your job’s pay scale – to get a realistic sense of what others in the same field are earning. Again, credible resources like Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth tool will estimate your personalized market worth and provide a scope of what you can reasonably ask for.
- Use any additional responsibilities as leverage
Pay attention to the job description itself and take notes during the interview phase. Jobs are fluid by nature, with expanding responsibilities that can often stretch outside initial performance metrics. Any additional information you gather that may have a direct impact on your day-to-day should be seen as windows of opportunity; they’re invaluable when it comes to leveraging your negotiating power.
Compensation levels vary based on industry, geography, and level of seniority. So before you start asking about money, find out how much someone in your position should be making. Online resources such as Glassdoor will give you a good baseline of information, but don’t be afraid to use your built-in network – staffing agency recruiter, former colleagues, etc. Once you have a better idea of what your market value is, you’ll be able to compare that with what you’re being offered.
Tips to Keep in Mind During Negotiations
- Give a salary range (not a single figure) unless working with agency recruiter
- Know their limits
To whatever extent possible, be aware of any financial constraints the company may be facing. Sometimes there’s legitimately no room to budge on salary, in which case you should have a list of backup alternatives that could take the place of monetary compensation. Flexible work hours, paid travel or continuing education (that will benefit both you and the company) are just a few examples that could positively affect your future with the organization.
- Be patient
Don’t rush the process. When a hiring manager asks if you have any questions during the initial interview, they’re not inviting a discussion about salary. Many candidates make the mistake of attempting to negotiate their compensation before the company has even made them a job offer. The best time to start negotiating is after receiving but before accepting your offer of employment.
- Don’t make it personal
Salary discussions should always revolve around your skills and qualifications. Whatever your current financial circumstances, focusing on why you need a certain salary – rather than why you deserve one – makes you seem unprofessional. Ultimately, your salary is based on the value you bring, not your personal life.
- Consider individual job components
Think about the job offer in its entirety, taking into account the financial value of any other benefits offered. This will help you prioritize your interests – salary, vacation, work hours, etc. – so you can separately consider each element you feel is worth negotiating. Have solid numbers in mind, with the research to support your proposals.
- Don’t be too demanding
Being confident in the value you bring is one thing; it’s quite another to make monetary demands with a “take it or leave it” attitude. Keep in mind that these negotiations can reveal a lot about your emotional intelligence and ability to communicate. Given that your potential employer could always rescind the offer, the key is to be persuasive, not aggressive.
- Leave a good impression
Negotiating your job offer doesn’t have to be a daunting experience; it’s part of a process that can ultimately benefit both you and your potential employer. If you understand the needs of the company and remain thoughtful, professional and friendly as the conversation proceeds, you’ll leave as someone worth remembering.
If working with an agency recruiter, discuss your salary range before providing expectations to the employer. If you’re speaking directly with the latter, provide a scale based on your research. Studies have shown that presenting a range (with your ideal salary at the bottom of the scale) demonstrates your willingness to be flexible, helping you and your potential employer reach a compromise more easily. It also makes it far more likely that you’ll get what you’re asking for.
Bonus Tip: Stick to your initial expectations
It’s perfectly normal for your potential employer to ask about your salary expectations early in the hiring process; that’s why it’s important to do the appropriate research beforehand so you can present a solid case based on the aforementioned advice. Attempting to renegotiate later in the hiring process will come across as unprofessional, so build any decision you make on concrete information.
Are you a newcomer to Canada unsure of how to best negotiate a job offer? Proviso Consulting is here to support your career success! Our expert team can help you prepare for negotiations and guide you through best practices. View jobs now