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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Negotiating Your Salary In Tech

Here’s What You Missed At Our Negotiating Your Salary In Tech Meetup

As many of us know, negotiating your salary can be uncomfortable, even for the most deserving employee or candidate.

But if you ask the right people, managing your negotiations can be a lot easier. It’s precisely for that reason that we recently hosted our first meetup on, “The Do’s And Don’ts Of Negotiating Your Salary In Tech” in partnership with sennder. So we can educate our community on how to prepare before your negotiations, setting yourself up for success. 

During our meetup, our panel of experts gave some amazing advice for anyone who is thinking about changing jobs, relocating, or is struggling to pluck up the courage to ask their manager for a pay rise. It was a one-stop-shop for all your tools and tactics to manage your negotiations for your next gig.

For those of you who couldn’t attend our event, here are the questions we asked our experts, and their key insights for negotiating your salary in tech. 

How can candidates estimate their earning potential when relocating or changing companies locally?

Step 1: Online Resources

Use online resources like Glassdoor, Indeed or LinkedIn to get an idea of the salary range for your role in the market. But use this information as a benchmark only. The tech industry is booming, and shows no signs of slowing down. So too often, the information that’s available online is not up to date. 

Step 2: Reach out to your network
The best source for estimating your earning potential is to reach out to a friend, or someone within your network who’s already working in the industry. Tell them what you’ve researched online, and ask them to compare whether this information is accurate.

Step 3: Contact a recruiter

If you’re struggling to find someone to give you advice, talk to a recruiter. A recruiter will always give you an unbiased view of the salaries across the market.

What should a candidate prepare before negotiations with a hiring manager or a recruiter?

Step 1: Think about what matters to you in your professional and private life

Then assess what kind of salary is worthy of your knowledge and skills. People tend to focus on salaries, but ask yourself, is money the most important element for your career satisfaction? Perhaps your career progression or flexible working hours is more important to you. For that reason,  look at the financial package as a whole, and assess whether you’ll get job satisfaction from the role, and whether the company is a good cultural fit for you. 

Step 2: Prepare three figures

Ask yourself,

1. What’s your dream salary for this role?

2. What offer would you be happy to accept?

3. What’s the absolute minimum offer you would accept?

But keep this information to yourself. That way, when the hiring manager or recruiter makes you the offer, you’ve already evaluated what figures you would be happy to accept or reject. 

If you’re not happy with the figure presented to you, look at other benefits that are important to you such as stocks in the company, flexible working conditions, reduced working hours, health benefits, holiday days, travel allowance, and any other perk.  

What guidelines and tips can you give to candidates when answering, “What’s your salary expectation?”

“Don’t negotiate with yourself. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” – Megan Gill, Head of Recruitment at Xena

Be prepared for a recruiter or hiring manager to ask you, “What’s your salary expectation?” at any point throughout the interview process. 

Step 1: It’s ok to flip the question

If you’re not prepared for this question yet, you can always respond with, “That’s a great question – it would be helpful if you could share the salary range for this role”. Try to get as much information from the recruiter or hiring manager before revealing your figure. 

Step 2: Don’t panic by uncomfortable silences 

Once you’ve done your research, and evaluated what is an appropriate figure based on your experience and salaries in the market, communicate this figure with the recruiter – and nothing else. The most important thing here is to be confident with the figure you have communicated, and don’t be alarmed if it’s followed by an uncomfortable silence. Don’t feel the need to justify that figure as a result of the silence – this is normal. 

Step 3: Evaluate the offer

Take your time to make a thoughtful evaluation of the offer. If the offer is within the lower salary range of what you would accept, determine the most important elements of the offer you would like to change, and communicate this with the recruiter from a problem-solving perspective. For example, “I am quite happy with the role and responsibilities, but could you tell me a little bit more about the company’s ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) options?” Remember it’s not what you ask for, it’s how you ask for it. 

Step 4: Don’t be afraid to walk away

Ideally, the offer will be within the three figures you prepared for your salary expectation. But if that’s not the case, don’t be afraid to politely reject the offer. 

What should an employee consider before they begin negotiations for a pay rise, and when is the best time to have that conversation?

“Don’t go in with a wall up. Understand your manager never gets excited about working you down, so explain why this raise is justified. –  Anne Pia Meininghaus, Vice President of Product at HelloFresh

Step 1: Keep a record of how your work had a positive impact on the business

No matter how big or small, it’s useful to track your achievements or accomplishments of the week. That way, you’ll be able to put together a compelling argument that demonstrates you’re worth, and why you’re entitled to a pay rise. 

Step 2: Focus on responsibilities, not salary

Make sure you communicate where you would like to be in the company, and ask your manager to put a progression plan together to help you get there. With more responsibilities, comes a higher salary. So focus less on asking for a pay rise, and more on your progression within the company as a whole. 

What do you do if your pay rise gets declined? 

So you’ve conducted a self-evaluation to keep track of all of your accomplishments, presented this information to your manager, and your pay rise gets declined? Here’s your options: 

Step 1: Ask your manager to give you constructive feedback 

Perhaps the timing isn’t right, or the company doesn’t have the budget for a pay rise right now. Once you know the reason why your request was declined, ask your manager to implement a progression plan to help you get to where you want to be. Be very open and transparent about this progression plan to avoid further disappointment. 

Step 2: Stay calm

If you don’t get what you want, be calm, polite, and professional. But most importantly –  don’t lose your cool. Remember there may be legitimate reasons you can’t get a raise right now, so try to see the company’s perspective before assuming you’re being shortchanged. 

Step 3: Know when to quit 

There may come a point in your role where you don’t feel you’re growing professionally or financially. Most companies give a raise at least once a year. Going more than two years without a raise could be considered an excessive amount of time. If you’ve explored all options with your manager, and you still don’t feel your progression plan is being managed, know when it’s time to start looking for new opportunities.

Did you find this information useful? If so, then sign up for our meetup group to be the first to know about our upcoming events here.

About our partner

sennder is Europe’s digital freight forwarder at the intersection of where technology meets logistics. Through their transportation operating system, built by their in-house tech teams, they not only connect shippers to their fleet of thousands of trucks, but also improve how they move products in sustainable, cost-efficient, and transparent ways – making the logistics industry fit for the future.

At sennder, they believe in maximising the individual’s potential for all employees and reinforce a diverse and inclusive environment of continuous learning that empowers people to succeed. In addition to humility, they value commitment, team spirit, respect, and kindness to build trusted relationships across teams and other communities.

Read more about sennder here.