There is nothing more intimidating for new employees than negotiating salary. We often think of it as a pushy or antagonistic practice, but the truth is, it's not as scary as we think.
The fact of the matter is that you are a hard working professional and should be compensated based on how hard you work and what you deserve for your position.
Any good boss understands that business is business and feelings shouldn't get in the way of good business; they also understand that employees want compensation that will allow them to stay and grow with the company and live comfortably.
Many people low-ball themselves and end up regretting their decision or begrudging their employer because they don't get paid what they think they are worth.
The problem is, they never negotiated for what they are worth — they let their boss tell them the price because of fear or inexperience.
Most people fear rejection more than they fear to work for little pay at a job they don't even love.
In many cases, salary negotiation inexperience is the pitfall for many of the woes we experience in our current or future positions.
The reason behind this is that we’ve already done all the homework on the company, hospital, or healthcare facility, and we can reasonably see ourselves working there for the foreseeable future.
When we go into salary negotiations with little negotiation experience, we lack the confidence to take a stand on things we refuse to budge on, and we also give up plenty of ground on the things that matter to us.
Our salary plays into how we feel and how we do our jobs. If you feel shafted, then you probably won't put forth as much effort as you would if you felt valuable.
Decide how much you're worth and don't settle until you get pretty close.
In today’s increasingly competitive job marketplace for healthcare professionals or hospital professionals — you can get paid what you deserve or find a new plays that will reward you what you’re worth with ease.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities are willing to pay more money for qualified talent because training and onboarding new staff and talent is more expensive than retaining a staff member.
For instance, it’s estimated that hiring and training a new employee could cost as much as $20,000 to $30,000 to onboard a new employee.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities are constantly trying to maximize the amount of patients they can see and earn as much money as they can.
If they are only operating at half staff or reduced staff because their turnover ratio is too high, or they cannot attract enough qualified talent because they are paying low wages — then their revenues will ultimately suffer.
When revenues ultimately suffer, then the level of care for the patients they see declines, which then continues to lower revenues as more patients go elsewhere for their care needs.
As one can see, it is extremely important for hospitals and healthcare facilities to pay their employees and talent the wages and salaries they deserve, to improve patient retention and increase revenues moving forward.
This means that there isn’t just room for salary negotiations when you first accept the job, salary negotiations go beyond the initial hiring process.
As you grow and develop as a healthcare professional or hospital professional, you learn more skills and gain additional experience that provides value to your employer.
If you’re learning more skills and gaining additional experience, then you shouldn’t be compensated the same as when you began.
That’s why it’s so critical to remain aware of what skills and experience you bring to the table, and remain keen on the average market compensation for individuals who have the same background as you.
That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide.
We know negotiating salary is the cause of anxiety, frustration, and fear, but HospitalCareers wants to help. That's why we will show you how to effectively negotiate your salary and get paid what you're worth.
If you follow our guide on how to negotiate your salary in the healthcare industry — you’ll separate yourself from those individuals who don’t attempt to get paid what they’re worth, or regret that they aren’t earning more over time.
There are a couple times when you should negotiate salary. The first is when you are offered a job, and the second is when you deserve a raise. The good news, is that negotiating a salary in both scenarios is relatively the same.
You don’t have to change up your strategy for either scenario. Our guide will help instruct you on how you can maximize your negotiation strategy in both scenarios, to ensure that you get paid what you deserve.
• When You Receive A Job Offer
The best time to negotiate a salary is when you have received a job offer. The reason for this, is that if you get paid what you deserved from the start, you don’t have any regrets when you look back upon the job or the job offer.
This means that you’ll be happier during your tenure in the position, and won’t be constantly regretting some of the decisions you made when the job offer was provided.
In addition, you won’t have to go back to the human resource manager or your boss and request more money.
Another reason for wanting to leverage your position as a healthcare job seeker is because they’ve already narrowed down their prospects to you.
They’ve taken the time to go through all of their other candidates and come to the realization that you are the best candidate for the job — and they want you.
Understanding this will help you leverage your position a bit better.
If you don’t accept their offer, they have to go through the entire recruitment process once again, or they have to offer the job to other candidates that they had already eliminated and might have accepted other positions in the meantime.
You have more leverage in your salary negotiations if you are on the verge of accepting an offer versus already being employed by the hospital or healthcare facility.
The reason for this is because the employer feels the burden of losing out on your skillset in one situation more than the other.
If they don’t offer you enough money or provide enough benefits to you in the official job offer, then you might simply decline the offer and begin considering other offers or seek employment elsewhere.
If you’re already employed by the hospital or healthcare facility and you wish to renegotiate your salary, they will undoubtedly be under the impression of, “Well we are already employing you, what are you going to do — quit your job and seek a paycheck elsewhere?”
Unfortunately, many hospitals and healthcare employers will take that stance, but there is still good news for you.
As we mentioned earlier, the healthcare industry is one of the most competitive, and the talent gap is increasing each year with no signs of slowing down moving forward.
This means that you will be able to find employment elsewhere if the employer takes that stance if you’re asking to renegotiate your salary.
Employers are expecting some negotiation when you get offered a job initially. There is plenty of back and forth that should be had, because you want to maximize the amount of money and benefits you receive for the hard work you’ve put in to get to that point.
If you don’t negotiate when you initially get the job offer, then you’re quite simply leaving money on the table.
The good news, is that the employer or hiring manager has also done their research on the expected pay, and it’s in their best interest to hire employees for the most affordable rate for their company.
You just have to go into the job offer salary negotiations as a business decision. You’re trying to get the most money for the hard work that you’ve put in up to this point, and the employer you’re negotiating with will do their best to get the most bang for their buck for their company.
• When You’re Currently Employed
If you already have a position at the hospital or healthcare facility — there is no reason to give up on those salary aspirations that you have.
Just because you already receive a raise each year, doesn’t mean that you should give up on potentially earning more through salary negotiations.
If you already receive a raise each year, you need to check and make sure that it’s keeping up with the regular rate of inflation.
The average rate of inflation in the last decade was roughly 3.22%.
This means that if you’re receiving a 2% year over year salary increase, then you’re actually earning less each year than the year you started your employment. At the bare minimum, your salary should keep up with the rate of inflation, and ideally it should increase over that.
The average pay raise for most positions is roughly 3%. In other words, ideally you want to aim high and try to earn more than the average.
There are several things you need to know as to when you should begin salary negotiations when you’re already employed.
Negotiating salaries when you’re currently employed depends on how long you have been in your current position.
You can attempt to negotiate your pay raise during the annual review period, when your responsibilities change, or you receive a promotion.
Each one of these offer you an opportunity to negotiate your salary and provide clear direction of how much you should be earning moving forward.
During the annual review period, you can also bring up things that you’d like to see in the organization or talk about some of the things that bothered you in your first year.
If your responsibilities change or you take on more work, then you should be compensated for that extra work.
They might even give you some core responsibilities of a superior while they fill that role or even change your role to encompass those tasks. If that’s the case, then you should be compensated as such.
This is a common thing many people don’t realize, because they feel they have no room for negotiation. The truth to the matter, is that you are getting paid for the work you agreed upon — and the moment that changes, you should receive compensation for the new work that you’re doing.
If you’re taking on more work, then you should be compensated for the additional workload that you’re under.
One thing you want to avoid when you’re engaging in negotiation salary tactics, is to threaten to leave.
Oftentimes, the employer or hiring manager will not respond kindly to threats of you leaving your employment as a negotiation tactic. They don’t respond kindly because they begin to feel as if you are not a loyal employee, and that’s ultimately what they want.
Employers want loyal employees, and will often reward that loyalty more than those employees they feel will jump ship once they get a better offer.
There are plenty of key times you should negotiate your current salary when you’re currently employed, you just have to be careful in how you go about doing it.
• When You’ve Received Another Job Offer
As we mentioned above, the healthcare industry is extremely competitive when it comes to finding qualified talent with the ever-increasing talent gap.
This means that hospitals and healthcare facilities are increasingly offering jobs to talented healthcare professionals who are already gainfully employed elsewhere.
If you receive a job offer from another hospital or healthcare facility, before you accept it right away you should alert your employer about the new offer.
It’s much easier for you to negotiate a new salary where you are currently employed, than to negotiate a new salary somewhere else.
In addition, it’s much easier to earn more money in a corporate environment where you are already familiar with the team dynamics and company culture.
When you begin negotiating a new job with a competing organization, you have to take into consideration that you are going to be forced to learn new faces, new procedures, new training procedures, undergo a new onboarding process, etc.
The great thing about negotiating your salary when you have received another job offer is that you have tangible evidence and proof that somebody is willing to pay more money or offer better benefits for the skills and experience you have.
In many cases, when you bring in your research the employer or hiring manager will simply say, “Well that’s not the case here.” If you’ve received a better offer or better benefits in a local area, then you can showcase that to the human resource manager or employer and negotiate a better salary for you.
If you’ve received a job offer that is the same salary as your current one, you can still use that as a negotiation tactic.
You don’t have to present the competing job salary or benefits to your employer when you begin negotiations, but you can leverage them.
Negotiating a salary increase when you have a separate job offer can be tricky but as we mentioned above, the employer is more willing to keep you and pay you more than incur the expensive costs of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding of new talent.
Now that we’ve detailed when you should begin your negotiation salary tactics for a better healthcare salary or hospital salary, we will detail some of the negotiation salary tactics that you should employ.
When you use each one of these tactics, you separate yourself above those other unprepared candidates or employees who are leaving money on the table.
To successfully get the money you deserve, you must first know what number you need to pay your bills and have a little spending money.
The first step to figure out what you need is to calculate your monthly expenses.
See where all your money goes, whether it be food, gas, rent, health insurance, etc., and get a baseline on what it will take for you to live.
Then add to that number. Nobody wants to just work to live. If you're going to give hundreds of hours to a company which is time you can never get back — then you need enough money so you can do other things with your life, other than work.
Think of your hobbies, vacation, your transportation — anything that would make your life a little better — and calculate those costs.
Once you have an idea of what you want to do and how much it costs, on top of how much basic living costs, you can come up with a better number for yourself. Now, don't get crazy and add up a $65,000 trip to Everest and think your number should include that if your job is not worth that.
It’s important to keep everything in reason. If you’re not making that much money, but you want to see yourself driving a $200,000 Ferrari and living in a six room mansion, then you’re going too far.
Essentially, you have to know what you’re worth in a realistic sense. If you’ve been eating ramen noodles every night because you can’t afford anything else, then you need to leave room for that in your updated income expectations.
Instead of eating ramen noodles every night, perhaps you could include a healthier diet and a few nights out on the town for fancy dining every now and then.
Nobody should be scraping by based on their hard work and education, and you shouldn’t feel like you’re just getting paid peanuts on the dollar. To get a more accurate understanding of what you should be getting, you need to research the market.
See what people who do what you do, in your area, get paid. Like we were saying above, an employer is not going to pay you a crazy sum of money if other people who do your job make just above minimum wage.
You have to go off the market and see what it can handle. With that being said, you do want to negotiate on the high-end of what the job pays.
It is tempting to give in and feel like we are being nice by starting at a mid-level salary, but if you start in the middle, you will end low.
Your employer will most definitely counter your offer, so if you start high, you can land somewhere in the middle like you were comfortable with at the beginning.
Alternately, if you start in the middle, you will end at your base, low-income level — or even worse, below that.
You might even find that when you start at the top end of the salary expectations you have, that your employer or hiring manager accept it right away.
If that’s the case, you could have potentially left a ton of money on the table because you were trying to be nice.
So the question remains, how do you research the market to find out what you’re worth? Well there are plenty of resources to use and we will detail each one.
• HospitalCareers.com — The first place you should look is here on HospitalCareers. Here on HospitalCareers, we have put a ton of effort into presenting healthcare job seekers and hospital job seekers with all the information they need to make informed career decisions.
One of those many resources we have available for healthcare and hospital professionals is our Salary Trends Insights page.
In our Salary Trends, we have over 100 careers that you can lookup and review. If you’re working in the healthcare industry, then we have a Salary Trends page for you.
On the Salary Trends page, you can look up a career and be presented with the estimated salary from the low end, to the high end. In addition, we have the hourly wages you can expect to earn from the 25th Percentile, up to the 75th Percentile.
From there you can also review the employment projections for that career over the next decade with detailed numbers.
We’ve also detailed the Estimated Annual Salary, Average Hourly Wage, and the number of Positions Nationwide.
Using our Salary Trends insights will help you get a headstart on what you’re worth, and how much you should expect to make as a healthcare professional in your negotiation salary tactics.
• Glassdoor — Glassdoor is another good resource to use when you’re doing your market research on what you should be paid.
On Glassdoor, you can research positions or industries and get detailed information based upon company size and years of experience.
You can see Average Base Pay, the low and high-end of wages, potential additional cash compensation, and how everything is affected based upon company size and experience.
Glassdoor is also a useful tool for getting some insight as to the average pay from individual employers or companies.
For instance, you can research a hospital or healthcare facility that you want to work at, or are working at, and get detailed salary insight as to how much others are making in the same position.
Unfortunately, all of the salary insights are based upon reviews or inputs of others. This means that it might not be entirely accurate information — and you have to take that into consideration.
• PayScale — PayScale is another common tool that you can use to check your value and see what you’re worth.
PayScale breaks down the median pay that you can expect to pay, and then also highlights the 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 90% groupings for the same job or career.
In addition, there are other compensation packages that might be added to the total pay, so PayScale will indicate that the pay might include bonuses, commissions, profit sharing, additional benefits, over time, hourly tips, and more.
All of these things are then factored into the Total Pay. A useful tool that PayScale does is compare the job you’re looking up to other careers in the same industry, and in different regions of the country or location as well.
You have to be careful though like you would with Glassdoor, because PayScale also relies heavily on user submissions.
If you decide to use these tools, you can ensure that you go into your salary negotiation prepared with statistical evidence of what you should be making compared to what you’re currently making.
In addition, these tools will also offer you a chance to see what benefits you should be receiving.
If your pay is relatively similar to what others are receiving elsewhere but the benefits are worse, than you should present the evidence that you would like to receive additional benefits for the pay you are receiving.
This is where you want to implement your market research. You want to review all the resources we’ve provided, and set a minimum acceptable salary before you start receiving job offers.
When you do this, you can remove some of the worry and stress that might be incurred during the pre-negotiation strategy because you don’t have to do all that extra work when the job offer comes in.
If you have also been looking or job hunting for quite some time, it can also be easy to forget to even negotiate because you’re so excited that you’ve received an offer.
If you have already mentally set a salary expectation before you receive an offer, then you can also benchmark the received offer to the expectations you had prior.
Having a minimum acceptable salary will also allow you to have an opportunity to walk away if the salary is just too low for you to even move forward or consider the job.
If the initial job offer is below your minimum acceptable salary, then you can also get some realistic expectations as to whether or not the facility or hospital you’re negotiating with has any negotiating room.
It might be that they offered such a low offer because they can’t afford any higher — in which case you have to respectfully walk away.
Put together a list of all the things you've accomplished in the company and show them how you've benefited them in some way.
It’s important to remember that employers and companies are seeking one thing — value.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities are constantly seeking qualified talent that can provide value to their organization and to their patients.
If you can demonstrate that you have provided them with measurable value, then you have already increased the chances of receiving a raise.
Look at it this way — you can increase your money if you've increased your companies, too.
The good news is that the value doesn’t have to just be related to money, it could be other things. Even if it's not money that you added, as long as you've added some type of value, that makes you worth more.
For instance, perhaps you haven’t had a patient say to you that they would, “come back three more times because you’ve done such a fantastic job caring for me.”
Instead, it might be other things like the patient satisfaction index in your hospital.
If patients are reporting how satisfied they were under your care, and your nursing unit’s overall patient satisfaction level rose since you’ve been employed — then you can point to that as an indicator that you’re helping increase the overall patient satisfaction in the hospital.
If you are just coming into a job, then you've obviously not added any value to them, yet.
So, show them how you added value to your former employer or the skills that make you a valuable commodity.
The important thing to remember is that you cannot just simply sell hope or the belief that you will provide value. You have to clearly demonstrate that you have done it in the past, and that you will do so in your new position.
Let's face the facts here, jobs are commodities, which makes employees commodities as well — so be a valuable commodity to your business and you will get paid for it.
Nobody wants to talk about money on Monday. Have you ever had the Monday blues? Or heard the phrase, “Well it’s a Monday,” when things go wrong?
The beginning of the week is the worst time to bring up subjects like time off or money; bosses are on edge and planning for the week and employees hate that they had to get up early.
Nobody likes Monday through Wednesday and everybody is a little on-edge.
On Thursday or Friday people are more relaxed; the week is winding down and the heavy lifting is done.
People are typically in a better mood and looking towards the weekend where they can rest and recuperate.
Many places even go out to lunch on Thursday or Friday to boost employee morale, which would be an excellent time to talk about money. Food makes people happy, when people are happy, they are more willing to help other people — so ask your boss for a raise when he's happy.
If you don't work there yet, then invite the person that decides your pay, out to lunch on a Friday. If you can't manage lunch, then, at least, try sending an email.
If you wait until Thursday or Friday and they say they are busy or that they don’t have time to speak to you and negotiate your salary with you, then ask to plan a meeting or lunch date.
This way, you have a day when you can both sit down and talk, and they can’t back out of it easily. When you plan on meeting and mark it on the calendar, you can both ensure that you won’t have any other complications come up that might take away from the meeting itself.
Once you know your worth using the tools above that we mentioned, then be confident that's what you should earn.
If you don't know your value, it leads to becoming discouraged and persuaded to take a lesser salary because your employer has tons of practice and never wants to pay more than what you fight for.
As we mentioned above, employers and managers want what’s best for their company — and they are trained to get the most out of their employees, even when it comes to negotiating a salary.
Lack of confidence and fear are what keep people in servitude at jobs they hate.
They are afraid that they can't find another job, which leads to them being afraid of getting fired, which only fuels the fear that they will have to start the job hunt over again, so they do nothing.
Employers feed off fear, it keeps employees in check, but if you build up confidence and know that it's all a game, you can play it to your advantage.
Most often an employer will pay you close to what you want to keep them from having to rehire someone or look for another worthy candidate — because they hate employee-hunting almost as much as we hate job-hunting.
So go in knowing that it is a two-way street and you both can help each other. That way both parties can come to a comfortable agreement, and leave the meeting satisfied.
As we mentioned above, employers and hiring managers will try and trip you up during the process to test your confidence.
They will ask questions like, “Where did you come up with that expected salary?”, “What makes you think you’re worth that kind of pay increase/salary increase?”, or “You haven’t complained about your salary before, why start now?”
These questions are all designed to test your resolve and your belief that you should be compensated better.
If you remain confident and have done your research, then you should be adequately prepared to answer their questions and secure a pay raise in your salary negotiation with ease.
It's important to ask diagnostic questions so you get a feel for what your employer needs. This allows you to better understand your leverage and value.
If you don't ask questions, you'll never know what they truly need to run a better business, and you can't show them value by meeting that need.
Once you get a feel for their priorities and needs, let them know if you bring that value to the table.
Offer up solutions to their problems and let them know you are worth the money. If you can prove what you say, then you can add more money to your pockets.
The key to this is that you don’t want to provide them with all the answers either. You want to demonstrate that you’re knowledgeable about the particular subject, without giving them all the answers.
If they have all the answers to their questions, then why do they need to hire you to provide those answers?
Essentially, you want to demonstrate that you’ve answered similar questions or solved similar problems in the past, without giving them the teacher’s handbook with all the answers.
They should feel as if they are getting value out of hiring you, and without hiring you they won’t receive those solutions that they so desperately need for the problems they have.
In addition, asking questions ensures that you have all the clarity that you need about the job responsibilities, and what is expected of you.
We’ve all been in situations in the past where it can feel like we weren’t exactly clear on the expectations others had placed upon us in a job. Or we had accepted a job and we didn’t realize that a part of the job was something we initially didn’t feel comfortable doing or didn’t want to do.
Asking questions will help you avoid some of those pitfalls that we’ve all been in when we accepted a job and it turned out to be more than we thought.
Earlier we mentioned how some of your responsibilities changed, or you accepted the job without knowing all the details. Asking questions is a great way to ensure this doesn’t happen, and understand what will happen to your salary if your role changes in some capacity.
Asking questions is a great way to make you feel more comfortable during the entire process.
Questions are also a great way for the employer or hiring manager make you feel more comfortable about potentially accepting the job offer — and even entice you into accepting the offer if you learn something about the job or facility that you hadn’t realized before.
You don't want your prospective employer to think they can pay you what you previously made, or that you would be happy with that number.
Just because you made it in the past doesn't mean that's what you are worth now. We should be paid according to our growth and education and don't settle for a job that won't.
If they ask what you made at a previous employer, have a figure ready that reflects your salary, benefits, vacation, etc., but don't focus on that number or let them assume that's what you expect.
Quickly move from that number to the projected number you want with this new job and be sure to highlight your growth so they know you're worth it.
If you can, it’s best to even avoid mentioning a prior salary. Because once you do, it becomes a point in their mind of the range that you might be willing to accept.
For instance, if your research showcases that you should be receiving compensation from $48k to $76k, and you mention that you previously earned $34k at a job, the first thing they are going to be thinking of is “Well they would be comfortable in the $34k to $40k range.”
And quite frankly, you just left a bunch of money on the table because you lowballed yourself.
The best way to answer the questions related to what you were making in your prior employment stops is to simply say, “I believe that my experience, education, and skills would make me an attractive hire at a competitive rate.”
If they continue to pester you and bug you about how much money you would be willing to accept, simply say that it is negotiable and that you’d rather wait until further steps in the process before bringing up what you’re expecting.
You might have done your research, and believe firmly that you desire a certain pay range — only to find out that the hospital or healthcare facility simply cannot pay someone the salary that you’re expecting.
You also don’t want to disqualify yourself from future consideration because you mention an outlandish number without explaining why you deserve that salary.
During the entire salary negotiation process, you want to clearly demonstrate that you provide value, and the value that you provide is greater than those other candidates they are considering.
If you automatically shout out a number that seems unrealistic to them, they will try and get a better deal elsewhere before moving forward with you.
Therefore, remove all old salary expectations from your mind and do your research on what you should be paid in the position you want based on your skills, experience, and education.
Another thing that you want to avoid doing is disclosing your current salary. As we’ve previously mentioned, when you disclose your current salary in negotiations, you leave leverage on the table.
As we’ve previously mentioned, you will be asked what you expect to make or what you expect your salary to be.
Oftentimes these questions might even be asked before the job offer phase, because they are commonly asked questions in interviews during the consideration process.
If you accidentally mentioned a range in the interview, the hiring manager or employer will refer to those answers when they come up with an offer for you. You don’t want to trap yourself into a corner or leave money on the table when they bring it up during the negotiation process.
For instance, they might say something along the lines of, “Well you mentioned in the consideration interview that you would be willing to accept something in the range of $35k to $40k, is that still true?”
As we mentioned earlier, when the current salary question comes up you want to answer along the lines of, “I’d rather not share my current salary, but believe that I can add add value to this hospital (or healthcare facility) with my skills and experience. I don’t have a specific number in my head.”
Even if you have a specific number in your head, you don’t want to give that leverage away. You, once again, want to see where they stand — and navigate and negotiate around that.
Don't give a salary range. If you give a specific number, it will show that you did your homework and know exactly what the job is worth.
If you give a range between $50k-60k then that will give them too much of a gap and could potentially land you at the bottom of the scale.
It shows them that you're uncertain and willing to give in to their numbers first. But, if you tell them you want $62,525, that will show that you crunched some numbers and came up with an educated value.
It also helps negotiations, because you can go down in smaller increments than if you just had a rounded number. If you say $60,000, they are more likely to come back with a rounded number like that, say $56,000.
But they will round down. If you say $60,250, then they might come back with $56,250 — that's 250 more dollars than you would've gotten.
As we mentioned earlier, employers and hiring managers will attempt to get the best deal they can, so you don’t want to give them more leverage over your salary than you have.
Above we mentioned that the example salary range you would be willing to accept was between $50k - $60k. If you follow our example above, they will most likely offer you within that range, which is what you went in thinking about from the beginning.
If you had gone in there and said the range of $50k - $60k, they might have undercut the salary range you mentioned and say something like, “Well would you accept $48k?”
This is exactly what you want to avoid. You don’t want to undercut yourself because you were trying to be kind in your salary negotiations.
It’s important to remember that it’s all a business decision. You have to work towards getting the best salary you can for your expertise, and the hospital or healthcare facility have to get your skill set and value at a fair rate.
Many people fear to ask for more money when negotiating salary. If you would take $50,000, ask for $60,000.
Now maybe this number is too steep, but your market research will show you how much the market can handle. You have to be careful with your high end estimates that you are willing to say, because you don’t want to automatically disqualify yourself.
As we mentioned earlier, the employer or hiring manager will also have done their homework.
They can spot and will call you out on it if you say something that is completely outlandish.
The last thing you want to do is get your potential working relationship off to a rough start.
Whatever the high-end is, start with that. It makes your employer feel like they won if you settle for $55,000 when all along you would've taken $50,000. Ultimately, you still win and your boss feels good too.
Don't feel bad about playing the game. Your bosses play it too. They wouldn't be where they are without asking for more and not settling until they got it. It's all about knowing what you're worth and convincing other people of it.
If you follow our example in the eighth tip we mentioned in our 20 Negotiating Salary Tactics, then you can ensure that you ask for more than you would take, within reason.
There is no reason to be mean or defensive, it's a discussion — a negotiation. That means they can counter and you can too. You don't have to settle for an unfair price and they don't either.
You are trying to get a certain amount for your time and your boss is trying to get the best deal possible.
Think of it as a farmers market; you both want a fair price and you both had to work hard to get where you are, but you don't want to lose.
So meet somewhere in the middle where both parties get a good deal and be kind about it — nobody likes a sore winner or loser.
If you can't meet on a price, don't be afraid to walk away. You don't have to take the job. Set a price and don't take the job if it's not met. It’s important to remember that you are qualified talent in an industry that is constantly seeking qualified professionals for vacant positions.
If the job doesn’t seem reasonable with the salary or benefits that they offer you, then you have to be willing to walk away.
It is a misconception that we have to settle for less than we want, just to have a job.
If you work a job where you don't feel valued, you won't work there very long anyway. So, think how you will feel 6 months down the road when you are overworked and underpaid.
That is a toxic equation. There are more opportunities out there, you just have to be brave enough to find them. Don't get discouraged if your negotiations fail; without failures, we would never have any success.
Another key thing that you need to remember when you are engaging in salary negotiations is that everything is negotiable.
In many cases, we feel like there are certain things we quite simply shouldn’t talk about or that we shouldn’t attempt to negotiate. Frankly though, you should be willing to negotiate everything that you can think of.
Mentioning holiday time is a difference in only getting a couple days versus a couple weeks for instance.
There are lots of negotiable aspects you can bring to the table when you begin negotiating like your schedule, paid time off, vacation time, equity within the hospital or healthcare facility, bonuses, etc.
This is another area where your market research will come into play. If other individuals in your position are getting paid with additional commission but it isn’t brought up during the salary negotiation process, then you will most likely miss out on the opportunity to earn more money.
Do your market research, and bring up things that you’re passionate about getting in your salary — and you’ll walk out a happy individual.
Another thing that you want to demonstrate is your ability to be open and honest about what you want and what you expect during the salary negotiation process.
We’ve mentioned above that it’s ok to ask for more money when you do your research. But if you’re getting compensated well, then it is completely ok to also make a lateral move.
Plenty of professionals make lateral moves for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you’d like to work in a new facility that is closer to your home, it has better benefits, or you feel like you need a fresh start in a new location.
When you begin negotiating your salary, the best advice is to be open and honest about what you want. If you’re being underpaid in your current position, make it clear that you’re looking for an opportunity that will provide you with the fair compensation that you feel you deserve.
If you’re looking for an employer that has the same ideals and community outreach goals as you — then make that clear when you are talking with them about what you expect.
A good way to ensure that you’re open and honest before your salary negotiations is to make sure that you identify what is important to you before the meeting or before the negotiation.
This way you can ensure that you talk about the key things that matter to you, and that you don’t budge where you aren’t willing to budge.
In addition, when you take these steps to make sure that you identify what you want before the negotiation you can increase your likelihood of the things that you get from the ultimate deal or employment contract.
Another key thing to remember when you begin negotiating your salary or engaging in negotiation salary tactics is that you need to be patient. Unfortunately, in the recruitment or hiring of new candidates — things take time.
It might seem like the individual making the job offer to you is the one who determines what salary you receive, but in reality there are others who need to sign off on it or make sure that it’s even financially feasible to offer that money.
Then there are also additional contracts that need to be written up, and approved before they can actually offer it to you after they revise the things that you requested or mentioned.
Each one of those steps take time, and that’s assuming they don’t already have a plate full of work that they need to take care of.
In addition, you want to be patient when you’re talking to the hiring manager or employer. You don’t want to bring up your salary as the first thing you mention. Take your time and let those negotiations take place, and be patient when they take a little bit longer than you expected — because they will most likely take some time.
As we’ve mentioned previously, you don’t want to be the first one to show your cards. When you show all your cards or where you stand right off the bat, you lose leverage.
You might think that your salary expectations are high, but you might be pleasantly surprised when they offer you even more money than you were expecting in the official job offer.
The person to mention their stance in a negotiation is usually the one who ultimately loses in the end. The reason for this is that they dictate where they stand, and once someone plants their feet — they can only move so far.
If you can, you want the employer or hiring manager to make the first move in the negotiation. This way, you know where you stand with them, and can carefully navigate and negotiate with them to get what you want before you accept the job offer.
As we’ve mentioned above, you also don’t want to sell yourself short or leave room on the negotiation table because you decided that you wanted to be nice.
It’s important to remember that these are business decisions, and you have to stand up for yourself when you begin negotiating your salary.
If you’ve received a job offer, then the critical step is to review the offer and evaluate it against some of the benchmarks we detailed above. Does the salary fall within the expected range that you wanted?
Does the offer match some of the key benefits that you were hoping to get? Does it include things like paid time off, additional bonuses, training, education, or other things that might be potentially covered by the employer?
It’s important to evaluate the offer carefully, because there are more things involve than just the initial base salary.
If things aren’t covered in the offer that we mentioned above, then you want to make sure that you reach out to the individual who provided you with the job offer about some of the things that they weren’t specific on and seek some clarity.
It’s an important step to make sure that you have all the details on the job offer, so that you can make the most informed decision before wasting your time or wasting their time.
Once everything is on the offer, go back and check your checklist that you made when you started the entire job hunting process and evaluate how it compares to the minimum salary and benefits you were willing to accept based on the market research you conducted.
It’s important to always remember that an offer is the start to the negotiation process. The first step in the negotiation process is the counter offer. Just because you received an offer doesn’t mean that it’s the last step in the process.
Receiving an offer is the first step in the negotiation process, and the second step is with a counter offer.
You can either ask to have a meeting to discuss the offer, or you can provide a counter offer email. Some would say that it’s easier to negotiate in person, as both sides are tasked with coming up with an answer on the spot.
In contrast, it might be more beneficial to you to write up your counter offer in an email so you can think about what you want to say before saying it.
If the employer or hiring manager has to seek approval from others before they can provide you with a second offer, they can forward the email to others in the approval chain.
That way, there isn’t some confusion of words or additional back and forth to make sure everything is accurate.
You have to consider whether or not you want to actually work for the employer or facility when you receive the offer. If you do, then you have to consider a counter offer with what you want.
While it might be true that you can potentially pressure the individual who provided you with the job offer in an effort to increase your negotiation chance, but it’s best to just provide a counter offer through an email.
As we mentioned above, when you deliver your counter offer through an email reply it allows you to calculate what you want to say and frame it in the best way possible.
In addition, it gives you some time to think about the offer and on what particular parts you’d like to continue to negotiate on.
When you take the time to think about your counter offer and write it out, you can also detail the exact reasons as to why you feel like your value and experience should be rewarded or compensated based upon what you believe.
And as we mentioned earlier, if the counter offer needs to be shuffled around the office — then it would be best if it was written down for every relevant party to see.
It’s important to remember that you can negotiate for as long as you want, and you have to attempt to get as much as you can.
Negotiations are often like a game of tug of rope. You might be willing to take on some things, but the employer might be asking you to give up something else during the process.
Negotiations can be a tricky situation, and if you do them right, you can be incredibly satisfied in the long run.
Ultimately, you’re working towards maximizing your salary, benefits, and additional compensation in every way that you can.
As we mentioned earlier, the recruitment and onboarding process takes time — if the employer or hospital feels like they have found the candidate they’ve been searching for all this time, then they’ll work to keep you interested and hire you.
Knowing that will help you maximize your efforts on the negotiating table.
See, negotiating salary isn't all that scary.
Once, you do some math and see what people are getting paid in your market, you can make a more educated decision on how much to ask for when the time comes.
Remember to add up your expenses, value yourself, see what the market can handle, be confident, be nice, and walk away if your number isn't met.
But if the negotiations do work give yourself a pat on the back and be sure to thank your employer. Hope this helps!
Tell us what you think below. Do you have any negotiation tips?
(Content / Article Updated 2018)