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1 Salary Secret Hiring Managers Wish They Could Tell You (But Never Will)

Inc. logo Inc. 2/22/2019 Betsy Mikel
Piggy Bank © Getty Images Piggy Bank

The more you know, the more salary you can probably get.

The interview process can be hairy enough. But if you survive and all goes well, there may be an offer letter in your future.

The next phase is where things can quickly turn opaque. Who throws out the first number? Should you negotiate your offer? If you ask for too much, could your offer be rescinded? (Short answer: No.)

While the hiring process differs at every organization, there are a few inside-baseball tricks of the trade. One of them comes from Omer Molad, who is the founder and CEO of AI hiring platform Vervoe. Molad told Glassdoor one of the insider recruiter secrets is about negotiating your salary.

How companies determine the first salary offer.

Molad offers insight into what's happening when an offer is prepared. Most organizations have a salary band or range for a particular role. The first offer is typically somewhere on the lower end of that range. That means there's some wiggle room.

Even after their first offer, many organizations are prepared to pay more for the role. But you need to ask for it. Molad says many companies could have gone higher if candidates had only negotiated.

In sum: Don't leave money on the table. See if there's any more budgeted for your role. Negotiate.

The con position: When not to negotiate.

That said, there are a wealth of reasons not to negotiate your salary. Interview and hiring expert Suzy Welch feels strongly about this recommendation: If the offer is 10-15 percent within the salary range you were hoping for, then take it. Skip negotiating entirely. The little bump you get could have unintended consequences.

In some cases, playing the hardball negotiation game could damage your reputation -- and that's before you've even started the job. If you think you deserve more, you can always ask for a raise six months in after you've proven your value. Be sure to keep track of your accomplishments from day one so you're prepared.

"I'm not saying be passive," Welch reiterates. "I'm saying be strategic. Go in with good will, do a great job, and in the long run you'll see the real reward."

Research finds an increase in people negotiating their salaries.

Still not sure if you should negotiate? Know this: A higher number of professionals report negotiating their salary this year compared to last. So feel free to use the "everyone's doing it" excuse.

Over the last year, 55 percent of professionals tried to negotiate a higher salary, according to survey results just released by staffing firm Robert Half. In 2018, only 39 percent of respondents said they had negotiated. That's a 16-point jump. Professionals aged 18-to-35 were the most likely to negotiate; 65 percent said they did.

70 percent of senior managers expect candidates to negotiate.

Robert Half also asked senior managers this question: When hiring staff, do you expect candidates to negotiate salary? A whopping 70 percent said yes. Knowing that your future boss doesn't expect you to accept the first offer could help alleviate some of your negotiation hangups.

Remember, this doesn't have to be painful. People get hired for jobs all the time. And if this is the right organization and job for you, you should be able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

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