What can you do when you’re offered a great job but the salary isn't quite what you were expecting?
Most recruiters leave some room for negotiating a remuneration package, so it's up to you to make sure you get what you deserve. This is tricky territory as holding out for too much may result in the job offer being withdrawn, and settling for too little could affect the way you feel about your new role.
- Check the salaries on offer for similar roles: try our salary checker and run a job search.
- Work out what you need in terms of salary to make the job worthwhile or even affordable. Don't forget any increased expenditure you might incur from changing jobs, such as travel costs, loss of company pension, childcare or relocation.
- If you're expecting a prospective employer to match or improve your existing earnings, include all your benefits and expected bonuses when doing the calculations.
- Employers often offer a pick-and-mix set of benefits to suit individual needs. Be prepared to ask about flexibility. For example, if you don't want a company car, can you have a cash equivalent instead?
- If you have to move house to take the job, ask if there is a relocation allowance.
- Ask if your prospective employer will honour any holiday you have already booked.
- Be realistic about salary offers. If you ask for much more than the original offer, you could seem demanding and out of touch.
- If you think a preferable job offer is imminent, you need to buy time without annoying possible employers. Tell your preferred employer about the other offer as it could speed up a decision as well as reinforcing how desirable you are.
- Never lie about your current salary. A new employer can find out your real worth from your P45. "We've had horror stories from clients who have hired and then discovered the person lied about their previous salary" says Jonathan Wiles, regional director of recruiter Michael Page. Some employers will view it as gross misconduct while the best case scenario is that you have demonstrated you are not trustworthy.
- If you are in a position to turn down a job offer and have any doubts about the deal, don't take it. If you feel you must take it, be prepared to start looking for another new job only a few months down the line.
- If you're offered less than you expect, ask about future pay reviews and how salary rises are assessed.