How to address your salary expectations when looking for a new job

Article by Jackie Mordue, Regional Managing Director at Hays

Taking your first steps to negotiating a new salarySalary expectation is a key part of any job search process, yet many jobseekers are unsure on how to answer this question.

According to the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 guide, a quarter (25%) of professionals say their salary is the main reason for wanting to leave their current role. To help you prepare for these conversations and confidently ask for the salary you want and deserve, leading recruiting experts, Hays shares the following advice.

“Researching and assessing your worth is the first step to take so you can determine your ideal salary before meeting with a recruiter or hiring manager”, says Jackie Mordue, Regional Managing Director at Hays.

“You need to think about your desired job title, location, industry, company size, skills and level and experience. You can then consult a salary checking tool, such as the Hays Salary Checker, so you can find out if your expectations are in line with current market rates.”

Once you have researched your market rate, you should consider how flexible you are willing to be with this figure, taking into consideration aspects such as flexible working, additional holidays, bonus schemes and paid training.

“If you are working with a recruiter, they will then pass on your salary expectations to an employer once you secure an interview and deal with any pay negotiation directly”, says Jackie.

“If you have secured your interview directly with an employer, then be prepared to discuss salary expectations in your interview.

When this happens, make sure to communicate confidence by making eye contact and providing direct answers. For example, you can say ‘Ideally, I would be looking for X amount, because of Y and Z’.”

After your interview, you will likely receive an offer via your recruiter if you are working with one or direct from the hiring manager. “If you receive a verbal offer that you aren’t happy with, don’t feel pressured to accept it there and then”, advises Jackie.

“You can then arrange a time to speak with the hiring manager at your convenience and give them an idea of the offer you would be comfortable with, or if you would consider any additional benefits as negotiation.

“Knowing how and when to talk salary is essential throughout your career, whether you are applying for new roles or asking for a pay rise in your current one. It takes practice, but you will soon find you are able to confidently ask for what you deserve both now, and throughout your future career journey.”

Jackie Mordue About the author

Jackie is Managing Director for the Yorkshire & the North region of Hays, operationally responsible for 15 offices in the region. Jackie joined Hays in 1991 working in Hays Accountancy & Finance, before then working in Hays Office Support. Jackie then progressed to the role of Regional Director before becoming Director of Yorkshire and Newcastle in 2011. Jackie was appointed as Managing Director of Hays Yorkshire & the North East in 2018.

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