6 key strategies to negotiate your salary for a remote job

Interviewing for a remote job can be overwhelming for some. However, the stakes are especially high right before receiving the final offer. As applicant you don’t want to lose out on an opportunity after spending 2 months acing all aspects of the hiring process right at the end when it’s time to talk money. That’s why as many as 54% of candidates don’t negotiate their salary at all, and many don’t properly prepare for their salary negotiation.

However, compensation remains a key aspect of deciding for or against an offer. This is why we’re sharing our six key strategies to successfully negotiate your salary for a remote job and receive the best possible offer.

Let’s give you a few reasons why you should be negotiating your offer 

You will benefit from a higher salary if negotiated in the present and over the long haul – Accepting the first offer might always seem like an easier choice. However, negotiating has long-term benefits over the course of your career. 

Women and minorities: Close the pay gap – Equal pay is a personal and political issue for women and minorities everywhere. However, women are even less likely to negotiate their salary, so if you are female, it is up to you to step up. You can help shrink the pay gap by negotiating your own salary, so it not only benefits you personally but also others.

Displaying your value – Negotiating your salary shows your employer that you are capable, confident, and comfortable with what you have to offer. Those skills are the same skills that your employer will value when it comes to increasing your level of responsibility, trusting you with key clients, and promoting you into leadership positions.

So take that deep breath and apply these six simple salary negotiation techniques. They’ll ensure you make a great first impression and receive what you deserve.

1. Evaluate the offer before negotiating

Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

There are various aspects you should consider while evaluating the first offer. These include geographic location, years of experience, years of leadership experience, career level, skills, education or licenses, and certifications. Understanding how each of these factors contributes to a successful career trajectory helps justify your desired salary during negotiations.

2. Research the remote job market

Researching the market average can give you a good baseline for your salary request and can even be used as justification. Use a site such as PayScale or Glassdoor to research salaries of comparable positions in your field. Keep in mind that remote salaries are heavily dependent on your location and main location of the company. In Europe for example, salaries tend to be higher in countries like Germany, and lower in Spain. There are also regional differences with rural areas often considered more affordable and therefore subject to lower salaries.

Companies like Buffer or Gitlab publish very transparent remote salary guides, however, most companies aren’t this transparent. Research the locations of other employees and headquarter or office locations (if the company has them). Also make sure you check out other open positions and their salary ranges to get an understanding of the company’s salary structure and priorities.

3. Start your salary negotiations with a realistic anchor

When starting your negotiation, make sure you take the salary range mentioned by the recruiter or on the job description as factual information. From there, consider if it aligns with your expectations. Would you be satisfied with a salary in the middle of the range? Would you consider the role if they offered you a salary at the lower end of it? The range will be the approved budget for the role and recruiters are looking for applicants matching this range.

When asked about your salary expectations, you have the opportunity to set an anchor, or starting point, from which the negotiation then continues. But beware, candidates starting off with an unrealistically high opening offer, and well above the range, can destroy the trust between them and the negotiation partner. This can even cost them the job offer, especially when the hiring manager has interviewed other candidates with a strong profile. They may decide to favor a candidate starting the negotiations within the salary range.

At acework, we ask candidates about their previous salary and salary expectations, as well as request a range from companies. This way we can make sure to match you with roles aligned with your expectations. However, when you then enter the negotiation with much higher numbers, you won’t reach a deal with the company.

4. Craft your pitch and practice it 

Photo by Monica Melton on Unsplash

This might be the toughest part but it’s definitely worth it. Bring together all your research along with your professional value to build credibility. Your professional value details around the results you’ve achieved in your previous roles. This includes you as an individual in a team, years of experience in the industry, and skills (soft, hard and remote skills) you bring to the table. Always keep in mind that the hiring manager wants to hire you and thinks that you have the ability to drive the company forward.

Work closely with a career coach that can help you gain that confidence and identify areas of improvement. This step is essential as money conversations are always difficult. However, the more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel in a real conversation. 

5. Consider other perks as a part of your compensation package

There might be a chance that you reach a dead end while negotiating your salary. In this situation you might want to consider other aspects of the compensation package.

Other areas that add value include:

  • A signing bonus
  • Stock options/equity in the company
  • Paid time off
  • A relocation stipend

If your salary offer isn’t what you want, consider whether other perks and benefits could make up for it. The best time to negotiate your starting salary and other components of your total compensation is after receiving but before accepting the offer of employment. Approaching this topic too soon could be a potential job interview deal breaker.

6. Don’t be afraid to walk away and express gratitude 

Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

Things always work out for the best and you’ll understand it in retrospect. If a company is unable to match your minimum salary requirements or offers no additional perks that make it worth your while, it is wise to consider walking away. Seek opportunities that offer you more career fulfilment in the long run.

No matter the outcome, you and the company have invested a great deal of time and energy in the hiring process. Make sure to recognize, appreciate and thank them for the opportunity. Personalize it by highlighting the reasons that got you excited about the job – company, remote culture, or the product. Be in touch always. You never know when there is another opportunity that meets all criteria for you personally and professionally.

Always look at salary negotiation as a win-win situation for you and the company. You will have a salary that defines your worth and the company will start off with a happy new employee who’s eager to start working and help the business grow. While salary is important, don’t let it become an obstacle that prevents you from seeing the big picture. It’s normal to want a job that pays well, failing to understand when, how and why to negotiate your salary may cause the company to favor other candidates.

At acework, we enable businesses to build their successful remote workforce. We support them with remote work advisory and remote talent for various open positions. Our advisory creates actionable strategies for companies based on their culture, processes, and business needs. If your team is looking to build a high-performing distributed team, schedule a free discovery call

If you’re looking for a remote job, and are ready to shine in your application, submit your candidate information and resume here.

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