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Negotiating Salary During COVID-19: Tips and Guidelines

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​COVID-19 has drastically changed the job market at home and abroad with huge increases in the numbers of people now looking for new opportunities. A rise in the number of applications for open roles means in turn, an increase in competition. However, there is still scope to negotiate your salary package.

While salary should not be the main motivator for applying to a new role, it is defiantly an important factor which you need to consider.

It is also important to explore factors such as your commute, work/life balance, company culture and career progression. All of which will make a drastic difference to your day to day life.

Some job seekers may be open to what salaries are being offered, whereas others may have a specific salary in mind. Whichever category you fall into, it is important to be upfront and honest regarding your expectations during the interview process.

There is always flexibility on an offer for the right candidate. In the current job market employers are working with much tighter budgets so that flexibility may be more limited. If you have a strict salary expectation discuss it before you are invested in the process.

If you wait till the end of the process you may be presented with an offer that is lower than you can accept. For example, if you have a strict salary expectation of €50,000 it wouldn’t be worthwhile to interview for a role with a top-level budget of €40,000. You shouldn’t be afraid to walk away from a role if it doesn’t meet your requirements.

Tips for negotiating salary during the COVID pandemic 

1. Know your worth

Consider your level of seniority. If you are an entry-level candidate, you might need to be more flexible on salary at the beginning.

Take into consideration your current salary and your current level of responsibility. If you are moving into a more senior role it’s reasonable to look for an increase in salary.

Consider what factors are important to you, are you open to flexibility on salary for other benefits?

2. Give a salary range

When asked for your salary expectations or desired salary on a job application it is best to give a salary range. Consider what your ideal salary would be and what is the minimum you would need for a move to be viable for you.

While some job seekers may be hesitant to give their desired salary, as it may take them out of the running, it is important to be open regarding your expectations to ensure the employer can offer what you’re looking for.

You can always mention you are open to negotiating, but it is still a good idea to give a range so you are both on the same page.

3. Don’t just focus on the salary

Given the current climate with COVID-19, it may not be possible for potential employers to offer huge increase in salary. They may be able to offer additional bonuses or benefits.

Some companies may offer a company car, pension, health insurance, free food, flexible hours, gym membership or employee discounts as part of their packages.

Other employers may also be able to offer a performance-based bonus structure along with your base salary.

An employer could also offer flexible working hours, shorter commutes or remote working which may compensate for a drop in salary.

4. Consider your long term plans

The salary is just the starting point, especially in the current market. Employers may be offering lower staring salaries than before but may be able to compensate for this down the line.

When negotiating your package, you may ask to have your salary reviewed once you have passed probation or reached milestones within the company.

Consider what opportunities there are for you to progress within the company. Perhaps moving to a new company now and taking a slight drop in salary will allow for more opportunities to grow and take on more responsibility in the future.

Looking for a new job in 2020 is unlike any other time in our lifetime. It’s important to focus on what you really want from a job and align your skillset and salary expectations with a realistic figure in mind. Do your research, download our salary guide and have a look through job ads to see what salaries are on offer for the types of roles you’re applying for.

If you’re unsure what opportunities are available or have questions on salary, particularly within the Retail market which I specialise in, get in touch, I’d be happy to advise.