When it comes to receiving a job offer, it’s important to avoid making a snap decision.
It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of being offered a job. However if you’ve accepted a role straight away, only to regret your choice because the salary is lower than you feel you're worth or are willing to accept, you may feel uncomfortable renegotiating the offer.
Can you negotiate the salary after accepting the job offer, or do you just need to accept that you won’t be earning what you thought and make it work?
This article will help you review what your options are and sets out a clear approach for bringing up the salary question again.
Should you negotiate?
If you’re excited about the new challenges the job offers and other company benefits provided, consider whether you are comfortable progressing with the role and negotiating a salary increase down the track once you have had the opportunity to prove yourself.
If you find the salary is a deterrent to you fully investing in the new role and is not a true reflection of the skills and experience you can offer, then negotiating with the hiring manager may be your next step.
Before you do this, you need to consider where you are in the hiring process:
1. Can you negotiate if you’ve verbally accepted a role?
If you’ve not signed a contract or started working at the company, it can be much easier to revisit your salary offer. Make sure you have the conversation as quickly as possible and before you move any further in the process. Strengthen your negotiation with examples of how your salary is not in line with standard market rates, or how you will provide more value than your salary reflects.
2. Can you negotiate your salary if you’ve accepted a job offer in writing?
The further down the line you are with regards to accepting, the higher the chance you start to look like a liability to a new employer. If the salary is dissatisfactory but you are still interested in the role, this is the riskiest time to raise salary. The last thing you want to do is start off at the company on the wrong foot or make the hiring manager regret making their decision to hire you
Before going any further, consider whether negotiating a higher salary is worth risking your professional reputation over at this stage. If you are willing to lose the job offer over the salary, then the role itself may not be the right fit.
3. Negotiating if you’ve started work
Negotiating is all in the timing. If you’ve commenced working at the company, it’s highly advisable to avoid negotiating your salary during your probation period. Instead of negotiating, you could wait for the annual salary reviews (if the company you work for has them). Pull together a pitch that demonstrates exactly how much value you have added to the company since you started.
How to bring up the salary question again
If you have weighed up all the information and decided that negotiating is the right thing to do in spite of where you currently are in the hiring process, speak to the person who made the job offer as soon as possible.
Employers will always be eager to get a good deal financially out of the person they hire, so jobseekers should feel empowered to do the same. As the saying goes, 'if you don’t ask, you don't get'.
Give them a call (or email) and be honest about the situation. Explain that you were very excited about being offered the job and the opportunity to work with them, but you accepted the salary while being caught in the moment.
You don’t need to go into too much detail, but ensure you provide logical reasons for why you feel the need to re-negotiate the starting salary.
Do your research using Robert Half’s Salary Guide before engaging in such discussions. This will help you establish the value of your current skills and experience, and ensure you’re clear on what you would and wouldn’t be willing to accept.
Can you negotiate your salary after accepting a job offer?
Treat negotiating a salary after accepting a job offer with great caution.
If you are prepared to be open, honest and allow your new employer to see you are being reasonable, it may make them feel more open to enter back into negotiations if they have such bandwidth.
Be prepared to have your request declined, and take it as a learning curve for your next opportunity to enter a salary negotiation.
Are you getting paid a fair salary?
Just found a new job? The Robert Half Salary Guide contains Australian salary benchmarking information for several industries and insights into salary negotiation