I did a lot of Googling about salary negotiation when I was looking for a job, and one thing that really stood out to me from many sources was that men get paid more than women because they ask for more.
Women are much more likely to take the first offer they consider to be fair or acceptable, while a man presented with a reasonable offer is much more to likely to throw out a higher figure just to see if he can get it. Successful negotiators are not afraid of rejection, and by doing this they get a chance to "negotiate" down to something that is still higher than what the company would normally offer.
With that in mind, when it came time for me to name my requested salary, I named a figure that was much higher than what I thought I could get on the high end. And to my surprise, I got it, with no questions asked.
So my advice for anyone who is negotiating a salary is to name a figure that's on the high end of what they want, not in the middle or on the low end. By this point, the company has usually already decided they want to hire you, and its just a matter at finding a rate that both of you agree on.
If you're too high, they'll tell you that and you can negotiate lower. But I find most of the time what I consider to be "fair" is frequently on the lower end of what companies are willing to pay, and that they're willing to pay more than average for a candidate that they think is better than average.
So in short, if you want to make more money, don't be afraid to ask for it. If you don't, someone else will.
But some other tips based on my earlier research into the subject
Don't set a specific salary figure too early. You want to make sure the company wants to hire you first before you start naming exact figures.
Do specify an exact figure when it comes time for salary negotiation, not a range. If you specify a range, you're most likely going to get an offer on the low end of it.
Do your research. Know the average salary for your job position, level of experience, and location. Its almost guaranteed that the company you're applying for has already done this, and it helps you come up with a realistic figure to ask for.
Don't be afraid to ask for a higher figure than average. Most companies won't drop someone they want to hire just because they named a salary that's higher than they want to pay.
Do Google for salary negotiation tips online. There's far more information out there than I can fit into an answer here, and it can change a lot depending on your circumstances.
I spent a lot of time looking for one specific article I wanted to link which made a big impact on how I negotiated my salary, but the closest thing I could find was this reddit post. If you are questioning if you should negotiate or not, I would highly recommend you read it. Especially if you're a woman.
Today I finished interviewing my third new hire this month, two of which are women. They both are getting paid substantially less than the man I hired earlier this month, and to be honest I am getting tired of that. I don't set the wages, I just handle negotiations (HR has to approve every offer I make).
Our process, despite the pay gap, is identical for men and women. We start with phone interviews, and move into a personal and technical interview. Once a candidate passes both of those, we start salary negotiations. This is where the women seem to come in last.
The reason they don't keep up, from where I sit, is simple. Often, a woman will enter the salary negotiation phase and I'll tell them a number will be sent to them in a couple days. Usually we start around $45k for an entry level position. 50% to 60% of the women I interview simply take this offer. It's insane, I already know I can get authorization for more if you simply refuse. Inversely, almost 90% of the men I interview immediately ask for more upon getting the offer.
The next major mistake happens with how they ask for more. In general, the women I have negotiated with will say 45k is not enough and they need more, but not give a number. I will then usually give a nominal bump to 48k or 50k. Company policy wont let me bump more than 5k over the initial offer unless they specifically request more. On the other hand, men more frequently will come back with a number along the lines of 65k to 75k, and I will be forced to negotiate down from there. After this phase, almost all women will take the offer or move on to somewhere else, not knowing they could have gotten more if they asked.
At the end, most of the women I hire make between 45k and 50k, whereas the men make between 60k and 70k. Even more crazy, they ask for raises far less often, so the disparity only grows.
I don't know if this is at all helpful, I feel most of it is common sense, but I see it all the time. How can I help?
- Don't be afraid to ask for more, it's not insulting or in any way going to affect your ability to be hired (we can always say no)
- When you ask for more, give a number! If you let me pick, I will continue to lowball it.
- Ask for raises, confident people get them more often than high performers in a heavy bureaucracy.