Let’s Get You Hired: What You Need To Know About Salary Negotiation

Dread it, run from it, Monday arrives all the same. And now, it’s here. Good morning, people. Let’s start this week off the best way possible, with some money talk. Today, we’re going to be looking at the salary negotiation aspect of your job search process. We’ll cover the dos and the don’ts when money comes up during a hiring or vetting process.

That being said, conversations around money can usually be stressful for someone looking to get a job. So, as usual, we have an expert to get us through the process with the best results. Today’s tips come from Kwame Beny Smith, a Human Resource Professional with years of experience when it comes to hiring.

When Exactly Can You Bring Money Up?

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In some cases, you will have to bring the conversation around salary for the role up yourself. And if you find that to be the situation that you’re in, you don’t want to bring up money too early. Bringing up the money conversation too early can give other applicants an advantage over you during the hiring process.

Similarly, you don’t want to bring money up too late because then you might not get the salary and benefits package that you want. The right timing, according to Kwame Bene Smith is when an employer has let you know that they want you for the role. At that point, you know that you’re being seriously considered for the role, and that gives you some bargaining power.

Sometimes though, you don’t have to bring money up at all. In some cases, you will be asked during the interview process what your salary expectations for the job are.

How To Answer Questions On Your Salary Expectations During An Interview

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During an interview, sometimes you will be asked how much you’re expecting to get paid for the role. In these cases, according to HR Expert Kwame Bene Smith, it is best to be non-committal. Instead of stating a specific salary figure, you should state a range.

If you’re lucky though, sometimes you can probe your interviewers for more information before you mention any figure. You can ask questions like, what the budget for the position is or what the salary grade for the job is. Even though these are options to get more information, an interviewer might still insist on getting a figure answer out of you. If you don’t answer you risk creating the impression that money doesn’t matter to you and any figure is acceptable.

As we’ve mentioned already, in cases where you have to mention a figure, you should try as much as possible to go with a salary range instead of a single figure.

Do Your Research

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In the words of Kwame Bene Smith, “The greatest tool in any negotiation is information.” Even before the interview process begins, you need to have an idea of what the general compensation package for the role that you’re applying for is. Online figures can be exaggerated, especially for roles in Ghana. So, it is better to call agencies that hire for the industry in which you find yourself, and make inquiries about salary trends.

In the cases where it’s possible, you want speak to people who are already employed at the company where you are going to interview. That way, you can get a rough figure of the salary for the role that you’re interviewing for.

Determine Your Skills

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Skills tend to be an important part of the job-hunting process, especially when it comes to being paid what you’re worth. Knowing exactly what skills you have and how those skills are valued, can make you arrive at a figure that is more true to what you’re worth. And once you know these things for yourself, you have more control over the negotiation process.

You should also avoid basing your desired salary on your current salary. Instead, find a service that helps you compute how much your personal traits, length of experience, your education and your certifications are worth. Basically, you need to find the competitive market value of your skills.

Weigh The Compensation Package And The Job Offer As A Whole

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Your gross salary for a role, is the figure that you’re going to be paid before taxes and other deductions are made. These deductions can sum up to up to 30% of the total gross figure. You need to factor in these deductions to get a full picture of how much you’re going to be earning every month.

You should also be aware of benefits of your compensation package, insurance, allowed time-off and retirement settlement of the offer.

Now, here is a final key piece of advice from Kwame Bene Smith. You can’t negotiate every aspect of your hiring contract. Some of the things that are offered, you have to take as is. This means that you should be selective of the things that you choose to negotiate during a hiring process.


Let’s Get You Hired is a weekly manual for job seekers. The series contains guides and tips on CVs, Interviews and other resources to get you hired.

This article was brought to you by YourHRMasterclass, a YouTube channel run by Kwame Bene Smith. Kwame Bene Smith is a Human Resource Expert who is actively involved in the cause of reducing youth unemployment.

Source: Kwame Bene Smith—YourHRMasterclass

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