Negotiating is not for everyone. Some people cringe at the thought of having to negotiate anything, let alone ask for a higher salary in a job offer. It can be an uncomfortable part of the job searching process. Only about 51% of Americans have negotiated their pay.
However, in today's job market many industries, including the agriculture industry, are short on skilled workers. Agribusinesses and farms are competing for top candidates and salaries are being driven up. So, if you have an impressive resume and highly sought-after skills, you might be missing your chance at a higher salary. This is why it's important to negotiate your salary.
Don't Be Uninformed
You want to be informed. Know what the industry standard is for the job you are seeking. Focus on positions with similar responsibility levels. Be prepared to back your salary asks with the standard in the industry along with what you can bring to the table.
It's best to know the salary range for the job you want before you begin interviewing. It's likely at some point during the interview process the hiring manager or ag recruiter will ask for your salary range or may provide their range. If salary comes up during the interview process, this is where you get your foot in the door with negotiations, so make sure you give them an accurate range and don't make your range too wide.
Don’t Give Your Number First
Most of the time the salary conversation comes much later in the interview process. The general advice is to wait to bring up the compensation until the employer does or until the offer stage. Although times have changed, and many agriculture candidates are inquiring about the salary sooner, especially in the current job market.
If you would prefer to wait until the conversation is brought up, you can tell the range you have researched before your interview and ask for their salary range. Or if you'd prefer, you can answer “negotiable” when asked about your salary requirement. It is not always possible, but only play hardball when the job is offered to you, not during the interview. This will give you the opportunity to win over the hiring manager without the price tag.
Don’t Make It Personal
Everyone has their reasons why they need to make a certain salary, whether it is student loan debt, medical expenses, or a certain lifestyle, but the salary is based on the job and the responsibilities you will be taking on. Don’t try to justify the salary negotiations based on personal expenses, instead talk about your qualifications and experiences that can justify a higher salary.
This is where you need to provide your research. Explain what you have found to be the salary range for the type of role in the area you would be located. You can find salary information on websites such as PayScale.com and Salary.com.
Don't Negotiate on the Spot
Once you have been offered the job, don't start the salary negotiations immediately. Take some time to fully review the offer and consider everything provided. You will want to take benefits and perks into account as well. For example, maybe the salary is a little lower than you expected, but they pay for 100% of the health insurance so you won't be paying anything out of pocket. That can make a difference.
You also want to take some time to decide on your counteroffer. Decide what is most important that needs to be included in the offer so you don't overdo your counteroffer. You could potentially rock the boat and lose the offer. If you have multiple offers on the table, make sure you compare the two jobs and offers to decide what is best for you.
Don't Hide Your Multiple Offers
If you have more than one offer on the table, don’t keep it to yourself. It's best to have open communication. That is the best position for you to be in, so make sure you are transparent to the hiring manager. Let them know you are excited about the position, but that you have other offers on the table so you want to weigh your options. Take a day or two to compare the jobs and the offers, and get back to all parties with your counteroffers or with your decision.
Looking for more tips and resources? Check out the Ag News and Tools page at AgHires.com!