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  • Nicky Webster-Hart

How can I negotiate more money when changing jobs?

The costs of living are going up significantly - it’s no surprise or secret. So it should be no surprise that if a candidate is looking to move roles, a large motivating factor is in fact salary. As lovely as the additional benefits are, such as unlimited holiday, free fruit or a pool table and lunchtime yoga, they aren’t going to be paying the candidate’s bills. Candidates won’t be interested in moving for less money (or even the same salary) and even less so in the current competitive job market. External inflationary pressures and other impacts to the real wage mean that for now, salary does matter more to candidates.

With inflation already at over 10% and additional pressures from an increase in electricity and petrol/diesel prices, real wages are falling at pace. The majority of employees are likely to be worse off than they were last year and they will have less disposable income to spend. Depending on when your employees last received their pay review, they could already be many thousands worse off.

If as an employee, you’ve only just been making ends meet, or you’re one of those employees who works for an employer that increases salaries by less than 3%, now you might be ready to move jobs. No matter how good the business is that you work for, or the job that you do, you still need to be able to cover your bills. Given the recent inflationary pressures and the impending cost rises, we think that there will be an increase in the number of candidates applying for roles.

Whatever your reasons for leaving your job – be it better salary, work life balance, company ethos, commute etc – a counter offer from your current employer could stop you in your tracks and make you reconsider your career options. Why start working for a new company if you can stay with one you’ve already built up a rapport with? On the other hand, getting a counter offer could mean that your employer was always able to make the changes but not willing to do so.

Although the new benefits your current employer is prepared to offer may seem appealing, your decision to leave could create trust issues for both parties. Your company is aware you are willing to be disloyal to them, while you may not believe that things will change since it’s taken your decision to leave for your employer to make another offer. This could impact your future career prospects and depending on the type of line manager you have, they may make life difficult for you. Imagine going back in to resign for a second time too. That is an awkward conversation.

The current economic situation aside, do not forget to look at your long term career goals and consider whether staying with your current employer will support these in the long run. Leaving your comfort zone can be tough and nerve racking, however, there are reasons that have led you to this decision. A counter offer may only be a temporary fix and could stifle your professional growth in the future.

With new jobs come bigger paychecks—at least some of the time. A new survey reveals that nearly a third of workers who left their jobs during the pandemic are making over 30 percent more in their new roles.

If you are negotiating the salary for a new position or a job at a new company, asking for 10% to 20% more than what you currently make is often the general rule. However, before simply determining 10% to 20% more than what you make now and asking for that, take some time to factor in the costs of living, expense requirements, inflation, the benefits package being offered and other things that can directly impact your take-home pay.

Additionally, you should also take into consideration the factors mentioned earlier that can directly affect your income. If you are taking a position in a more expensive location, the added living expenses should be factored into the salary you ask for. Additionally, if your work will require excess expenses such as out-of-pocket insurance premiums or a long commute, this should also be discussed during salary negotiations.

Here is a little guide to how to get a salary increase when changing jobs:

  • Your CV. Have a general CV that comprehensively covers your experience as a standard base. From here adjust it to so the experience is relevant to each job you are applying for.

  • Don't disclose your current salary

  • Do your research on current market rates

  • Always negotiate before you accept an offer

  • If you can't negotiate salary, try negotiating benefits instead

  • Don't count on being able to negotiate better pay after the fact — ask for what you want now

And there’s more - understand, however, that some salary ranges may be more flexible than others, depending on the company, hiring manager, and role. In general, if the stated range is well below what you’re looking for, don’t count on your salary offer to magically land above the high end of the range — no matter how great of a candidate you are. Sometimes, companies just don’t have the budget for it.

Always do your own research before you apply to any position. Familiarise yourself with the market, and take note of the salaries typically offered for the role you’re applying for in the industry you’re in.

Dig deeper into the company as well. Find out what they usually offer for the position you’re applying for - try the job boards in case they are advising and also look in places such as Glass Door. If you can, talk to people who are already working at the company you’re looking to get into - this is a great way to get more information on the company and role.

In short, seek out as much information as you can get your hands on. The more you have, the more likely you are to be successful in getting a significant salary increase.

And don’t be shy about it either. If they’re offering you a salary, they want to hire you — and this is the point in the recruiting process where you have the greatest leverage, so you should negotiate like you have the upper hand.

If companies are really unable or unwilling to budge on their salary offer, try negotiating benefits instead. Certain companies that can’t offer higher salaries may be willing to offer better benefits, like more paid time off, flexible working arrangements, or better insurance coverage.

When asking for a raise in your current position, it is typically acceptable to ask for up to 10% more than what you are making now. However, it's important to ensure that you go to the meeting equipped with examples of when you excelled within your position and how you have added to your company's overall successes. This will ensure that your manager takes you seriously when you ask for a raise, as well as give them ample evidence to present to their higher-ups on behalf of you.

If you have been promoted to a new position within your company, this is a great time to secure a raise. To ensure that you come prepared to the salary discussion, get familiar with the typical salary others are making in similar positions both within your company and on a national average. Depending on the type of promotion you have received, you can ask for a small or large raise as it relates to your situation. The raise you ask for should be directly related to the new responsibilities you will be taking on.

If you are looking to change jobs then get in touch with Auxeris. Our network of specialist recruiters are experienced at placing talented candidates, particularly in the most recent months. They are adept at building meaningful relationships with candidates and clients and will support you through your hiring journey. Get in touch today to find out more here.

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