Salary negotiation can be a tricky business, but it does not have to be an overwhelming task. It is all a matter of preparation. Before everything else, you have to know what you want and develop the skills necessary to ask for them. Below are some great tips to get you started.
Do these well and you won’t only get your expected salary, you’ll also have a better chance at advancing your career:
- Know your numbers. What is your ideal salary range? Most hospitalists use their current or previous salary as a baseline but you will do better if you use local precedent. Find out how much hospitalists are paid in yourregion or area. This is the best number to rely on. The market usually dictates the cost of your services regardless of how much you have been paid in your last job.
- Make a good case. Ascertain your experience and expertise. Talk about your most important training and skills that match the need of your employer. Highlight your unique assets, particularly those that can result to more patients and referrals. For example, you can highlight the fact that you have a good patient following, no encumbrances, and a solid reputation as a healthcare practitioner. This attracts more business to the hospital and it makes more sense to give you what you want.
- Identify the competition. How many other hospitalists can do what you do within your immediate area? If there are only a few or none at all, then you have leverage, especially if there is a high demand for your specialty.
- Time it well. Is your hospital seeing an increase in clients? Are stocks going up? Is there a general atmosphere of growth within your organization? Now may be a good time to ask for a raise.
- Let others do the talking. Ask questions. Allow them to lay down their cards and find out where you can get the most leverage. Everyone has leverage; it is just a matter of usage and presentation. Listen and look for places where your skills can be used as bait and then take advantage.
- Take the direct approach. Sometimes negotiations take too long. Save time and just be straightforward. Ask how much money they have and tell them what you can do for that amount. For example, the offer is only 85% of your salary. Identify 85% of the tasks that you can do on the job that match the pay. This way both parties get equal reward.
- Concede strategically. There are situations when you just have to accept a lower offer. But if you do it the right way, you can still make gains. For instance, if you are seeking a 10% increase and are offered 5%, negotiate to earn 6% this year and another 6% in the coming year. The appraisal may be slow but you receive a higher amount compared to what you originally asked. That’s still a win.
- Say no. Not all negotiations have to work out. If you do not find a common ground, just say no. Provide a couple of good reasons behind your decision and end it there. However, if there is a chance to work something out, do not force it on the same session. Reschedule the meeting, allow some space, and take the time to consider what you think you are about to agree on.
Remember, you will not receive if you do not ask. Salary negotiation is called a negotiation because it goes both ways. You are allowed to ask for fair compensation and to walk away from bad offers. Know your worth and show confidence during your negotiation — that attitude alone will take you places.