Salary negotiation doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it’s a crucial part of the job search. The bottom line is, failing to barter for the salary you deserve puts you on the back foot financially while you remain employed by that business. And with energy skills in high-demand at the moment, professionals in the sector have an opportunity to ensure they are being paid what they’re worth.

Here are a few of our negotiation tips for energy professionals looking to walk out of the interview process with their desired salary.

Don’t wait until the interview to bring up pay

One crucial tip in today’s economy is to bring the conversation up as early on in the hiring stage as possible. It’s all too common to see jobs advertised with no clear indication of salary – despite the clear demand from candidates for this information.

In reality, a job may sound perfect but without a clear idea of the pay on offer you could be wasting your time vying for a position that’s lower paid and less likely to be a step-up for your career. Asking for an idea of the salary on offer ahead of an interview will put you in a better position to not only know if the employer’s pay offer is in line with your expectations, but also ensure you’re not wasting your time. If a firm has seen your CV and invited you in for a job interview, don’t be afraid to ask (politely of course) what the role is likely to pay.

Think beyond the starting salary

It is important to also consider what other perks you can access if you were to get the job before you start negotiating for a higher salary. While a position might not be in the pay bracket you were hoping, is the employer offering you a bonus package that’s better than your current one? Are there benefits such as private healthcare, gym memberships, childcare vouchers or discount schemes on offer?

If you add up the costs of these benefits and they outweigh the gap in salary expectations you initially had in mind, it’s worth rethinking your approach to the negotiation in the interview. On the flip side, if there are no additional benefits and the negotiation process grinds to a halt, bring up the topic of additional benefits as a means of alternative compensation.

Have a benchmark to work from

When negotiating pay during a job interview, you’ll face two key barriers: your current salary and a lack of transparency around remuneration in the company. It’s difficult to tell if the base salary being offered has been informed by the pay you’re currently on or not. It’s also hard to know if the compensation package on offer is the same as the person who previously held that position.

While in an ideal world, fair salary offers would be the norm, when looking to negotiate with hiring managers it helps to come armed with a benchmark of expectations. Having data from a trusted source that shows what a particular role pays on average across the industry and geography they operate in will help you present a stronger argument. Our salary checker tool, for example, can help you gain a more accurate insight into what your peers are being paid in similar positions.

Stay confident

Negotiating isn’t a skill we all develop naturally so it can feel uncomfortable, particularly during an in-person interview which already may be daunting. However, it’s important to hold your ground during this stage. If you’ve done your research in advance, you have the evidence to support your argument and you walked into the meeting with a clear idea of your own worth, stick to your guns.

Backing down quickly from a negotiation suggests you are under-valuing your own skills and could have a detrimental impact on your prospects in the job search. That’s not to say you should continue to negotiate when a clear stale-mate has developed. If there’s no clear resolution at that time, don’t be afraid to walk away from the conversation or move the topic along with a clear indication that you would like to continue this discussion further down the line. It’s a fine line between appearing overly financially motivated and undervaluing yourself, so take a balanced approach to these discussions.

Consider the first offer – but don’t be pressured to accept!

So, you’ve made it through the job interview stage, you’ve negotiated on salary and they’ve come back with a job offer with a higher salary – should you accept it? While this will largely be driven by how much the pay has increased and how difficult the negotiation process was, it is advisable to take your time and seriously consider the offer being made.

Being too eager and jumping at the offer could mean missing out on a higher salary. Take a moment to discuss with those around you who you trust. And if you do feel it’s appropriate to challenge the offer, do so in a polite and professional manner. Re-iterating that you would really like to work for the company, but were hoping for a different offer will help move the discussion along without creating any tension.

If you do decide that the offer isn’t right for you and you’d rather continue with your job search, remember to also end things on a positive note in case an opportunity comes up again in the future.

Negotiating pay isn’t always easy, but by following our tips above, energy professionals will be in a strong position to get the salary they deserve.

Our salary checker tool will be launched over the upcoming weeks and will provide you with the chance to do just that – stay tuned and subscribe to find out more!