Tips for Salary Negotiations from Carmen, Associate HR Business Partner - DC12

Hear from Carmen, Associate Human Resources Business Partner - DC12 at PetSmart on negotiating a salary when considering or within your role.

One of the many questions that Recruiters get from their family and friends is how one goes about negotiating a salary. This could be a hard thing to think about. There’s a ton of questions and I want to provide some insight that I’ve used personally to reduce anxiety when it comes to discussing salary. For starters, remember what a negotiation is ... simply a discussion. It doesn’t have to be this intense battle of control if you don’t make it out to be.


“Negotiation is simply a discussion.”

Ultimately figure out what’s important to you.

Anytime someone asks me for general career advice or interviewing someone for one of my open positions, I ask them to tell me their Top 3. What three things are important to you when choosing your next position? Sometimes money isn’t everything. For me, choosing a company that matched many of my core values like integrity, stewardship & community, and treating people well, was at the top of my list. Also, health care benefits and having the time/flexibility to use those benefits are important. I’m not going to lie, salary is very important to me as well, I’ve had jobs that offered a great salary, but I dreaded going to work every day and eventually I had to leave because they didn’t meet the other things that were important. Take the time to really assess your Top 3 and let that lead you when applying for a new role.

How do I know how much to ask for?

This is a genuine concern, especially if you’re interviewing for your first real job out of school or making a career change. Luckily, there are tons of resources available for you use to online like GlassDoor, Indeed, and Payscale to search market salaries for similar job titles and level of experience. Simply googling, “market salary for Corporate Recruiter in Phoenix” or whatever position you’re applying for will give you some insight into what companies are paying in your area.

Also, leverage your network. When I was fresh out of school, I connected with family, friends, or classmates that graduated before me or worked in similar roles to get an idea of what they were making.

Keep in mind that every company is different and has varying budgets, initiatives and company culture when it comes to salary. Consider the industry that the company is in, how the company is performing financially, and if they can meet the requirements you’re looking for. Which leads me to my next point.

How do you know if you are being undervalued? How do we determine the line between asking for too little/too much money?

Don’t get into the habit or mindset of accepting whatever is available because you need a job. Consider the size of the company, market value from research and compare to your level of experience. A common thing I see from fresh grads is often their level of experience doesn’t match what they’re looking for. So be mindful of what you bring to the table to be able to determine your worth.

How do you approach asking for more money in a respectful way?

Come with facts and figures. It makes it easier for the recruiter/hiring manager to approach the decision maker to justify an increase. Also, be sure that you’re including the value of other benefits like PTO, healthcare, being able to work from home, cost of living, etc. While some companies may have budget restrictions they can make up for the total package in other ways.

What are some final DOs and DON’Ts of negotiation?

• Do your research and have a story around why you’re asking for the salary you're after • Don’t be afraid to talk about salary. Be confident and shoot for a win/win situation • Don’t wait to the last minute to bring up questions around salary, be upfront with your request and try to get a complete understanding of what is being offered