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“Be smart and ahead when negotiating for a salary”

Salary Negotiation is a nerve-wracking experience. You are nervous about asking for more, while on the other hand the employer is eager to fill the position with the right person for an affordable price.

Nevertheless, don’t settle for less!

You must negotiate. Understand that this is a business transaction where you are selling your experience and skills for the best price.

On Friday, Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR Firm in Nairobi held a forum to give a better and more professional perspective on this matter. The forum was titled “How to Successfully Negotiate For A Salary”

Ms. Carolyne Kariuki, a Senior Recruiter from the firm lead the free event that saw attendance from professionals in various job industries. The career event was aimed at helping professionals navigate salary negotiations  during job interviews.

How much does one quote during a job interview?

According to Carolyne, there are 4 crucial factors that inform the salary  you mention at any interview;

1. Current/Previous Salary

“Your current or previous salary should always inform what you are going get. Base your negotiation on a mathematical level, you can do a 15-20% increase of your net salary and from that you can be able to quote what your expected is”, she said.

She also advised the professionals to differentiate between net and gross pay especially where deductions are included

“Read through the job description or employment to understand the terms of the job. It provides a platform to negotiate for better terms”, she added.

 2. Scope of Work

The job description will inform you on how much the position is likely to pay. Go through the responsibilities and see what is expected of you and ensure that your skills match what is outlined.

“Do not take a job that pays less yet you are taking on a lot of responsibilities. That is considered to be an underpayment”, advised Carolyne

3.  Experience Level

As an experienced recruitment expert, Carolyne noted that employers are more keen on the experience than the academic qualifications.

This means that your level of experience will most likely determine the amount of salary you are going to get.

“You cannot have a year of experience and be asking for a salary of 100K, it beats logic. At the same time do not sell yourself short, if you are competent ask for a salary that fits your level of experience”, she advised the professionals.

4.  Market Rate

Ms. Kariuki told the professionals that this is very crucial especially when conducting research. The job market is ever changing,  especially with the economy and new trends coming up.

“Do your research and see what the position pays in that job industry. Ensure your qualifications match what is on trend in that industry”, she added

She also advised them to always be factual when negotiating for a salary and have any commitment or agreement with an employer written on paper.

“Always initiate the terms and have everything in writing. It is easier to negotiate for the salary before you join the company”, said Carolyne.

After the presentation, Carolyne engaged the audience in an exhaustive Q&A session.

Finally, the event came to a close and the professionals enjoyed refreshments and they networked and got to interact with the Corporate Staffing Services team.

I spoke to a few of the professionals after the event; here are their sentiments;

“The forum has  really helped me.  I got a lot of insights and realized that I have been selling myself short when it comes to negotiating for a salary. With all these guidelines I am ready to put them into practice during my next in interview”- Claire Owegi, Receptionist

It was a very interactive session. I have made the mistake of over quoting when asked about my salary expectations which cost me a job. I have learnt that research is important because it helps me identify what offers are there in the job market”- Anthony Kairu, Accountant

“It was appropriate, highly needed and interesting. It has opened my eyes and thoughts. I have been out of the job market for long, now I have the confidence to apply for jobs. I have also learn what to expect during interviews and how I can navigate certain questions”- Consolata Nyamboki, Executive Personal Assistant