How to properly respond to a low salary offer (Tips to negotiate a higher salary) 

Picture this: You go through a string of interviews for a position that you are truly excited for. The role is perfect, and the culture is inviting, but the salary offered is way below what you expected. At this point you might feel like the whole interview process was a waste of time since you cannot afford to accept a lowball offer. Yet, if you approach the situation from the right angle, you can turn it around and get both the perfect role and your desired salary. Here is how to properly respond to a low salary offer, and negotiate for a higher paycheck. 

  1. Ask for time to consider the offer 

Do not turn down that offer right away. Instead ask for time to consider it. This gives you a chance to research and make a case for negotiating a higher salary. Search for salary ranges of the position that you applied for in websites like Glassdoor or Indeed, and pinpoint where you fall within those ranges. Make sure you consider your experience, skills, and geographical location. After doing your research, set a range that you are willing to accept with the lowest number being a salary that you feel comfortable accepting without being forced to look for other jobs while employed. 

  1. Negotiate a higher salary  

Hopefully, after doing your research you have enough proof to explain that you are the best fit for the role and that your professional value is equivalent to the salary that you are asking for. Be truthful but respectful while you negotiate for a higher salary. Start by indicating that the salary offered is below your expectations, follow by presenting your data and reasoning for a higher salary, and close your argument with your desired salary range. A good employer will listen to your argument and reconsider a higher salary if your reasoning is sound. 

  1. Be ready for a response 

Employers give lowball offers due to a multitude of reasons. The two most common are that they expect candidates to give a counter offer, or the department where the role is needed does not have enough of a budget. The response to your argument is dependent on these circumstances. If the employer was expecting a counteroffer, your salary expectations will probably be accepted, and you will receive a matching offer letter. If the employer lacks the budget, they might not be able to match your expected salary. In this case you have two options. You can decline the offer and move on or negotiate an increase in benefits to match your expected salary. Perhaps the employer can offer you more vacation time, a better healthcare plan, or a sign in bonus; whatever it is make sure it will be sufficient to keep you engaged and satisfied.  

Bonus Tip: Work with a recruiting firm like ISGF 

The advantage of working with a recruiter is that you can forget about negotiating salaries or receiving lowball offers. In your first interactions, your recruiter will ask for your salary expectations and will use that information to negotiate in your behalf. ISGF recruiters are known to negotiate an average 18% increase on salaries, so you can rest assured that your professional value and skills are being considered. Last, ISGF recruiters are always open to communication, so if your salary expectations change you can just give them a call and they will match you with jobs that meet your preferences. 

As you can see, if you know how to properly respond to a low salary offer; it is possible to persuade employers into meeting your expectations. Be sure to always have a response supported by data, and to consider what else the employer has to offer before making a final decision. If you want more tips on salary negotiation, make sure you read our other blog post on How to answer “What are your salary expectations?”.

Written by

Jose Caceres

Marketing Manager

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