Do you know your value to a potential employer? In this fiercely competitive hiring market, it’s probably more than you think. Read on for tips on how to negotiate the pay rate you deserve.

In this fiercely competitive, candidate-friendly hiring market, job seekers have the upper hand. When you’re interviewing for a new role, you’re in a powerful position to negotiate a competitive wage, plus great benefits to boot.

So how do you go about getting the best hourly rate? Here are our top tips:

1. know your market value

Research the going rate for your role before the interview. This gives you extra ammunition when it comes to discussing pay. Our salary charts compare wages by job title and city, so you can find out how much you might expect to earn across different industries and locations.

Remember to factor in your years of experience and any specialized skills that may be in high demand. These can boost your pay, especially if an employer has been struggling to fill a post.

2. arm yourself with data

Backing up your pay request with hard facts about cost of living increases can also strengthen your negotiation position. Inflation in the US hit 8.5% in March 2022, a 40-year high. Though it’s expected to ease, inflation is unlikely to drop below 6% by the end of 2022.

Be sure to combine this information with how much you value the organization and the contributions you can make. You could also ask whether the company offers cost of living raises as part of the contract. Employers, particularly in the public sector, increasingly recognize this as a way to retain and incentivize staff.

3. factor in perks and benefits

In a 2018 Randstad survey, 66% of employees said strong benefits packages and perks were the largest determining factors when accepting a job offer. The same holds true today. Some employers may be more willing to offer extra benefits in place of a higher wage. Paid vacation, flexible working hours, retirement savings contributions and health insurance all add value to your overall package. They may also come at a lower cost to your employer.

Are training and professional development opportunities important to you? Ask whether there’s funding available and talk about how your enhanced skills would benefit the employer.

4. rehearse your lines

Channel your inner performer and prepare what you’re going to say and how you’re going to deliver it. It’s best to practice in front of a trusted friend (ideally someone with hiring experience) and to go over your speech a few times so you sound confident and natural. Remember to smile!

5. choose the right moment

Rather than diving straight into pay discussions at the start of the interview, spend time carefully answering questions and emphasizing your expertise first. Once you’ve convinced your prospective employer your skills are invaluable, you’ll be in a stronger position to negotiate. You may also want to wait until there’s a job offer on the table — now you know the employer is keen to hire you, the power is in your hands.

Ready to put your newfound pay negotiation skills into practice? Check out our job board for exciting opportunities in your area.