In this article, Quincy Larson talks about how to negotiate for salary increases:
Your goal is to even the playing field as much as possible. One important way to do this is to take this real-time, in-person salary negotiation and switch it over to email.
Email has two advantages: it gives you written documentation of their offers, which makes it harder for the employer to rescind them (“Oh, John didn’t have the authority to make an offer that high.”) But more importantly, it gives you space to research their numbers, and even use the offer they just gave you as leverage to secure a higher-paying offer elsewhere.
He points out that recruiters will want to anchor your salary expectations by immediately asking what you are currently getting paid. This trick of anchoring means you will be restricted to, at best, a 10% increase over your current salary if you give the recruiter a number. If you don’t give a number, then you have room to negotiate the salary during the interview and job offer process, you will be able to negotiate with a manager or executive rather than with the recruiter.
As Mr Larson says,
Remember — you have this information. They don’t. Your current salary and your expected salary are basically the only informational advantage you have in price negotiation.
The most important advice is this:
There is almost always room to negotiate upward.
You can use government data on salaries to help you negotiate, and you should at least do some research:
Some companies pay better than others. Netflix is famous for paying its developers well above market rates, for example. So be sure to calibrate your offer against the salaries of other people at the same company, in the same position. You can use a tool like GlassDoor for this, but there’s a much more objective way to go about doing this: search data directly from the US Department of Labor.
Wait, the US government shares data about how much companies are paying their individual employees? In the case of employees who come to the US on an H1-B work visas, the answer is yes. Employers are obligated to publish these figures.
And some genius put all the data into one big searchable database of more than 1.6 million salaries. You can search by company, city, and job title. It’s free, and even has charts and filtering options.