Is It Common to Negotiate Salary in Canada?

Job offers don’t come as often as we’d like to believe. Thus, when you finally get that job offer, and the salary isn’t up to what you want, you may think twice about negotiating the salary. This is a situation that many people in Canada find themselves in. So, is it common to negotiate salary in Canada?

Negotiating salary isn’t very common in Canada, but that doesn’t mean it’s unavailable. But negotiations are sometimes necessary, which means you need to know how to do it and what to avoid.

No matter how nice it might be to get a job offer, settling for a salary that doesn’t reflect your true worth will affect how you do the job. This is why we discuss salary negotiations and how to do it to get the best salary.

Can You Negotiate Salary in Canada?

Salary negotiations aren’t common in Canada. As statistics reveal, only a minority of workers tried negotiating the salary on their last job offer. However, it isn’t entirely a rarity, given that 34% did it. Thus, if you’re uncomfortable with the salary offered, you can negotiate it. 

How to Negotiate Salary

Salary negotiations can be complex. It’s usually dicey, considering you might end up not getting the job. But a good negotiation focuses on achieving a positive result for everyone. But, of course, you can only do this when you know how to negotiate.

Here’s how to negotiate your salary successfully

1. Research Ahead

Before going into any negotiation, make sure you’re fully familiar with the job and the organization. Find out valuable information about the field, your responsibilities, and how much someone doing your job will earn within that organization, in the city, province, or country. That’ll help you greatly during negotiations.

You can find this information using resources such as job reports, talking to former employees, salary calculators, trade or business magazines, etc.

A good website that you can find information like salaries is

2. Show That You Can Help the Company Achieve Its Goals

Salary negotiation is an opportunity to pitch yourself to the potential employer all over again. Thus, it would be best if you built your case to show you’re worth the amount you’re asking for. Show the potential employer clear examples of how you can help them achieve their goals with your skills and experience.

You need to show a reason why you should earn the amount you’re asking for. The best way to do this is with what you’ve in skills, certifications, strengths, etc., that directly affect the company performance. You can also mention your previous accomplishments.

3. Negotiate The Whole Package

Flexibility is key to every negotiation because it’s about compromise. You can show your flexibility by focusing on the whole remuneration package instead of only the wages. Suggest alternatives to increased monetary compensation.

Such alternatives include stock options, bonuses, holidays, professional development sponsorship, health benefits, education allowance, college loans repayment, etc. Doing this gives more room to negotiate and a better opportunity to reach an agreement that benefits everyone.

4. Ask For More Than You Want

Negotiation is simply corporate bargaining. No one gets what they initially ask for. Therefore, you shouldn’t ask for what you want exactly but aim a little higher. That way, after all the negotiations, you can reach an agreement that you’ll be happy with. Usually, you have an idea of the range of what you want. When negotiating your salary, start with the highest number in the range, allowing your potential employer to reduce it.

Generally, you shouldn’t accept the first offer you receive. This is because such an offer will usually fall within the employer’s low range. There is always room, no matter how little, for negotiations.

5. Don’t Discuss Personal Needs

When negotiating your salary, base your negotiations on your skills, experience, and merit. Don’t talk about your personal circumstances and needs. This may give an impression that you’re playing the sympathy card. While this may sway some potential employers, most will find it disdainful and may lead to them withdrawing the offer.

6. Be Willing to Walk Away 

The essence of salary negotiation is to arrive at a salary that is equal to your worth. Therefore, you must be ready for the possibility that the employer might not be able to pay what you’re worth. Therefore, set a minimum amount you can receive, and if the employer can’t pay it, simply turn down their offer.

Even when rejecting their offer, always be professional and polite. Don’t threaten to walk away. Instead, explain your value and contributions. If they can’t go higher, politely decline. Although rejecting a job offer might be difficult, it’s better than being paid less than you’re worth. 

7. Take Your Time

Many people make the mistake of accepting or rejecting a job offer immediately. However, even after negotiating and receiving a final offer, you shouldn’t rush into making a decision. Unless it isn’t financially viable, in which case you can reject it outright, you should take your time.

No matter how good the offer is, you should take at least a day to consider your option before accepting. The employer shouldn’t pressure you into deciding immediately, and if an employer tries that, it could be a red flag.

Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Salary

When negotiating your salary, you should avoid the following errors that could derail negotiations or prevent you from getting what you want.

  • Telling the potential employer your ideal salary before knowing whether you’re the right candidate
  • Demanding for too many changes 
  • Accepting the first offer
  • Not getting a job offer in writing (relying on verbal agreement)
  • Extended negotiations

In Conclusion

Negotiating for a better salary might be difficult, but you should do it where necessary. It allows you to restate your value to the employer and get the salary you’re worth. Your goal in salary negotiation should be to get the best deal for yourself. It’s important to know that the employer will pay as little as possible. Therefore, be professional, prepared, and focused throughout the negotiation.

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