workers negotiating

Salary Negotiation Advice for HR Job Seekers

If you’re an HR professional searching for a new job, you’re likely familiar with the hiring and interviewing processes. Despite having this insider knowledge, you may still be wary about one aspect of your job search: salary negotiation.

Negotiating your salary to ensure that you’re fairly compensated is a daunting task for any job seeker. To help your efforts, we’ve compiled a list of salary negotiation tips for HR candidates.


How to Negotiate a Fair HR Salary

There are a few things that you can do to effectively prepare for salary negotiations, including the following:

  • Do your research: If you’re going to enter negotiations over your salary offer, you need to know what salary you’re going to ask for. You can accomplish this by using salary comparison websites and narrowing down your search based on your location. You can also reach out to network contacts that may be willing to share their salary information with you. The more information you can gather, the more informed you will be on fair salaries for HR are in your area.


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  • Match your salary research to your situation: After you’ve gathered salary information that’s relevant to your desired HR role, it’s time to weigh that knowledge against your personal situation. Consider your years of experience, certification, roles, and past salary. Take this situational information and your research and settle on two numbers to take with you to your negotiation—your ideal number and your bottom-line number. Be sure to have your research to back up your requested amount, too.


  • Compile your research and prepare for negotiations: Concisely gather all your evidence so that you have it at your fingertips when you need it. You’ll want to include your salary research as well as justifications for why you’re asking for the amount that you are.

woman speaking to employer at desk


  • Be respectful during negotiations: No one likes to talk about money, so a salary negotiation can be tense for you and your prospective employer. Reiterate your excitement to work for the company and always be respectful—don’t be condescending or rude. Ask if there’s room to discuss the salary offer you’ve been presented. If the answer is yes, move forward with pitching your ideal salary number. Avoid giving a range you’d accept—it might give off the impression that you’re willing to negotiate, which could result in a lower number.


  • Ask for reasoning, if needed: If your negotiations aren’t working in your favor, consider asking the company to explain why they offered the amount they did. Chances are, they’ll be willing to explain that you may be eligible to receive additional bonuses, commissions, or other perks, which they’ve determined to be more practical than a larger base salary. Again, remember to remain respectful at all times.


  • Don’t be afraid to end negotiations if it’s not working out: Sometimes, you and your prospective employer won’t be able to strike a deal, and that’s okay. Be realistic about your situation—if it’s your only offer and it’s a reasonable salary (not a downright lowball offer) or if the company offers lots of other perks (e.g., flexible scheduling, unlimited PTO, etc.), it may make sense to accept the position. If the offer is extremely low or you know it won’t be a good fit, don’t be afraid to walk away.


Salary Negotiation Resources

Negotiating your salary can be daunting, but with careful preparation, it can be accomplished. Check out our free salary negotiation prep worksheet and these helpful salary negotiation email templates to get started. You can also access our salary research tool through your iHire account dashboard to browse salary ranges for career titles in your desired location.

By iHire | January 13, 2021
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