You know that negotiation is one of my favorite things – especially when you’re switching companies! A job transition is the perfect time to negotiate your salary up. When it comes to a successful salary negotiation, one of the most important things you can do is salary research. Take the time to find out what a competitive salary is for your new role, and for particular companies.
Especially in the corporate world, different companies pay very differently for the same position. Even within a company, pay can vary significantly. Companies use pay bands to determine how much employees may make. It may not sound like a big deal, but some positions have pay bands that span a range of $50K or more. In theory, you will be paid more for more experience and more education. In reality, these things do matter – but, so does your ability to negotiate.
You may wonder where to begin your salary research. There are many different sources online where you can do salary research – too many to cover here. I will touch on just a few that will be the best sources of information for beginning your salary research – including a new way to research salary that rolls out later this week!
Glassdoor has two options for salary research. The first is researching what a particular company pays for a certain role. In other words, search for a company that you like – by name. Then, enter a location (or you can leave location blank) and select the dropdown for “Salary.”
This simple search will give you a list of different roles at the company, and the pay range for each. You should search through the list to find jobs that are the most similar to the one you hope to interview for. Notice that each job will have both a pay range (shown as min and max), and the number of people who have reported their salary. Glassdoor provides self-reported data, so the data coming out is only as good as the data going in. Honestly though, the data going in appears to be pretty solid.
Their second option for salary research is a tool called the Know Your Worth Tool. It allows you to track your value over time, compared to the others in your area.
Salary.com has been around for years, but still provides basic salary information that can be helpful to your search. The site allows you to search by job title and city or zip code.
It provides a bell curve that will share with you what people with your title are making on average – and at the top and bottom ends of the curve. You can also compare base salary to base and bonus.
Because Salary.com isn’t industry or company specific, the data provided can be a bit vague, but I would argue that it’s still a decent data point to collect during your salary research.
You may never have thought much about it before, but Indeed also offers salary data. When you visit their site, click the “Find Salaries” tab. You will be taken to a screen where you can search by job title or company. If you search by job title, you’re taken to a second screen where you can narrow down your results by city and company. If you search by company, you will be taken to a screen where you can narrow it down based on job title within that company. Indeed provides a range, similar to both Glassdoor.com and Salary.com.
Today, you can find estimated salaries on LinkedIn by clicking on the “Jobs” tab and then clicking the link for “LinkedIn Salary.” You can search both by job title and by city. LinkedIn provides a range for both median base salary and median total compensation. And, you can narrow the results down by industry and years of experience.
But, even better than this — LinkedIn is adding a new feature to their site this week that will allow you to access the salary for a specific job posting you’re interested in. They want to help bring more transparency to conversations about salary. You know that I love this.
Here’s how the new “Salary Insights” will work. For many (but not all) jobs, you will begin to see a salary for each job posting. It will be listed as either “Expected” salary or “Estimated” salary. Expected is the salary that is provided by the company. Expected salary is LinkedIn’s estimate based on other data they have that matches the title, company, and location.
This new feature goes live later this week. Try it, and let me know what you think! I’m so excited to see increased pay transparency as part of the application process.
Salary Research Summary
Your ability to negotiate for the best salary will be determined by the hard work you put in to research what you’re worth. But, lucky for all of us, this process is getting easier and easier! The more salary research you do, the more likely you are to be able to ask for what’s fair. And, that’s all we really need, right? To be paid fairly, and to be treated with respect – those two things are key!
Good luck with your salary research! Let me know what you think about these methods.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.