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Know how to approach salary negotiation when applying for jobs in Canada

Salary negotiation is a touchy subject. Most job seekers are still unclear about the best practices for negotiating their salary. As a newcomer to Canada, the subject can be even more intimidating. You’re new to the country and may be unfamiliar with common job search practices. Many people fear that if they ask for more money they will miss out on the job. Others may immediately accept a job without knowing you have the option to negotiate your salary and other aspects of your job. 

Negotiating your salary in Canada is common. It’s part of the hiring process. So, you shouldn’t shy away from the topic. As with other aspects of the job search process, there is a time and place for everything. There will be some jobs where there is no room for negotiation. As well, there are certain times when it is better to discuss money with your potential employer.

Here are some specific actions, tips, and advice for when an how to negotiate your salary in Canada. 

Can You Negotiate Your Salary In Canada?

Let’s get the most important piece of information out of the way first. You can absolutely negotiate your salary when applying for jobs in Canada. A job offer is just that – an offer. You can negotiate all aspects of it, including your salary. This applies to entry-level positions as well. However, you usually have less wiggle room for these types of positions because these jobs are easier to fill. 

Why Should You Negotiate Your Salary?

It’s simple – the people who negotiate their salary make more than those who do not. Employers do not usually put their best offer up first. There is often wiggle room. 

Learn all about how to find a job in Canada

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Canadian Style Resume: Is it Necessary?

Working in Canada: A 5-Step Approach

How To Approach Salary Negotiation in Canada

If you are going to negotiate your salary, you need to approach it the right way by taking these actions:

Research the Salary Range for Similar Positions in Your Industry

Learn how much other companies pay for a similar position. Research the employer’s compensation structure. Find out how much people are paid for similar job titles or your level of experience. 

Use website such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and job boards such as Indeed to get this information.

Speak with Other Professionals

You can ask around to see what other people are say about the hiring practices of the company that you are planning on negotiating with.  This will give you an idea of how receptive they are to the idea of negotiating salary.  

Be Ready to Explain Why You Deserve More Money

If you plan to ask for a higher salary, expect the employer to ask you to justify why you should get more money. Have several well thought out reasons for why you should have a higher salary.  For example, your knowledge of different languages could be a great asset for a global company.

Expect a Counter Offer

If the employer is willing to negotiate, have a clear salary in mind. You should also expect them to counter your offer. They may offer you more but not as much as you are asking for. Don’t forget you can also negotiate more than just money. If they are not willing to budge on the salary you can ask for other things such as more vacation time or paid sick days. 

Things to Avoid When Negotiating Your Salary In Canada

Here are some important pointers to keep in mind. Avoid doing the following as part of the negotiation process:

Ask Before You Receive an Offer

The timing of your negotiations is important.  Ideally, you should wait until you have received a formal offer in writing.  You should also feel free to ask for some time to consider the offer to formulate your salary request.

Focus Only on the Money

It can be very easy to get yourself into a mindset where you are only thinking about salary. Salary is important but it is not the only thing. Consider the possibility of a signing bonus, commission, and other forms of compensation as part of your job offer package. 

salary negotiation
Other things to negotiate on top of or in addition to salary

Show Your Hand

Don’t reveal your bottom-line number or you will lose your leverage in the negotiation. Know your worth and do not be afraid to ask for it. Employers will respect this. Your offer will not disappear because you want to negotiate. In most cases, the worst thing that will happen is they will say no to your request for a higher salary. 

Salary negotiations can be intimidating, but they are necessary if you want to be paid what you are worth. It’s also a common practice in the hiring process in Canada. So if you don’t try to negotiate salary, you could be leaving money on the table.

For information, tools, FREE webinars, and more visit our Finding a Job in Canada resource page. Get the help you need to achieve your career goals in Canada!