Salary Negotiations and Expectations for Candidates

Salary Negotiations and Expectations for Candidates

Money really does make the world go round, especially once you avail yourself as a new job seeker.

There are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to salary negotiations and it is my belief that when you adhere to the following guidelines you will walk out of the interview with a big smile and a satisfactory bank balance.

1.  Don’t talk money too early.

Once you have met with the recruitment consultant, you should have a good idea what the client is offering salary wise. Make sure to “close to the no” with the consultant. This means that you negotiate a salary with him/her to the lowest number that you will accept. This will usually be discussed as a NETT value with all other benefits taken into consideration. Once you meet with the client, the Recruiter would have discussed this with the client. However, it is imperative that you do not discuss salary with the client, as the client might be willing to pay more than you are asking for. The Recruiter is a trained negotiator and should be trusted to handle this for you.

2.  Research the position that you are applying for.

Any candidate in the job market should spend time researching the positions they are seeking by using tools like to determine the going rate for similar positons. But, it is also important to take into consideration that this may vary from company to company regarding size, whether the company is listed, benefits and location.

3.  Take variables into consideration.

Once again I want to reiterate discussing the NETT salary with your recruiter – this being the salary that you want to take home after ALL deductions. Remember that any prospective employer will be including many variables into the salary such as: Promised increases, Expense Coverage, Overtime, Yearly bonus etc. In order for you to make sure you will accept the position based on salary, it is of utmost importance to let the recruiter know what you need to take home/clear in your bank balance at the end of the month. This way, you will know that even with all bonuses etc., you will still take home the initial amount discussed in the interview.

4.  Be realistic when it comes to salary when moving jobs.

I meet many candidates on a daily basis that want to jump from a salary of R16 000.00 per month to a salary of R28 000.00 per month. This is unrealistic. You need to keep in mind that the prospective employer will look at your current salary, experience, qualifications and future growth within their company when making an offer. When your main motivation for moving jobs is salary, alarm bells goes off in my head as a recruiter. Always communicate to the prospective employer the need for growth, the need to gain industry experience or the need to improve yourself, as a motivation to change jobs. In the long run this will have a direct impact on your back pocket.

 5.  Validate why your prospective employer should pay you the salary you want by doing the following:

  • Explain to them where you have saved money for your previous company?
  • What systems and procedures have you implemented that saved them time or reduced costs?
  • What new clients have you brought on board and how did you do it.

The above is essential in validating your experience and knowledge.


Salary negotiations starts the moment you apply for the job. However, by using the above tools, you will do it in such a way that the prospective employer is not threatened by your expectations and you will be smiling all the way to the bank – guaranteed!

Should you wish to apply for a job, please send your C’V to:

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