Prices are going up. How much should your salary increase?

“There are a number of economic factors that are relevant to thinking about salary negotiations right now,” said Linda Babcock, an economics professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Coupled with rising inflation, nationwide labor shortages (there are now nearly two jobs available for every job seeker) have given workers “much more bargaining power than they’ve traditionally had in weaker labor markets,” he said.

With that in mind, here’s how experts suggest you handle salary negotiations in today’s market:

Recruiters are tackling the salary question much earlier these days.

“What’s really accelerated in the last couple of months is employers asking candidates very early in the process what their salary expectations are… Early on, maybe the first interview or the selection interview, it’s something that I see happening a lot more than I used to,” said Kate Dixon, CEO and founder of Dixon Consulting.

But just because they ask, doesn’t mean you have to give a number.

Dixon recommends saying something like, “Without knowing more about the job and its total rewards, it’s hard for me to give you a firm number right now. What is the hiring range for the position?”

Keep in mind that many states and cities have passed laws that prohibit employers from asking about salary history, and there are some laws that require companies to provide salary ranges in certain situations.

Prices are going up…so how much should your salary be?

If you have an offer and the salary is less than what you expected to make, don’t be shy about negotiating, just make sure you do your homework first.

“There’s more leverage, there’s a labor shortage, companies need good employees, and with inflation, it’s justified to ask for more,” said Rellie Derfler-Rozin, associate professor of management and organization at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. from the University of Maryland. “There is room to negotiate. The key part is preparation.”

Several factors must be factored into a salary figure, including typical compensation for someone in your role, industry and location, the unique skills and value you will bring to the company, and economic conditions such as inflation and the job market.

“It’s really important to be well calibrated. You don’t want to go in and ask too little, but you certainly don’t want to ask too much so that it’s not believable,” Babcock said.

Online job sites, including Glassdoor and Payscale, can help you find the pay range for someone in a similar position in the industry, but talking directly to others in the field can also be helpful.

“I encourage people to go beyond what they find on the web,” said Derfler-Rozin. “If you know people who have worked there or in a similar place, try to have an informal conversation with them and get their advice. People are generally more willing to help and guide. than we actually anticipated.

This is what happens when salary is actually included in job offers

While inflation may be part of your reason for negotiating higher pay, Derfler-Rozin said it shouldn’t be the central argument. Instead, she said to focus more on her unique abilities and values.

After showing enthusiasm for the offer, he recommended saying something like, “I hope we can discuss something that appropriately reflects the value I’m bringing to the company based on my past performance, skills, and education. Also, of course, taking into account factors like like the location cost of living and rising inflation.

When you don’t want to go to the office every day

Negotiating full or partial remote work is likely to be much easier as the pandemic has forced many companies to send their workers home to work.

If you’re looking for a flexible work schedule, Dixon recommended emphasizing how the arrangement benefits the company.

Dixon suggested saying something like, “In the last few years, I’ve found that working remotely really increases my productivity, so I’d love to spend two days at home and three days in the office. How does that land?”

But if being able to work remotely is a must for you, don’t wait to mention it until you have an offer.

“More employers are honest about it: ‘This is a fully remote role,’ or ‘This is a hybrid role,'” Dixon added.

To ask about work hours early on, he suggested saying something like, “I’m happy to talk to you about the position. Given the way I like to work, I’m only considering hybrid or fully remote opportunities. Can you tell me how the organization see that?”

Get that ring of light

While working from home allows you to avoid the commute, it does require some equipment, which can be expensive.

“It’s certainly reasonable to have a good camera, a lighting system, a chair, a printer, whatever they would buy you if you were in the office. It’s a reasonable thing to ask for that,” Babcock said.

You can ask if the company provides a stipend to work from home. And if they don’t, Babcock suggested creating a spreadsheet of projected items and costs he expects to incur to set up his home office.

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