Same principles apply in salary negotiations as in any other negotiations. There are two equal parties aiming at finding a solution acceptable to both. Adequate preparation and a realistic salary requirement provide a good basis for successful salary negotiations.

Familiarize yourself with the employment contract, the personnel policy of your future employer and the basis of its pay policy, your industry’s collective agreement and our pay level survey (in Member Service) and, possibly, other earnings statistics and comparisons.

Analyse your responsibilities and your situation

  • Have you been given new and more demanding tasks and projects, or do you have more responsibilities?
  • Has your expertise deepened in some areas and how does it impact your work?
  • Have you contributed to better results, profitability or earnings?
  • How have you contributed to better collaboration in your workplace?
  • How have you contributed to the achievement of your company’s targets?
  • Do you work overtime a lot, if yes, is it compensated somehow?
  • What has been agreed upon? What are you rewarded for? What is the pay level of your position?
  • What are your set targets and have you been successful in achieving them?
  • Has there been any restructuring in your company and has it affected your job content?

Think about your personal development and aspirations

  • Do you have skills or knowledge that you cannot use in your work? Is your employer aware of them?
  • What kind of new tasks would you like to take hold of and what could you render to others?
  • Are you willing to take on more responsibility?
  • Think about the goals of your company, your unit and your position. How could you advance these even better?

Set a target to your salary negotiation

  • Set a target to your pay rise on the basis of your preparatory work and research.
  • Compare your situation to the overall salary development of your colleagues and your company.
  • Set the target level as well as your lowest acceptable level.
  • Think about other options if you cannot reach your target levcl. A training course, possibility to participate in mentoring or more flexible working hours could also have monetary value for you.
  • Plan your reasoning and make sure it’s in line with your employer’s needs.
  • Think about the benefits of your pay rise to your employer and prepare for possible counter-arguments as well.
  • Put your targets, alternative options and reasoning in writing.

Checklist for salary negotiations

  • Describe briefly your work and your responsibilities.
  •  Explain how you have reached your targets and developed in your work.  
  • Explain how your development and your performance has benefitted your employer.
  • Describe your own targets.
  • Listen to your employer’s views on your contribution and performance.
  • Pay attention also to those issues which your employer does not comment.
  • When you have agreed upon your job description and your achievements, present your salary request.
  • Justify your request in objective terms, do not refer to your personal finance.
  • If needed, provide reference data of similar companies and the industry in general.
  • If you cannot agree, ask your employer for possible solutions. Present your alternative options as well.
  • Establish the end result together and file it in writing so that both parties are full aware of what has been agreed.
  • In the end, evaluate the dialogue and its results.

Read more on our Paranna palkkaasi (Guide to Better Pay, in Finnish)