Shanna Landlot, the president of The Landolt Group and "Secrets from a Headhunter" has some tips for those who are looking to work out their salary or ask for a raise.

1) Know what you are worth: Almost all roles have “salary bands” or a range that is typical for that job. If you aren’t sure what people make with your education and experience, ask a recruiter that specializes in your field. Or go to websites like, and

2) Show your value: Before you ask for a raise, take some time to make sure that your employer is aware of your value. Inform your boss when you have had a "win" or have done something good. Don’t assume that he or she will automatically know what you are contributing.

3) Timing is key: Make sure that your boss is having a good day. It is easy to be thinking about yourself and your nerves when you are asking for a raise. If your boss seems to be distracted or is having a bad day, hold off and ask another time.

4) Be specific: Don’t ask for a round number like $85,000; instead ask for a very specific number like $85,279. Researchers at Columbia Business School say that precise first offers are seen as more informed and your employer will assume that you’ve done extensive research into your market value to arrive at that number.

5) Be willing to compromise: Whenever you suggest a salary range that you are open to, you are usually thinking the high end of that range, but the hiring company is usually thinking at the bottom of that range. Make sure that you would be truly wiling to accept the low end. For example; If you say “I’m open to $110K-120K, the employer will usually offer 110K. It then becomes harder to negotiate because you already said that you were okay with that range. It is better have a smaller, more precise range, like “I’m open to $114,379 to $119,243”.

6) Change: Sometimes the best way to get a raise is to change companies. When the economy is healthy it is typical to see an 8-10 per cent increase when you change companies. When you stay with your current company a 3 per cent increase is common. For example, people who have worked for 3 companies over a 10-year period usually make more than people who have worked at the same company for 10 years. It’s okay to change companies every 3-5 years as long as you are getting a promotion with each change.

7) Right amount: Remember that companies will also have to take into account what other employees at their organization are making who have similar education backgrounds and experience. If you ask for more than market value, make sure you are willing to walk away.

8) Push: A recruiter’s job isn’t to get you the best offer; it is to get you a fair offer. Remember, the client company is paying the bill. If you want more money you may have to push the recruiter to see how high their client is willing to go.

9) Other perks: There are also non-financial perks such as Friday afternoons off in the summer or Christmas shutdown, flex hours, the ability to work from home a day or two a week, free food and onsite gym or yoga classes. It’s harder to attach a monetary value to these perks, but you should definitely factor them in the total value of your package.

10) Here are some things you can negotiate if you can’t get the company to budge on base salary:

  • Ask for your medical and dental benefits to start immediately. Have the company waive the 3-month probationary period. Most companies will say yes to this.
  • Extra vacation. Especially if you were expecting more, request more vacation time in a year due to your tenure.
  • Ask for a salary review sooner than a year after hiring.
  • Ask for a signing bonus to cover the current bonus that you will be leaving on the table.
  • Tuition or education reimbursement. (Everything from courses and seminars all the way up to an MBA.)
  • Flexible hours or the ability to work from home 1-2 days per week.
  • A higher bonus for meeting certain targets or completing certain tasks.
  • Company Car, Mileage or Toll fees (Ex. 407 Toll.)
  • Cell Phone.
  • Reimbursement for Home Office Set up.
  • Gym or Golf Club Membership.
  • Stock Options.
  • Childcare Subsidy.
  • Executive Physical.

Remember if you don’t ask, you don’t get. A survey by revealed that only 37 per cent of people always negotiate their salary while 18 per cent never do (Newer grads and women are often in this category). A study done by Linda Babcock for her book, Women Don’t Ask revealed that only 7 per cent of women attempted to negotiate their first salary, while 57 per cent of men did. It pays to ALWAYS ASK!

Here’s to your success!

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