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The Top Tools for Online Salary Negotiation Research

By Betsy Gardner and Megan Winkeler

Researching a fair, reasonable salary range is an essential step in preparing effectively for a salary negotiation. However, it presents a number of challenges. A recent British study found that people would rather discuss many other uncomfortable subjects with their friends before discussing their salaries, creating a barrier to learning more about your comparative market value. Pay transparency laws vary by state, and the salary range provided by an employer’s job announcement isn’t always necessarily a fair, well-researched standard.

Fortunately we have the internet at our fingertips, and there are many online tools to prepare for salary negotiations. With a seemingly infinite number of websites to choose from, though, how can you efficiently and effectively conduct salary negotiation research? To help you out, we’ve done the research and chosen the top five online salary negotiation research tools.

1. Payscale Salary Report

Knowledge is power when it comes to negotiation, and this salary report tool is a great starting point. Using data from millions of individuals across the US, this tool encourages salary transparency – while safely keeping your private information secure. Your individual report comes from “analyzing anonymous salary data collected from people with similar job titles, years of experience, education, etc…” within a similar labor market to provide you with serious information about your market potential and worth.

2. Bureau of Labor Statistics Resources for Jobseekers

So maybe sifting through reams of data on national employment isn’t your idea of a fun evening. Luckily, the US Department of Labor has done a lot of the work for you. It’s full of detailed information about growing occupations, projected growth, and wages. Do your homework here and find out information about average pay, job demand, and education levels that can inform your work negotiations and help guide future career moves.

3. PaycheckCity.com

You did your research and found your market rate, but now how do you know if that price works for you? This site offers a no-frills calculator that analyzes paychecks (salary, hourly, and bonus pay) to determine your real take-home money. Compare this number to your budget (because you need a budget) to figure out if that big salary still holds its muster after calculating deductions and withholdings.

4. Idealist Careers Common Job Benefits

Salary negotiations are about much more than a number. When negotiating, consider the whole pie and negotiate other benefits as part of the package. This tool provides an overview of different benefits an organization may offer, allowing you to look at the big picture as you value your overall salary and benefits package. Perhaps you’re unable to attain a monetary raise, or your new company can’t match your asking amount. This tool can help you figure out other benefits that might still be on the negotiating table.

5. Glassdoor Company Review Tool

Ever wish you could get the inside scoop on a new company to see how fairly they compensate their employees, or how open they are to negotiations? With Glassdoor’s tool you can search reviews and employee ratings of more than 600,000 companies, nationally and internationally. Everything from typical interview questions, to reported salaries, to benefit reviews are available. All the data is self-reported by current and former company employees.

After doing your research and coming to the salary negotiation well-prepared, remember that negotiation isn’t an argument – it’s a conversation. Your desire to earn a fair salary, based on extensive research, does not have to be in conflict with the interests of your employer. So do research, build talking points, and understand your value to the company. You might even walk away with more than you bargained for!

Good preparation is key to every negotiation, not just salary negotiations. To learn more about how MWI can guide you through the negotiation preparation process and improve your negotiation results, visit our Negotiation Workshops page or contact Chuck Doran at cdoran@mwi.org or 617-895-4026.

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