Salary Negotiation Tips: Make the Discussion the Best One in Your Professional Life

Mayank Kumar
Mayank Kumar

Posted On: Feb 22, 2018

Salary Negotiation Tips: Make the Discussion the Best One in Your Professional Life


Here is a description of a scenario of Salary Negotiation we all are familiar with:

You applied for a job role that you have always dreamt of, after days of waiting anxiously to get a reply from the employer’s end; and finally, you get a call for a one-on-one discussion. During the interaction, you and the hiring executive talk about various aspects like education, professional experience and current job role that the latter is serving. And then all of a sudden, a question crops up that leaves you in a dilemma that whether the time is right to answer this question or shall I say it openly and directly. The question is, “what are your salary expectations?”

Let us see why the question holds the significance that every hiring manager or an interviewer asks this to every candidate:

Talking About Salary Demands:

Answering the question can be tricky because if the candidate says a remuneration figure that exceeds the company’s decided salary slab then you are almost out of the running and if you are saying a lower figure then you are underestimating your capabilities and also lowering your career graph.

Not only interviews, the first step, which is to fill in the job application, but a candidate is also asked to answer the salary expectations and there is no way you can skirt the question. Here are few ways to tackle the question nicely in an interview as well as on job application:

  • Consider the current market and fiscal scenario of your country and accordingly write or say your salary expectations. Moreover, analyze how much your skills are in demand in the market; this will help you to market yourself excellently and enable you to ask for a good remuneration.
  • Analyze the current salary trends in the industry you are going or working. The typical salary progression for that particular sector can help you a lot in jotting down your salary expectations.
  • Make an upper and a lower end of the salary range in your mind on the basis of the above two analysis. Make sure that the lower end is not dissatisfying.

Does Your Nationality Affect the Salary You Ask For?

Keeping the above points into consideration, one can easily gauge as to how much to ask for and a way to ask. However, there are many aspects that may affect your negotiation. Apart from the typical salary progression for the industry you are targeting for the job, the country you are residing currently plays an important role in deciding what remuneration to ask for.

Let us discuss the aspect region wise:

1. Asian Countries

In Asian countries, there are taxes that are applied to a certain salary scale. If the salary of an employee is equivalent or more than a certain limit then there is some percentage of tax that is applicable. If we see a combined overview of the taxes applicable on an individual’s salary or the deductions made then in Asian countries like India and Singapore, then employee’s contribution towards a Central Provident Fund (CPF) is made, which is seen as a monthly deduction from the salary.

Apart from this, there is only income tax amount that one needs to pay in most of the Asian countries. In certain Asian regions like Singapore, only the local residents have access to the Central Provident Fund scheme and therefore expats don’t have to pay such amounts from their salaries. Moreover, expats can’t claim tax relief for their social security payments as well.

Another highlighted Asian country India; where as soon as the financial year approaches its end, employees prepare themselves to see certain deductions being made from their salaries:

  • There is a monthly deduction of Provident Fund (PF) from the employee’s salary
  • If the employee has decided upon contributing towards a non-profit organization that has a tie-up with his employer, then there is a deduction on that part as well.
  • Generally, an employee is informed about such deductions in the initial days of the joining or during the interview only.
  • There are annual deductions that are made that are related to any health-related policy that the employee must have taken from the employer. Such policies cover the medical coverage of the employee’s dependents.

Keeping in mind the above points, an employee should negotiate the starting salary in the companies stationed in any of the Asian countries. You can be a local or an expat; for both the lot deduction is same except few taxes; therefore, before saying YES to a job offer, negotiate your salary package well on all grounds.

2. GCC Countries

GCC countries or the Gulf Co-operation Council Federation is regarded as the favorite destination for job seekers these days. Amongst the 6 countries that constitute the GCC, the UAE is considered to be the country that witnesses the maximum number of expats coming in for the job. So, it becomes important to know how well one can negotiate salary here in these countries.

There are certain facts that are worth mentioning here:

  • GCC countries have individual economies that are booming with initiatives being taken towards diversifying the economy.
  • Per capita income in countries like UAE, Qatar is the highest in the world.
  • Dubai, one of the flourishing cities in the UAE has won the World Expo Bid 2020, which is expected to create the plethora of jobs in the different sector here.

On the basis of the above facts, it is clear that migrants are going to flock even more in the GCC region for jobs and with the bid win, employment market in Dubai is going to explode with some of the top jobs. Here are a few things to consider while you are negotiating salary in an employer-based out in GCC region:

  1. If you are about to accept a job offer in Oman, know that the country’s tax laws are very generous and fair, therefore your net income may be higher than what you may get in your home country.
  2. Much to the delight of the expats, some of the GCC countries don’t impose personal income tax or fringe benefits tax. Moreover, there is no gift tax, wealth tax, or VAT applicable. Therefore, while negotiating, keep in mind that you ask for a better salary range that goes well with this tax-related facts.
  3. If you are sitting and negotiating in flourishing cities like Dubai, know the fact rental costs here do not include utility bills; therefore, electricity and water bills will have to be paid monthly with amount incurred about AED 1,200 per month. Electricity charges are higher and bills are surely going to be higher. As an expat, talk to your employer about this aspect and ask for the added amount in your salary package.
  4. For expats who are in conversation with employers stationed in Kuwait, know the fact that few companies offer private healthcare plans as part of the expat’s remuneration package. Do talk to your employer about such perks.

Of all the regions in the world, the discussed regions are the ones that are flocked mostly by the expats or exploited by the job seekers or aspirants.

Before We Go…

It doesn’t matter how big your future employer is; your salary is negotiated only on a few grounds that is the fiscal situation and current salary trend in that particular industry. Whether you are a national or an expat, for you it is important to know the employment laws and the market standards currently prevailing. Moreover, being an expat, know what added perks and health-related plans are generally added in the package so that negotiation remains logical and smooth.

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