What Is Competitive Pay and How To Benefit From It
"Competitive salary" in job descriptions usually provokes many questions and may look suspicious for an average job seeker who wants specific information from a potential employer. However, even though this term seems vague, such a word choice can be caused by various reasons, and it doesn't necessarily mean that you'd better skip this vacancy.
Keep reading for an explanation of the competitive pay meaning and for top strategies to ensure the best possible salary option for yourself.
What is competitive pay?
When salary is described as competitive, it typically implies that a potential employee will get paid equally to average market offers for this particular industry, area, and position. In this case, the exact pay figure is subject to negotiating to adjust a candidate's profile and skills to what is considered a competitive market salary. So, employers prefer to leave room for mutually beneficial compromising instead of setting hard borders from the very beginning of the recruiting process.
Of course, some job seekers ask what competitive pay means because they hesitate whether such offers are credible enough to apply. Still, there is mostly no trick to potential candidates as employers seek flexible arrangements, not unjustified salary cuts.
How to find out if your salary is competitive
Most competitive salaries consist of two main components by which a candidate can determine if the offer is worth agreeing on.
The pay itself. The amount of money paid for work should correspond with the current labor market tendencies, including the job requirements, the company's location, and its area of competence.
Benefits. Answering the "what is a competitive salary" question, we should also mention that the benefits are an essential part of such offers. When considering a salary labeled competitive, pay attention to health insurance options, vacation policy and paid time off, employer-based retirement plan programs, bonuses, etc.
How to know a competitive pay range at your professional level
Generally, there is no fixed list of recommended salaries for each vacancy because it depends on many factors. For this reason, thorough self-conducted research may come in handy. Here is a three-step plan of it:
- Assess your CV: experience, skills, additional competence, and previous jobs. This information will help you systematize the data about you as a specialist and compare it with average job seeker profiles.
- Define demand and supply: research the approximate number of vacancies and specific characteristics of the industry. (The same position in different sectors can be paid differently).
- Compare vacancies: pick the most representative companies, examine their job offers, and look at the salaries. Then, calculate the average value using all the data collected before.
As a result, you will receive an approximate pay range, to which you can refer further.
How to negotiate your salary
When you have a clear understanding of the competitive salary meaning, you can ensure a solid ground for effective negotiations during interviews. However, the following tips will bring even better results if properly applied.
Decide what is acceptable
Set clear boundaries for yourself: what is your desired salary/the minimum you will agree on/an average acceptable option. Keep these numbers in mind not to make a disadvantageous decision.
It would be a significant advantage to prove why the pay you ask for is worth you as a specialist by appealing to your previous achievements and describing how you can contribute to the company's development.
Be polite but confident
Keeping respectful enough always pays off. However, try to balance politeness and persistence to move closer to your preferred outcome.
Provide market data
Having collected the data during research, you can employ it as a part of your argumentation (this strategy will work better than appealing to emotions). Still, be careful and avoid overusing this information.
What to do if your salary is not enough
If you are not satisfied with the proposed salary, you can consider two options. The first one is to think about your priorities to decide what matters more: money or experience. In some cases, the working environment and room for professional development are more valuable than salary, which takes some time to realize and accept.
The second option is to browse the resources with complete and open information about vacancies. For example, you can use Hirin.co — a cool job searching site where all salaries, vacancies range, and candidate expectations are shown to everyone.
We hope you do not doubt what does competitive salary mean and how to work with this information in interviews. Good luck in job seeking!