How To Negotiate Salary For A Remote Position Like A Boss

Are you interviewing for a remote position? Great! You’ve made it through the long and rigorous process of applying. Now what? To help you out in this last step, we have created a few tips on how to negotiate salary for a remote position like a boss.
by Billy Stone » Remote Work Nerd » 
last updated on November 13th
Whether you are interviewing for a remote position or not, there is always the chance that your next employer will be in another city. With this increase in remote jobs, it has become more important than ever to know how to negotiate salary for a remote position. It may seem difficult at first if you’ve never done it before but don't lose hope!

In today's job market, many companies are looking for fresh talent.

On top of work experience, employers also want you to have the best skills for remote working.

In fact, according to research from Flexjobs and The Creative Group, 63% of employers now offer some form of telecommuting as an option.

But this doesn't make it any easier on candidates who are interviewing for remote positions. Especially when salary negotiations come up during the final stage of the hiring process.

It can be hard enough to negotiate salary while sitting in front of an interviewer at their office.

But because the remote interview process can feel like a blackbox, you might wonder how to negotiate salary for a remote position.

Been there. Done that.

It can feel like you're playing poker without seeing your opponent's cards.

It's important to know How Companies Set Salaries for Remote Jobs and why they do it.

That is why we've created these 6 steps that will help you ace your remote interview and negotiate salary like a boss.

Superman being confident

1. Be confident and know your worth

One of the most important things to remember as a candidate is that you are interviewing this company as much as they're interviewing you.

So it's crucial for you not only to demonstrate your value but also to know what your core skills are and what you bring to the table.

For example, you might know that your previous salary was $50k per year but this position would be a better fit if they offered you $65k per year instead because of the responsibilities and skills involved in the role.

Think about it!

You've been chosen by the company to be their next best hire.

You're skilled in what you do and they want you on board, otherwise, they wouldn't have reached out to interview you for the position.

So don't ever think that salary negotiation is going against your value as a candidate because it's not!

It may even increase your value to the company.

If you're confident in your skills and you feel that they are worth more than what's being offered, then it is always better to ask for more money.

You never know if there might be some wiggle room on their end unless you try!

So don't let anything hold back your confidence when you go into an interview. You have all the skills and talents that you need to ace this position, so show them your worth!

know your value

2. Know the market value

Another key point to remember is that you should know what a reasonable salary offer would be for a remote worker in your specific field.

So check out websites like Glassdoor and Salarylist, which provide average salaries based on experience level and location of industry jobs around the world.

Research similar positions

For example, if you're interviewed for an internship in a marketing-related field, you can look up the average starting salary for an intern and then aim to receive at least that much or more during your negotiation.

You may not know exactly what they're paying full-time employees but it's important to have a good benchmark of where their offer should fall compared with other companies offering similar jobs.

Asking for way too much can hurt your chance of landing this position, but not knowing what they should be offering could damage it even more.

When in doubt, always aim to ask for a bit less than their budget range because there is usually wiggle room on both sides when hiring especially

Don't forget about the benefits!

Of course, salary is important but it's not the only aspect of your compensation package.

You should also know how much they're offering for benefits since that can help deflect any salary negotiations down the road.

For example, if you get offered $45k per year with no additional bonuses or insurance plans included in their offer then it would be wise to counter with a $55k base salary and a better benefits package.

So don't forget about the non-monetary aspects of your compensation since they can play just as big of a role in both negotiations!

Don't beat around the bush or waste time on small talk either during this step because straight up asking how much they're offering is the best way to go.

It shows that you know what their budget range should be and it doesn't leave any room for misinterpretations when they give you a number because there's no back-and-forth needed, just an answer.

Be clear about what you're looking for.

Woman Researching remote company

3. Research the company and figure out their budget

"A reasonable salary offer for a remote worker in your industry is $65k per year - that's my final offer!"

Remember, keep an open mind about this step but don't go into it just asking them to give you the highest number possible because there usually isn't any wiggle room on their end when they already have a number in mind.

So instead of just asking for a million bucks, aim for something reasonable, and remember that you can counter-offer if their initial offer isn't within your ideal range!

To research the company's budget, check out their website and search for statistics on the cost of living in different parts of your country or even around the world.

Also, try to find some old job listings and if they have a salary range listed, then that's even better! You can even use something like WayBackMachine to find deleted job listings.

Just type in their career page from their website. This is how to negotiate salary for a remote position like a boss!

This will give you a good idea about where they're coming from with their offer because it's likely that they have set up a starting salary range based on what other companies are paying full-time employees at this level in your industry.

4. Figure out how much you're worth to the company

So you're good at negotiating salary, but are you actually worth their budget?

It's important to know what your value is beyond just getting hired because it will make the negotiation process much easier since both sides usually have an idea of who they want in this position.

If your remote position is revenue-critical, then you should aim to ask for more than the average salary range because you are worth their budget.

However, if your position requires a lot of overhead or training then it would be wise to stay towards the lower end of the compensation spectrum since they probably won't have enough funds allocated in this area.

For example, if you're applying for an entry-level customer service representative position, then it's likely that the starting salary range is around $35k per year while for a more experienced and specialized role like an account executive or business development manager; their budget could be as high as $80k.

It might not sound like much of a difference on paper but these roles can affect the bottom line of the company so they need to pay accordingly.

And if you're wondering why there's such a big difference between entry-level roles and more specialized positions, it has to do with supply vs demand for certain skillsets within your industry - which is another thing that can affect how much someone should be paid!

Get the job offer in writing

You've done your homework and researched the budget for this role at their company. You know what they're offering, and also figured out non-monetary compensation you'd like to get.

Now it's time to break the number down into what you're willing to accept.

Write down your skills, experience, and value to the company. Write down the range for the salary you're willing to accept. Also, write down benefits included and what you'd like to get in addition.

Now go back over it and think about what's negotiable versus non-negotiable based on your research of the company budget, industry standards for this position, etc.

Once you've got your initial offer, it's time to prepare for your salary negotiation.

woman preparing for negotiation process

5. Prepare for the negotiation process

Before you reach out to them, make sure your numbers add up. If you followed #3 of my blog post above, then you should have a good idea of what is and isn't negotiable.

Establish your selling points.

Make sure that you have a list of the skills and experience you bring to this company, how it affects their bottom line, etc. You should also write down what non-monetary compensation they can offer in addition to salary (i.e., equity) so you're ready when they ask for your counteroffer or might even mention something first.

Don't negotiate via email.

Always ask a company to set up a time to discuss salary via phone or video conference. This is much more personal and it will make you stand out as someone who values human interaction, which I'm sure they do too!

Negotiating via email is a sure backfire.

It will not only put you at a disadvantage but you also won't have any facial expressions to read or body language cues to go off of.

Keep in mind that the person on the other end of this negotiation might not have been involved with your hiring process, and may not necessarily know what the hiring manager thinks.

Just like you need to be tenacious during your negotiation, don't forget that this employer needs to fill their role as well. They're looking for someone who will save them time, money, headaches, etc., so keep selling yourself!

Ask for what you want - don't be afraid to negotiate!

As I always say, you never get anything unless you ask for it.

If they don't want to give you what you're asking for then there's a good chance that the position just isn't right for you and/or your desired salary range is too high.

But if after all of this preparation and research they still don't budge?

Make sure that your negotiation strategy includes a date by which they need to get back to you so at least you'll know what direction things are going in

If they mention that you're the right fit for this position but can't afford what you're asking, then it's time to tell them why their company will be better off by hiring you! And if they ask about your counteroffer before making one themselves, make sure to keep the lines of communication open and re-assure them that you're interested in working for them.

Make sure they feel confident in offering a counteroffer.

Use "we" language instead of "I" language.

This will show that you're a team player and are willing to work with them.

For example, say "We can try X number" instead of "I think X is fair." It's a more inclusive language that shows you're on their side!

Follow up with a thank-you email after the interview.

Keep your emails short, sweet, and to the point. Be appreciative of their time & consideration even if they didn't give you what you wanted in terms of salary or benefits.

It's not easy for them either!

Share one thing that stood out during your interview with them etc., but don't be pushy! Asking about the next steps at the end of your interview is also a good idea.

6. Make a plan to negotiate salary if they say no

Sometimes, you will get to the end of your negotiation and they will say no. This doesn't mean you can’t try again in a few months!

If they are adamant about not being able to increase their offer, make sure that you have at least asked for what is within industry standards even if it isn't everything you were hoping for.

Keep the conversation going until it's done, even if they keep saying no.

You never know what could happen in a few months. You might get an unexpected raise or they may find more money from somewhere else!

In the end, you want to make sure that this is a job offer you can accept and will be happy with long-term. If not, then it's good to know early on so that you can both move on.

Offer an alternative if you're not offered what you want

If they won't budge on salary, then ask if there are any other benefits or perks that you can have instead.

This shows a willingness to compromise which is important in the negotiation process!

Make sure that your goal is realistic and be open/honest about what you want out of this job offer.

Don't mention anything else in your negotiations that isn't a part of the written job description.

You'll come across as unprofessional and will not be taken seriously if you do this. And above everything, try to stay positive throughout the negotiation process! You never know what could happen - even on the last day before they make an offer to someone else!

Have an exit strategy if

If things didn't turn out in your favor, at least you can be sure that it wasn’t because of a lack of effort on your part.

You've done all you can and now there's nothing left to do but move forward! Thank them for their time and consideration and then move on.

Sometimes things are not meant to be.

This is a great time to reflect on what you've learned from the process and how it will help inform your next interview!

Don't get discouraged if they can't meet your salary or benefits needs at this point, just remember that there are other opportunities out there for you as well!

Conclusion

Figuring out how to negotiate salary for a remote position can be challenging for many job candidates. The stakes are especially high right before receiving the final offer. If you’ve been prospecting correctly and have put in enough effort, then it may be time to negotiate your salary with this company too!

Don’t feel discouraged if you don't get what you want. There are other opportunities out there that may be more amenable to your needs!

In the end, you want to make sure that this is a job offer you can accept and will be happy with long-term. If not, then it's good to know early on so that you can both move on.

What's your experience negotiating salary for remote positions?

Let us know in the comments below!