Knowing how to negotiate salary in hospital job positions is a valuable skill that can increase your earnings throughout your career as a medical worker. A salary conversation with your prospective employer at the right stage is crucial to ensure fair compensation.
Here are several factors to consider before you start salary negotiation during the hospital job interview process:
- Wait to ask about salary
Your first interview is an opportunity for the hospital hiring manager to get to know you and get a feel for your background and qualifications. Before bringing up salary expectations, you need to display compatibility for the role and be sure the job is a good match for you and the hospital.
During a second or follow up interview, salary range is typically discussed. Once the hospital is interested, the hiring manager will most likely ask about the range you are seeking.
- Communicate that money is not your sole incentive
Although opportunities for a higher salary can be a motivator to seek another position, try to keep the bigger picture in mind.
Discussing salary during the initial interview would send the message that you value money over opportunity and experience, which a potential employer could find offensive.
- Leave room for negotiation
When the time is right to discuss salary, don’t mention a specific figure. Instead, provide a salary range. Showing that you can be flexible based on the whole package is a great first step toward negotiating a situation that is viable for your employer and reflects your worth.
Be prepared with information by surveying similar positions in your industry and checking out expert sources to assess your market rate. If you do your research, you’ll be better able to negotiate. When the hospital views you as a serious prospective employee, you’re likely to get the best result.
- Get your figures right; calculate your value
It’s important you know exactly how much value you can offer an employer before you begin the process of negotiating salary. There are several factors that can influence your compensation, such as:
- Geographic location
- Years of industry experience
- Years of leadership experience
- Education level
- Career level
- Licenses and certifications
When you begin your salary negotiation, be sure to reiterate why you’ll be a valuable employee and consider using the above factors to justify your desired salary.
- Present a solid case when discussing salary
You need to be able to talk specifically about your skills, experience and prior successes, especially those that have had a measurable effect on the bottom line. Emphasize the value you can bring to the organization when discussing salary, and be honest about your desired pay.
Don’t be afraid to let your enthusiasm for both the hospital and the position show! Be passionate if you feel it’s a good fit!
- Be confident
Confidence in talking about your salary expectations is as important as the words you say. The more confidence you convey, the more confident the employer will be in their consideration of your feedback.
Remember you’re bringing an important set of skills and experience to the organization, and the pay an employer offers should account for the value you provide. If you feel the employer’s original offer is below the value that meets with your skills and experiences, have confidence in your decision to ask for more.
- Express gratitude
Once you reach the job offer phase of the hospital hiring process, you’ve probably invested a great deal of time and energy applying and interviewing for this position. The hospital has also invested time in the process, so it is important that you recognize this and thank them for considering you for the opportunity. Be sure to share any specific reasons why you’re excited about the job, such as the culture or the organization.
Even if you end up declining the offer, it’s important to do so in a friendly and professional manner. After all, you never know what opportunities they may have available for you in the future.
When it comes to salary negotiation:
- Try to negotiate — If you’re offered a salary that doesn’t meet your expectations, it’s OK to request additional compensation. Employers may start at the lower end of their salary range, leaving room to adjust.
- Think beyond the pay — Be sure to look at the full package. If it’s your dream job, look at the benefits package or opportunities to learn and grow within the organization, which may compensate for a lower starting salary.
- Get it in writing — Before accepting any job offer, make sure that you get an offer in writing stating the salary. Never formally accept a job offer without seeing it in writing.
Example of how to negotiate a salary offer in writing:
I very much appreciate you forwarding me the offer package for your Nursing Manager opportunity. I want to reiterate how excited I am to be considered for your position. I believe that I will be an asset for (hospital name).
Before I can accept your offer, I need to address the proposed compensation. As I shared during the interview process, I have more than ten years of experience in nursing, with three of those in nursing management. I have a solid background and good lengths of stay with previous positions, and I have consistently mentored and trained staff nurses for the last several years. I feel that I’ve contributed greatly to the success of the department at (current hospital).
Given my education and experience, I am looking at positions in the range of $100,000 to $120,000 per year, based on the role and the location.
I know I can bring a great deal of value to (hospital name) and help develop the department and staff as discussed. Please let me know if there is any room to adjust your offer, and if we can discuss this further.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Salary negotiation is an important step in the hiring process. By taking the time to talk about the compensation package, you can help hospital employers better understand the value you provide. As with any new skill, the more you negotiate, the more you’ll improve and the easier it will become. By using the above tips to negotiate your salary, you can walk into the conversation confident, prepared and ready to get the pay you deserve.