7 Things to know when you negotiate a Business Analyst salary increase.
Jane has been working as a Business Analyst and has been very satisfied with her learnings, Business Analyst salary, and career path. She receives a call from a recruiter and goes for an interview. After two rounds of interviews, she gets the question – “What are your salary expectations”? Although this is an expected question in an interview, not many interviewees know how to navigate this well. What should Jane ask for?
She is quite content with what she has been receiving and would have continued at the same salary for another year. However, she has an opportunity in front of her – should she ask for a higher Business Analyst salary? Should she use the potentially high salary to renegotiate at her current workplace? Should she move to a new organisation at a higher salary? She was unsure and reached out to her mentor for input. Here are the considerations her mentor recommended:
Item #1: Don’t be afraid to negotiate your Business Analyst salary
It’s okay to negotiate. Many employees don’t negotiate and are content with what’s offered to them as a part of their annual appraisal. It is important to put forward what you want – you won’t get it without asking for it. Remember the old saying that the kid that cries the loudest gets the candy. Be smart about what you want, know when to ask for it, and know how to make it happen. Compensation doesn’t always need to be in the form of money. Intangible benefits matter too. Asking for remote work in the first week of the job is different from requesting remote work after 3-6 months when you have established trust, and credibility and your manager knows that you get the work done no matter where you are.
Look at the market conditions and be aware of what is going on overall. Knowing whether the market is in favour of job seekers or not can give you guidance on how hard you want to negotiate or whether you should wait for the market to become more favourable. Employers are usually reluctant to fill positions during Christmas time. At the start of the COVID-19, given the uncertainty, not many employers were hiring.
In Australia, the best time to look for opportunities tend to be either in February or July. In some industries new projects kick-off after the Christmas break and after the new tax year rolls in. This is typically when new budgets are approved. Therefore, this is a good time to be in the market for your next job and to potentially command a higher rate.
Item #3: Don’t be the first to mention a number.
If you are considering a new role, ask the recruiter what the budget for that role is. The recruiter or the hiring manager will know the budget. If the budget does not match your expectations don’t pursue it. If the employer is willing to pay the market rate business analyst salary, it behooves you to know what you are worth in the market.
Item #4: Have multiple opportunities if possible
When negotiating with your current employer, it is good to have another offer in hand. This informs you of the true market rates, it adds confidence and enables you to negotiate harder. When changing jobs, having multiple offers gives you the ability to compare options against each other so that you can choose the better option.
When comparing multiple options, consider both the tangibles and intangibles. Compare the cost of the change, growth opportunities, learning, experience, flexibility, perks, share options, holidays, salary, and anything else that matters to you. List all the items and assign a dollar value to each based on what each is worth to you. The important point to consider is ’What is it worth to YOU” because these are individual considerations. One person could value remote working more than a higher take-home business analyst salary, but a second person might not. Once this is done, compare two offers and see which comes out as a better offer. The below table is just representational.
Figure: Example comparison of tangible benefits.
Item #6: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)
Know at what point you are ready to consider the negotiation a failure and move to the alternative. For example, if you are negotiating with your current employer and want a $100-day rate raise, BATNA is the minimum raise you’d consider remaining in that role. In the $100 example above, your BATNA could be an $80-day rate increase. Decide the minimum you are willing to consider for a role and stick with it.
Item #7: Avoid revealing what you earned in the last role.
Hiring managers may ask about your current salary. Your business analyst salary in the last role shouldn’t define what you can earn in the next role, and you are under no obligation to tell anyone what your previous salary was. What matters is your value-add to the new employer and how much they are willing to pay to obtain your services. Your previous employment is inconsequential. A lower business analyst salary at your previous employment could baseline you to a lower number. Keep the conversation to what you want, the requirements of the new role, and the value you bring to the new role.
After considering all the points above, Jane negotiated a higher salary and remote work 3 days a week. She is being mentored to become a Lead Business Analyst at her current workplace. She is delighted and excited to continue in the current role after negotiating a better salary package and terms of employment.
Whilst this may still be new to you and perhaps a little daunting, you will get better at negotiation with practice. You can start practicing this valuable skill by applying negotiation skills in various personal situations. The next time you are planning a vacation or dining out, try negotiating to get your way. So go ahead and negotiate your favourite restaurant for the next dinner with your friends.
Author: Sonia Narang
Published by: Business Analysis Excellence Pty Ltd