For newcomers in Canada, the initial phase of job search can be very stressful but once you successfully navigate the stages of creating the perfect resume, cover letter, and nailing the interview, you’re only a couple of steps away from securing your desired job offer in a new city and a new country. An important part of accepting the job offer is salary negotiation. Many shy away from negotiating the salary or compensation offered due to a variety of reasons ranging from lack of confidence to fear of losing out on the opportunity to being unaware of industry pay standards.

A new survey from Robert Half showed job seekers may not be speaking up for more pay. Only 34 percent of Canadian workers said they tried to negotiate salary during their last job offer. Through this blog post, I will provide some tips for researching salaries so that you’re armed with the right information and are able to confidently negotiate your pay.

Check out our webinar on Accepting your first job offer in Canada for more insights, tips, and advice on salary negotiations.

What are salary negotiations?

Salary negotiations are discussions about pay and benefits offered by a prospective employer. These conversations include all aspects such as bonus, stock options, vacation time, flexible working hours, and other perks. The goal of salary negotiation is to agree upon a number (or package) that’s in line with the market and industry standards and one that hopefully, meets or exceeds your expectations.

How to research salaries?

There are many ways in which you can research salaries for the job that you’ve applied or are applying for. Here are two:

  • Websites

This is the most accessible way to roughly estimate the pay for a specific job in an organization. 4 websites that you can use to research salaries are:

  1. Indeed’s Salary Tool : Available on the indeed.ca website, this one allows you to search by companies or job titles and is intuitive and easy to use. It even allows you to filter by job category and location.
  2. Salary Wizard Canada : This tool is provided by Salary.com and allows users to search by title, location, or keyword.
  3. Glassdoor’s Salary Search : Most people use Glassdoor for company reviews but it’s also a good resource for finding jobs and salaries. The tool is easy to use and allows users to search by employer as well as location.
  4. Payscale Salary Survey and Payscale Research Reports :  The site asks you some basic questions to accurately determine your situation and then recommends the approximate salary you can expect for any given role. The research reports are additional resources that can be utilized for a deep dive into compensation trends and related market data.
  • Networking

Another way to gather salary information is to meet and network with industry professionals, friends, college/university alumni, members of professional associations, and others who can help you determine the salary range you should be expecting in your field. Generally speaking, you should avoid directly asking someone their salary. Instead, frame your question neutrally, structuring it around your skills and experience. For example, you can ask, “Given your understanding of my background, what would be a good salary for me?”

What factors affect your salary?

Factors such as your past work experience, the demand-supply of skilled workers in your field, cost of living, provincial job outlook, work hours, benefits, etc. play an important role in determining your salary.

Salary negotiations may seem difficult but the right research can inform you, boost your confidence, and help you get the compensation package you truly deserve. Here’s wishing you the very best in your job search!