How to negotiate your next mining salary

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Negotiating your salary can be tricky, but with some planning and preparation you can achieve great results.

Whether you’re taking up a new role or aiming for a pay rise in the Australian mining industry, salary negotiations can be a tricky thing to get right. It’s not enough to assume your employer will always recognise your worth and recompense you accordingly. You need to employ effective ways to negotiate a salary that are a win-win for you both. Here are some simple tips.

Research the role

It doesn’t matter if you’re being interviewed for a new job or having a performance review, you need to get a good picture of the going rates for the role in question. Research job adverts for the mining industry in Australia for salaries and gauge what you should be paid. Colleagues, friends and family members can also be useful sources, as well as job review websites. For mining industry jobs you can also check out this salary comparison site from Mining People International.

Determine your market value

Once you know the salary range for your position, you need to assess your professional worth. Your skills, experience and qualifications may make you worth significantly more than a similar candidate or a new start for mining jobs.

Have you taken on additional training and responsibilities? Are you already well trained in company software and programs? Most importantly, have you met goals, exceeded targets, introduced efficiencies or contributed to the company’s bottom line? You need to be able to explain why you deserve additional money, and have the evidence to back it up.

Look at the company’s recent performance

If the organisation you work for or are applying for has reported excellent growth or decent profits, you could well be in a better position to request the upper end of your market value. If you know the company has reported record profits and breakout growth, you can confidently ask for the higher end of your market value. Mining industry recruitment or human resources professionals may well be impressed that you’ve highlighted it.

Don’t be first to mention an amount

It’s not always possible, but try and wait for the employer to mention an amount first. Ask them what they think is a fair amount for the role and say you’re prepared to consider any reasonable offer. Ask them in more detail about the role’s responsibilities and the benefits package associated with the role before discussing salary.

Start high

If you’re asked straight out what your expectations are and you can’t deflect the question back, then name an amount at the high end of your expected range. After all, you’ll only be negotiated down from there, so there’s no point in underselling yourself. Let them know you are willing to discuss it though and are interested in the  employment package as a whole, not just the monetary element.

Take time to review the offer

Once you’ve received an offer, take time to review it properly. You may not be offered the raise or the salary you were after, but consider the dollar value of any benefits attached — such as a company car, additional holidays, and performance bonuses. This also buys you time so you can go back and do some more research to determine if the offer is fair.

Consider a counteroffer

After thinking it through, you might want to put a counteroffer on the table. You can do this is writing, detailing the reasons why you think the offer should be more. Remember too, though, that you can ask for additional benefits that will indirectly line your pocket, especially if it seems the employer isn’t going to budge on salary alone.

Preparation is key

Salary negotiation can be stressful for many people, but the key is preparation and research and having confidence in yourself and your abilities. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” so the saying goes, and by taking the time to plan your negotiations, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Not happy with your current pay? Can’t get a pay rise? If it’s time to look for your next mining job, get in touch with the team at Mining People International.

Lindsay McPhee
Mining People International