Advice for Graduates: Providing a ‘Range Offer’ will Help Secure the Best Outcome in a Salary Negotiation, Especially for Female Negotiators
NEW YORK— When it comes to salary negotiations for a new job, the opening offer can significantly impact what salary a person will walk away with, and research from Columbia Business School shows that providing a range offer – that is, where you ask for a range including, and above, your target number – can work to your advantage.
“Opening with a range shows your counterpart that you're open to negotiation and that you're considering their needs. It's perceived as polite, and people want to be polite in return,” says Daniel Ames, the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Business at Columbia Business School.
Malia Mason, an assistant professor of management at Columbia Business School who has studied negotiations, points out that the perceived politeness of range offers could make them a particularly useful negotiating tool for women.
“This approach especially works for women, who tend to be more accommodating,” says Professor Mason. “Providing a range is not only a softer approach, but also a way of asking for and claiming more value while still conveying a sense of reasonableness.”
Professors Ames and Mason elaborate on their conclusions in this short video:
The key takeaways for salary negotiation from the research findings are:
- When making a range offer, consider linking it to another issue, such as benefits and bonus, as a way of expanding the conversation.
- A normal range offer is about five to 25%. A range wider than this isn’t realistic, and “risks being seen as weird,” according to Professor Ames.
- Do your homework: “To make a good offer, you need to know what’s weak, what’s ambitious, and what’s unreasonable,” says Professor Mason.
To learn more about the cutting-edge research being conducted at Columbia Business School, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu.
About Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School is the only world–class, Ivy League business school that delivers a learning experience where academic excellence meets with real–time exposure to the pulse of global business. Led by Dean Glenn Hubbard, the School’s transformative curriculum bridges academic theory with unparalleled exposure to real–world business practice, equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset that allows them to recognize, capture, and create opportunity in any business environment. The thought leadership of the School’s faculty and staff, combined with the accomplishments of its distinguished alumni and position in the center of global business, means that the School’s efforts have an immediate, measurable impact on the forces shaping business every day. To learn more about Columbia Business School’s position at the very center of business, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu
About the researchers
Professor Ames's research focuses on social judgment and behavior. He examines how people judge themselves as well as the individuals and groups around...Read more.
Malia Mason studies negotiations and social judgment and decision making in one line of work. In a second, she studies how people regulate their...Read more.