With an average annual salary of $129,000 (according to a report by the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association), contractors working in the technology space in Australia stand in good stead to win a very attractive pay deal.
However, many people find salary negotiations one of the most awkward parts of the recruitment process, which makes achieving these higher pay brackets difficult. This is compounded by the fact that most of the advice on negotiating salaries is targeted at permanent positions. How can you negotiate the best pay deal as a tech contractor?
Tip #1: Do your research!
It's important to take the time to research every aspect of the role. What are the unique features of the placement, and how do your skills and expertise match up with these requirements? It's worth finding out as much as you can about the client, especially their average pay for permanent positions, to work out a ballpark figure for how much they normally pay their employees.
You should also ensure you know your own worth. For instance, how rare are your skills and experience? Being aware of this will make it much easier to market yourself to your potential client.
Research the role to find out how well your skillset matches.
Tip #2: Consider your circumstances
There are certain factors in tech contractor positions that affect the hourly rate. For instance, if the position is short term, this will normally raise the pay, as it'll be much harder for the client to find someone willing to take on the role. You also need to think about the location of the job. If you're going to have to travel a long way every day, or even relocate, you should talk about this with the client and factor it into your hourly rate. A lot of the time, the client will offer to pay travel or accommodation if it's needed, but this may then lower the rate they offer. It's up to you to decide which one will benefit you best.
Work out your absolute minimum rate, and don't go any lower than that.
It's also worth considering whether you'll need to purchase any extra software, or take what you currently own into the job.
Tip #3: Remember you want to keep your client happy
If you ask for an unachievable salary, your client simply won't want to work with you, or they may not take you on again or recommend you to others. As with any negotiation, you both have to get something from it, so remember to listen to what your client is saying. Work out your absolute minimum rate, and don't go any lower than that, but remember that your client also has a limit in their head.
At Talent, we want to make it as easy as possible for contractors to do their work. Our online portal, Engage, allows you to create a profile for potential clients to view your skills, as well as easily submit timesheets from anywhere and show you when your next pay day is.