Unlocking Financial Success: Negotiating Salaries in the Finance Industry

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • The importance of salary negotiation.
  • Reasons why people don't negotiate salary.
  • Strategies to negotiate salary in the finance industry.
  • Where the latest finance jobs are and how to apply for them. 

Have you recently received a job offer in the finance industry? Did you know how to negotiate for a better salary? Knowing when and how to negotiate salary is an important skill to have as it shows that you are confident in your ability to do the job. 

Mastering the art of negotiating salaries is never easy, and in the finance industry it’s important to secure a fair and accurate salary that reflects your skills and experience.

As a finance professional, there comes a point in your career when you may want to discuss your salary. Salary negotiation can be daunting especially if you feel that you are not in a position to negotiate. However, in the competitive job market, salary negotiation is vital for jobseekers to ensure that they’re being paid a fair salary for the skills and experience they will bring to the business.

According to a survey by Mint Life, 1 out of 4 applicants haven’t negotiated their salary because they don’t know how. 

Throughout this guide, we will help you discover effective strategies to navigate the negotiation process like a pro and hone your salary in the finance industry.

Why is it important to negotiate your salary?

Salary negotiations typically occur when starting a new job or during annual performance reviews. Successful salary negotiation is a crucial skill to have to ensure you get a fair wage for your contribution to the business. 

A survey by salary.com found that only 37% of people always negotiate their salaries, while 18% never do. 

Even when given the opportunity to discuss future career goals (such as an annual review), the same survey found that 44% of respondents claim to have never brought up the subject of a promotion.

Why employees don’t negotiate their salary

Making the decision to negotiate salary can be intimidating. In a survey by Mint Life, 1 out of 10 applicants are reluctant to negotiate their salary because they are afraid it might negatively impact their job offer. 

However this can be a hindrance, as individuals could hastily accept a salary that they feel is neutral, dissatisfying, or disappointing. In the long run, this can be something which you come to regret. 

A different survey of 3,000 employees by Procurement Tactics revealed that 55% are unwilling to ask for a promotion with reasons including not knowing what to say, worries about appearing greedy, or simply being afraid. Most people are happier avoiding confrontation and salary negotiations.

Other reasons why individuals don’t or won’t negotiate pay include:

  • Lack of confidence or knowledge.
  • Fear of consequences.
  • They don’t know how to.
  • They don’t feel like they deserve it.

How to negotiate salaries in the finance industry

In order to successfully and confidently negotiate a salary, you need to be properly prepared. Strategies to negotiate salaries in the finance industry include:

  • Do your research.
  • Understand salary benchmarking.
  • Know your value.
  • Practice.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Be confident.
  • Follow up.

Do your research

Negotiating salaries in the finance industry can be stressful and you don’t want to be unprepared or unsure. Make sure that you do your research to give you an accurate idea of what to ask for without overstepping the boundary.

Know your market value to help you come to a conclusion that represents your worth and matches the organisation's own goals and plans for the future. 

Understand salary benchmarking

Understanding salary benchmarking is a great way of preparing yourself for salary negotiation. Salary benchmarking gives you a comparison between your pay and benefits package alongside competitors. 

Knowing your worth, benefits and market average compared to competitors can be useful for setting realistic expectations, finding gaps in your compensation and negotiating with confidence.

Knowing the salary and expectations of similar roles can be a great tool to ensure that you understand the competition and are able to negotiate your salary based on facts and accurate data.

Know your value

The last thing you want to do when it comes to the negotiation process is to ask for too much money - or worse, too little! Before any salary negotiation, it’s important to do the appropriate research in order to validate your worth based on your skills, experience, achievements and responsibilities. 

It would be prudent to research the average salary for your role and consider if additional qualifications and experience warrant an increase to the average salary e.g. if you are newly qualified or ACCA qualified could impact the average salary. 

During the negotiation, clearly articulate your achievements. This might include successful projects you’ve worked on in a previous role, how you manage and record company expenses, or how you have saved the company money or time. 

Employers are much more likely to offer a competitive salary to someone who can provide evidence and examples to support their negotiation.


Negotiating a salary can be intimidating, especially if you're not used to it. Before heading into the negotiation, practice what you are going to say to build your confidence. You need to make sure that you can clearly and confidently express your salary expectations. 

Good negotiation comes from strong communication skills and by rehearsing beforehand, you can refine these skills to confidently put your request across.   

Set realistic goals

It’s important to be prepared for every possible outcome and not be disheartened if things don’t go your way. If you don’t get the response you hoped for, it’s natural to have an emotional reaction such as anxiety or frustration. However, it’s important to manage your feelings and not act/speak on emotion. 

Even if you don’t get the answer you’re looking for now, it might be a discussion for later down the line. 

It’s important to be realistic when negotiating a salary. If you firmly believe that you have exceeded expectations and your employer is simply refusing to increase your salary, it might be time to move on. 

Be confident

Confidence is key to successful salary negotiations. Think about what your body language communicates to the employer - you don’t want to appear nervous or lacking confidence, and you also don’t want to appear overly passive or aggressive.

Demonstrating confidence signals that you believe in the salary increase; this in itself can make your request more persuasive. If you don't believe in your own worth, why should your employer? 

Follow up

No matter the outcome of the negotiation, it’s important to follow up afterwards to show that you are professional, patient and respectful. 

Asking for feedback will help you to discover what went right, what went wrong or what you need to work on to get to your desired salary. 

A follow up discussion also gives you the opportunity to express your gratitude and commitment to the role and organisation. 

Finance jobs

If you’re searching for your next finance job, why not take a look at the latest vacancies, or simply upload your CV to be notified when a relevant position becomes available. 

Finance recruitment services

As specialist finance recruiters, we support businesses nationwide with their permanent recruitment needs. 

Whether you’re searching for a Financial Controller, Management Accountant or Head of Finance, we will help you to find whoever you need to make your business and finances thrive.

If you’re struggling to fill a vacancy, why not get in touch with Principal Consultant, Shannon McGarry on 01772 954200 to see how we can help?

Meet Shannon McGarry

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Established in 2017, we’re a vibrant and progressive recruitment agency based in the heart of the North West. 

We continually reimagine the recruitment process to challenge convention and defy expectations; from creating a better recruitment experience to remodelling employee engagement, we thrive off doing things differently and turning heads along the way. 

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