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Recruitment consultants can be a great support when looking for a new job. They can help you find the role you want, as well as prepare for interviews and negotiate on your behalf. But how do you strike the right balance between trusting their advice but also being aware of what’s in your best interests? Negotiating your salary is one way to do this. Recruitment consultants who specialise in a skillset or sector have privileged information about the market rate for job roles and are typically in a strong position to negotiate on your behalf.

Keep reading to learn how to negotiate salary with a recruitment consultant, so you get what’s fair for you!

Know your worth

It’s important to know the salary range for your desired job title and experience. This will help you create a strong case for why you should be paid what you’re worth. You can use a tool like PayScale or Glassdoor to find out the average salary for your role. It may also be worthwhile discussing with a few professionals in your close network to get their advice on salary, especially if they have moved jobs recently. Keep in mind that many employers will also use publicly available information on salaries to help inform their offer, so knowing your worth will help you go into negotiations with confidence.

Have a clear ask and be firm

The first step in negotiating your salary is to have a clear ask. This will help you navigate the process in a confident manner. You should also be firm with your ask. Recruiters often have clients on both ends of the spectrum in terms of salary and should be able to help guide you on market salaries. However, don’t allow yourself to become pressured into accepting an offer that isn’t in your best interests.

Understand the recruitment process

While a recruitment consultant is representing you, they will likely be in charge of negotiating your salary on your behalf. However, there may be times when their hands are tied due to a company’s structure. Most companies tie the hands of the hiring manager by creating a salary range for a role. This salary range is based on the market rate for the role in addition to the expectations of the company. If the initial salary offer is not at the right level, in some cases, the recruiter may have the power to escalate the offer or stall the process while they wait for further sign off, however often recruiters are working within strict parameters set by the client. A final point to remember is that typically an external (agency) recruitment consultant’s fee is tied to the final agreed salary and they will work hard to get you best deal, it is also in their financial interest.

Be prepared to walk away

In order to negotiate on your behalf, a recruitment consultant will want to know that you’re committed to getting the best deal possible. Therefore, you should only work with a consultant who will work for your best interests. You should feel comfortable walking away from a role or company and don’t feel pressured to accept if it’s not right. However, if you want to negotiate a higher salary, be prepared to walk away from the role entirely if it doesn’t meet your expectations. If you don’t walk away from a role in which you don’t feel you’re getting a fair deal, you may end up regretting it.


Working with a recruitment consultant can be a great way to find a new job. It can also be powerful when it comes to negotiating your salary. In order to successfully negotiate your salary, you should know your worth, have a clear ask, be firm and understand the recruitment process. A good recruiter will work closely with you to secure the right salary and you should be confident in their ability to negotiate on your behalf! However if the deal is not right, always be prepared to walk away.