10 things to do when negotiating a job offer
There are a plenitude of things to consider when moving abroad. Knowing that you are being properly compensated should not be a lingering concern. Before taking the plunge to a new destination, consider these helpful negotiating tips to ensure that a job offer complements your skills, qualifications, and lifestyle goals.
Differentiate between wants and needs
Prior to entering negotiations, it is essential to understand who you are and what you really require. Have a clear idea of what the minimum salary or benefits you are willing to accept. While everyone would love to maximize their employment packages, there’s bound to be someone who is willing to do the job for less. Don’t take any offer that is presented your way if it is not feasible for you, but don’t pass up offers just because the benefits aren’t spectacular. It’s a balancing act.
Research a position’s market value.
What are other professionals earning in the same position? Job seekers need to conduct the research and consult their network prior to negotiations. Understanding median salary rates and atypical benefit packages seen throughout the industry will provide a better comparison of how strong an initial offer is, and how one might do in other companies in the current market. Being able to quote these figures will also provide some leverage for salary discussions.
Have a feel for the company.
If you have a strong understanding of the company, it can become significantly easier to negotiate. For instance, has the opening been difficult for the hiring managers to fill? If the job has been open for a while, the hiring manager may be more willing to negotiate with a qualified applicant.
How unique are the skills required for the position? If it’s difficult to find someone with your special skill set, you probably have additional leverage to negotiate. Following companies on LinkedIn is one way to tap into information. When employees at your targeted companies change their status, you’ll be among the first to know that a position may be open.
Make it clear they can get you.
While actually negotiating, be sure to drive home the point that you want to be there and you are serious in your intentions. Managers and human resources personnel don’t want to expend political or social capital to get approval for improved terms if they suspect that at the end of the proceedings, you’re still going to walk away from the position.
If you intend to negotiate for a better package, make it clear that you’re serious about working for this employer. If you’re planning to reference all the options you have as negotiating leverage, you should balance this by saying why, or under what conditions, you would be happy to forgo those options and accept an offer with that employer.
Understand the person across the table.
Organizations don’t negotiate: people do. Before you can influence the person you are negotiating with, you have to understand them. What are their interests and individual concerns? Consider this: negotiating with a prospective boss varies from negotiating with an HR rep. You can perhaps afford to pepper the HR rep with questions regarding details of the offer. However, you may not be able to do this with a prospective boss; you wouldn’t want to annoy someone who may become your manager with seemingly petty requests. On the other hand, a HR rep may be responsible for hiring multiple people and is therefore reluctant to break precedent; a prospective boss who will benefit more directly from your joining the company, may be more willing to go to bat for you with a special request.
Understand their constraints.
The hiring managers may like you. They may agree with you that you deserve everything you have requested. But they still may not give it to you. Why is this? Because they may have certain ironclad corporate restrictions-such as salary caps- that no amount of negotiation can slacken.
As a job seeker, it is up to you to figure out where these managers are flexible and where they’re not. If, for example, you’re talking to a large company that’s hiring dozens of similar positions at the same time, it probably cannot give you a higher salary than everyone else. However, if you’re negotiating with a smaller firm that has never hired someone in your role, there is likely room to adjust the initial offer. The better you understand the constraints, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to propose options that solve both sides’ concerns.
Create a written proposal.
As a job seeker, if you are proposing terms that are going against a company’s norm, take the time to draft a written plan showing the details of your negotiating request. Employers are more likely to arrive at “yes” if they have all of the particulars of your request immediately available to them.
Negotiate for perks beyond salary
There is more than salary to bargain over. Benefits can significantly improve an offer during negotiations, and employers may be more likely to concede to these requests. For example, you can petition for a clothing stipend to be built into your contract; this can be especially effective if you’re in the position of meeting with lots of high-end clients in a new role. After all, the company will want you to look your best since you are representing them in these ventures. Other benefits to consider include transportation stipends, housing allowances, or company cars.
If there are multiple areas of contention in negotiations, it is usually to propose all your changes at once. Don’t announce them one-by-one. If you ask for only one thing initially, the employer may assume that getting it will make you ready to accept the offer. If you keep saying “and one more thing…,” the employer is unlikely to remain in a generous or understanding mood.
Further, if you have more than one request, don’t simply mention all the things you want. You should also signal the relative importance of each point to you. Otherwise, the hiring manager may pick the two things you value least, thinking that they’ve met you halfway. Then you’ll have an offer that’s not much better and a negotiating partner who thinks their job is finished.
Ask for final offer in writing
Once negotiations have come to a finale, and you have received an offer that you deem acceptable, the last thing you should do is ask for the final offer in writing. No legitimate employer will have issues with putting the offer in writing. This guarantees that the verbal agreement that has been reached will be adhered to, and that all the fine points of negotiation will not fall through the cracks.
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