New Job Offer? Let The Negotiations Begin

Job Offer LetterMarie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

New job offer in hand, but is it everything you want?  Getting an offer is exciting.  It’s what you’ve worked hard to accomplish and it could mean a new career path.  If, however, it’s not exactly what you wanted, it’s time to negotiate.

To negotiate, you have to know what you want.  What’s negotiable – salary, title, start date, vacation, relocation expenses, signing bonus or other bonus, technology, car or mileage, flex-time or remote work, severance, stock options, contract terms etc.  Not every company is flexible on negotiable items so know what is important to you and be able to justify them.  Here are some tips to negotiating:

  1. Let the outside recruiter know what salary range you want, they will be doing the negotiating for you.  If you are not represented by an external recruiter, let HR or an interviewer know when asked.  The company’s employment application may ask for this.
  2. Don’t start negotiating until you have received the job offer – verbally or in writing.  You want to see all the details before you start negotiating.
  3. Review your list of the items you wanted vs. the offer.  If you don’t get an item on your list, will you decline the job?  These are the items you want to negotiate.  The other items aren’t important and will only complicate matters.
  4. When you discuss the offer, remember to keep positive.  You want to show you are really interested in the position.  Salary should be negotiated first. If you don’t win on this issue, you can push harder for your second item.  Always start with the most important item to you.
  5. Remember, some items may not be negotiable.  You may want a better severance plan but the company may have a strict non-negotiable policy on this.
  6. Negotiating is not demanding.  Explain why you expect more – Based on my experience, I was expecting more compensation.  Can you increase this number to __?
  7. Be patient.  If you don’t get an answer immediately, it may be being discussed or the recruiter is speaking with the hiring manager.  Wait until you hear from them.
  8. Salary/benefit negotiations are never personal.  They are business transactions which you can either accept or not.
  9. Be prepared to walk away.  If the hiring company says no to all your demands, can you accept that without any bad feelings?
  10. Don’t sign on the dotted line until all the new negotiated terms have been added to the agreement.
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