The best piece of advice we can offer is don’t negotiate if you don’t have to. Negotiating is an acquired skill and if you do not have ample experience, odds are you will not come out on the other side with a good deal. If you are working with a recruiter, let them handle this. A good recruiter will act as your partner on planned negotiation strategies and responses to achieve the best possible results for you.
A recruiter spends their days not only negotiating but learning about both the client and candidate. This provides tremendous insight into everyone’s goals and can give the recruiter a competitive edge for your cause. When it is time to negotiate an offer, the recruiter helps both sides remove stress and reach a common understanding.
If, however, you are going to be negotiating a job offer on your own, here are a few tips for successfully moving through the process:
If you are planning to do the negotiation yourself, you should practice and do your research. Walking into a negotiation and “winging it” will almost guarantee a poor result. Hiring managers and business owners, like recruiters, are often skilled negotiators and will have a significant edge if you don’t prepare. Take the time to practice with a friend, family member or close connection. Run through a number of scenarios to prepare yourself for anything that can be thrown your way. A number of other great tips include:
- Research – Learn the market and current salary range for the position you are applying for. Make adjustments for your experience and skills.
- Honest –Be honest when negotiating. If what you are asking for is fair and can be justified with facts, there is no need to be deceitful.
- Learn Tactics –There are so many different negotiating tactics and odds are the hiring manager will use some of them when you meet. Educate yourself extensively about these prior to any discussion so you are prepared.
- Practice Makes Perfect –Again, practice delivering your main points and answering their potential objections over and over. Do everything in your power to anticipate what they will say.
Emotions can run high on both sides when discussing pay and benefits but do your best to keep that out of the negotiation. This is a business transaction, and your demeanor should be the same as an objective third party. You must be reasonable and deal in facts, not opinions or emotions. Getting flustered could put you at a significant disadvantage. Be chill!
Prove Your Case
If you’re trying to get someone to change their position, the best way is to provide new or additional information they had not considered before. This is especially important when negotiating an offer. Remember, the topic is an emotional one already – they have expended time and thought into preparing what they think is a fair offer. Things can easily escalate when you are basically telling them their baby is ugly. Unless you demonstrate that your request for more is justifiable, their perception could be that you are ungrateful, unreasonable, or downright greedy.
Always begin any such request by listing several reasons you find the company or role attractive, as this establishes that it’s not all about the money for you. Then lay the groundwork such that a reasonable person would reach your same conclusion. For example, if your goal is to get a higher base salary, it must be accompanied by facts that support it. They could potentially be swayed if they learned that you currently get a car allowance, you are getting a raise next month, your current bonus target is higher, your healthcare premiums are paid by the company, or your equity grants are vesting.
There are many more reasons, but it’s important that you can quantify them to a dollar amount so that they can easily compare apples to apples regarding a salary increase.
This is probably the best piece of advice when negotiating: be honest. Doing anything the “right way” will help you win more far more often than you lose. People are more prone to flex if they feel you are giving them the whole picture and not just carefully selected parts. Viewed the other way, would you want to work for a company where they stretch the truth or withheld facts to get you on their team? Be open about your current comp package, career goals and the things that are most important to you. The more they feel they know YOU and they’re not being “gamed”, the more likely you are to get what you want.
Everyone must go through this process so take solace in knowing you are not alone. Lean on professional contacts, family and friends for practice and advice. Take deep breaths and know that business owners and hiring managers always respect those who are professional and prepared.
If you have any further questions about working with recruiters or anything about the recruiting process, give us a call at 904-208-2200. We want to give unbiased answers to your questions, whether you choose to engage our help or not.