The ability to negotiate a job offer is an essential skill. Even during this COVID pandemic environment, negotiating a job offer is still very much acceptable. According to a study by Robert Half, 36% of managers surveyed indicated they are more likely to negotiate to start salary with new hires than they were a year ago. And another 50% said that they are as likely to. Every contract negotiation is a commercial deal, not a personal one. Bringing up personal demands, being uncertain or not knowing what you want, and not having a strong grasp of your own defined value on the market are the most common and biggest mistakes people usually make when negotiating salaries with a new employer.
The demand for talent is high: according to a poll done by ManpowerGroup in the third quarter of 2021, 69 percent of employers had problems filling vacancies in 2021. To negotiate successfully, you must be well informed about what is negotiable and to what extent. Begin thinking about what conditions are most important to you and what you want from your new job before your interview.
Understanding what is negotiable
Before negotiating your job offer, it is essential to know what you can negotiate for. Apart from your salary, there are other benefits that you can negotiate. In most cases, compensation packages include additional benefits. Before beginning a negotiation, knowing what you are and aren't ready to compromise can help you make more specific requests. In some cases, find out if a role is suited for you in the first place.
The available benefits will vary depending on your level of experience, role, and organization. The following are benefits that you can negotiate according to an article by Harvard Business Review:
- A new beginning date (if you want a little break before you begin)
- Paid time off or more vacation (PTO)
- Work-from-home days or a flexible schedule (especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic)
- Transferring to a different branch or office.
- A signing bonus (if relocation isn't paid, this may be related to it).
- Later in the year, a performance bonus
- Stock options or equity percentages
- Stipends for establishing a home office
- Reimbursement for phone calls, Internet access, or coworking space
- Opportunities for professional growth or outside training
- The ability to give a talk at a trade show
- Child care is available on-site.
- A freelancers direct report or budget
- A better title for your position (to boost your resume)
- Travel expenditures reimbursement
In an article by SHRM, they also suggest that one can also negotiate for the following:
- According to a study conducted by SHRM in 2020 - 47% of companies offer undergraduate or postgraduate tuition assistance.
- Student loan repayment- several companies help employees repay their student loans.
- Professional training- you can ask a prospective employer to provide a yearly allowance for professional job training.
It is essential to ask for something you know your prospective employer will offer you. Your expectations must be reasonable.
How do you approach a job offer? Essential tips on how to negotiate that offer!
Negotiating a job offer is a skill, and one needs to approach it carefully to gain value from the process. The negotiating process is a two-way dialogue that should end in a win-win situation. Below are some tips on how to negotiate an offer:
1. Research first!
"Before going into the negotiation, try to get advice from a diverse group of professionals. If you're a woman, don't seek salary advice from other women. It is good to learn from various people to help avoid further widening the gender pay gap. Find someone with industry expertise to give you some pointers if you're coming from academia. It will give your strategy a new dimension," says Fotini Iconomopolous (a negotiation coach and author of the book Say, Less, Get More).
Alexandra Dickinson (a career and negotiation specialist) emphasizes that learning to negotiate is similar to developing a new muscle: the more you use it, the better you will get. The more you learn and practice, the more confident you will become. She recommends talking to three men and three women in similar roles to the one you are looking for.
2. Demonstrate and understand your worth!
It is not enough to negotiate an offer without showing why you deserve such an offer. The hiring manager must also believe you are worth the offer you make. Justify your offer; if you do not have a justification, it may not be worth making the offer. Be careful not to sound arrogant in showing how valuable you are. Negotiation also demonstrates to your potential new boss that you know your worth. Instead of focusing on the monetary aspect only, discuss the role with enthusiasm, including how you aim to succeed in it and what you bring to the table. If you start the conversation with money, you look to care less about the firm and its culture and more about money. From the viewpoint of the employer, this makes you less valuable.
3. Do your research!
Before you get into any prospective discussions, do your homework. If the recruiter or hiring manager puts money on the table, you must be prepared to articulate your expectations and align them with your successes and qualifications. Do your research on what the market is offering for similar positions. Research can provide insight into what it's like to work at most companies, including salaries, benefits, and culture. However, with a little more effort, you can learn more about the elements that go into a job offer. "You want to show that you're not just picking a number out of thin air," says Vicki Salemi, Monsters career expert. She says you should collect at least three wage estimates and average them to get a rough estimate. According to Shaara Roman (founder and CEO of Silverene Group, an HR and culture consultancy based in Arlington, Va.), it is preferable to give a pay range rather than a particular figure.
Before you have that talk, Deirdre Macbeth, a content director at WorldatWork, an association of HR compensation specialists, advises, "Know what wage you're willing to accept and what salary you're not willing to accept." If an offer is too cheap, don't be scared to reject it. "Stay faithful to your value," Macbeth advises.
4. Be upfront and truthful!
Always respond yes when asked whether you're considering other offers. Indicate that this is the job you want at the company you want to work for, but that you are also interested in other opportunities. This also raises your worth significantly. Don't take the first offer made. Take a minute to analyze the details before answering, regardless of the amount. Consider how you would feel in their situation. If they've made you an offer, it's because they want you to be happy. They want to you hear your opinion. They want you to join the team by agreeing to the contract. If the number does not fit your expectations, request more. It's as simple as that.
5. Have a plan and build your case!
Know what you're looking for in a deal. Maintain flexibility while prioritizing your demands. You'll never have more negotiating power than when you sign on the dotted line when it comes to a new job's wage. If there are any more items or perks vital to you, make sure you ask for them. You'd be surprised at how accommodating businesses can be in today's environment. Throughout the process, remain pleasant, positive, and passionate about the job. In a job offer, tough-guy negotiation methods don't work since you want to be the kind of person people want to work with. Make a case for why you're the best applicant for the job. Discuss your qualifications, talents, and achievements, as well as the value you'll bring to the table. This method will assist you in explaining why your requests are justified.
Enter the formal salary negotiation with market research on the range of incomes that type of employment should typically pay, as much information about the company's compensation policies as possible, a clear idea of what you want to make, and an awareness of what you would accept.
6. Understand the person/s you will be negotiating with
People negotiate, not companies. And before you can affect the person across from you, you must first comprehend her. What are her interests and concerns? Bargaining with a potential boss, for example, is not the same as negotiating with an HR representative. You might probably ask the latter many questions about the details of the offer, but you don't want to anger someone who could become your boss with petty demands. It's possible that they like you. They might think you're deserving of whatever you want. However, they may still refuse to deliver it to you. Why? No amount of wrangling can change because they may be bound by certain hard and fast rules, such as salary restrictions. It's your responsibility to figure out where they're willing to compromise and where they are not.
7. Lastly, negotiate your offer!
Many job seekers have been asked tough questions they hoped to avoid, such as: Do you have any other offers? Will you accept our offer if we make it to you tomorrow? Do you think this was the best option? You might say something inelegantly evasive or, worse, untrue if you're unprepared. Never lie in a negotiation. It may not end well for you, but even if it does, it is unethical. Another concern is that you may try too hard to impress and lose leverage when confronted with a difficult question. The point is that you should be prepared for inquiries and concerns that will put you on the defensive, make you feel uneasy, or reveal your flaws. Your goal is to be as honest as possible without coming across as an unappealing candidate—or giving up too much negotiation power.
For many people, negotiating is a stressful and difficult procedure. However, it is not as difficult as it appears. According to experts, failing to negotiate now could harm your future earning potential and personal finances. You should effectively negotiate for the deal you deserve if you have the necessary skills and information. When everything is said and done, make sure the offer is written down. On the other side, if they offer you anything that does not fulfil your expectations, be ready to walk away. Accepting it may result in unnecessary tension and anger.