We have already covered preparing for an offer, “Are you Ready To Negotiate Your Next Comp Package?” and “Respond To The Questions, “What Are You Looking For?” Now we will cover how to negotiate an offer. You need to have a plan in place and the proper strategy to achieve your goals, which include the optimal deal you can negotiate.
If you are represented by a recruiter they should take responsibility for negotiating on your behalf. The following information is geared for the person who is not represented by a recruiter. Once you receive an offer you have to have an answer to the question: Now what do I do?
When you receive the offer here is what you need to do:
Keep your cool. Do not react other than to say: You are very excited about the opportunity to work for the organization. You want to hear every part of the offer. Take copious notes. Get the offer in writing, including all deal points including bonus, vacation days and anything else that is part of the standard offer.
Buy time to consider the offer: Tell the person extending the offer that you will need 72 hours to consider the offer. Let them know that you want to speak with your spouse or friends and that you will get back to them within three days.
Compare all of the offer parts to what you have with your most recent employer so that you can focus on the things of greatest concern to you.
Identify each area where you have an issue before you get back to the employer.
Be prepared to discuss all issues at one time. That is, be prepared to discuss everything in one discussion.
Organize your issues about each deal point in order of importance. If the employer doesn’t have the time or they limit discussion to certain issues only, be ready to discuss your issues in order of importance: first, second and third.
Frame your discussion in the context of what your current employer offers, what the market offers someone with your experience and what is being offered. See, “Are you Ready,” http://linkd.in/1GvUwmF, see salary.
Example: On the issue of Salary: If an employer offers less than the market or less than what you were making, use those facts to gently demonstrate that the offer is substandard. Ask what they can do to make you whole, including raising the offer. If that does not work, ask for a signing bonus that can help you make up what you are losing in the bargain. Also, ask for an early salary review with a specific date and specific consequences: “If I perform at or above your expectations will you give me an early increase in salary?”
Have a story or example for each thing that you want to negotiate, why you need the particular item.
In the event that you find yourself negotiating with HR, ask if you can speak with the hiring manager.
This is always preferable as he or she has a real stake in whether you take the job.
On the other hand, if HR takes on the negotiation role, expect them to be limited in what they can negotiate.
Once you have exhausted your list of negotiables and you have decided to accept or reject the offer. You might be able to take an additional 24 hours to give a final answer but that is all.
If the deal is acceptable then sign the offer letter and send it back to the employer. If the deal is not all that you wanted you can always accept the offer and continue to interview. I always recommend that candidates do what is in their best interest, including taking the offer and continue to look until they start the new job. At that point, they need to stop looking and concentrate on their new job.