After months of a gruelling job search, with interviews that have come and gone, you’ve finally found a company that you’d love to work for – and even better – who want you too. It’s thrilling to receive a job offer for a position that you’re excited about, but how do you negotiate the terms and conditions of your employment with skill and ease?
From understanding salary expectations and benefits to getting inside the mind of an employer, here are our five rules for negotiating a job offer.
Don’t Underestimate The Importance Of Starting Salary
Your starting salary can dictate your career trajectory, so it’s important that you’re happy with what you’re being offered. Refusing to entertain the idea of salary negotiation because of fear that the employer will remit the offer is short-sighted – it’s normal to discuss salary expectations and not doing so can end up hindering your progression in the long run.
Be As Detailed As Possible In Your Requests
When negotiating salary or a benefits package, it’s important that you give reasons for these requests, to give some context to an employer and to also illustrate why you deserve what you’re asking for. Research statistics and average salaries for the job you’ve applied for, and measure those alongside your skills and experience. If you have more qualifications or experience than the job description asks for, use that to justify a higher salary. If you’re looking for flexible working because of childcare commitments or if you have a disability, don’t be afraid to talk openly about your needs and why they’re justified.
Understand The Constraints Of The Person Hiring
Think about the your potential boss, their interests, their concerns, and the goals and finances of the company. Do your research and where possible, determine turnover, or look on GlassDoor to get a feeling of what salaries they offer. If you’re applying to an SME for example and you’re asking for £10,000 above the advertised salary, consider their financial constraints and if this would be possible, and be willing to negotiate for benefits in other areas.
Be Prepared To Answer Difficult Questions
When negotiating an offer, understand that you might be asked questions that’ll make you uncomfortable or defensive, so prepare for these as best as you can. Employers may ask questions like: Are we your top choice and why? Do you have any other offers? If we give you our best offer, will you say yes? Essentially, you need to be honest and open but measured with how you word your answers, so that you still seem a strong candidate and so you don’t give up too much of your bargaining power.
Consider The Big Picture
Instead of focussing solely on the financial aspect of the role, consider what else a company could offer you that would save you time or money in the long-run, and help you to foster a happy work life balance. There are a myriad of factors other than salary that might be easier to negotiate, and allow you to take into account your other responsibilities, the travel and location of the work, family commitments and even hobbies.
What has your experience been like negotiating a job offer? Drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you’re looking for a new opportunity you can also check out our current vacancies here.