The Art of Negotiating Job Offers
The art of negotiating job offers can be challenging to master. In today’s world of uncertainty, the last thing that you might want is to put yourself in an uncomfortable position talking about salary. It can be tempting to accept a job immediately without carefully evaluating your role and the benefits that come with it. It’s even more tempting to avoid negotiating for better opportunities because of the fear of the job offer being withdrawn. Negotiating job offers can be a nerve-wrecking process especially because of the uncertainty on what the hiring manager’s reaction would be.
However, negotiation does not have to be a stressful process. With skill and practice, you can learn the art of negotiating job offers. Here are some tips that might make the negotiation process less anxiety-inducing and more structured:
Gather insider information
Understanding industry benchmarks, salary ranges, and best practices helps you to look at your job offer with a bit more perspective. This can be done through accessing insider information by networking with people already working in the industry. From networking events, to reaching out to your school alumni, you can find out more on what their working environment is like, the kind of benefits that they have, and the kind of salary that you can negotiate on that is reasonable to the hiring manager.
Enquire about Existing Employment Benefits
You can also clarify on the employment benefits that come with the job offering and enquire on the number of paid leaves, medical insurance, and career progression opportunities available etc. Don’t be afraid to ask for more information about the kind of employment benefits that you will be receiving. With more knowledge, you are able to make better decisions and decide on the areas that you are willing to compromise on, and the areas that you can’t.
Know what you Can’t Sacrifice
Take some time to think of benefits that you would not be able to compromise on. What is your minimum salary? Do you need flexible working hours if you are required to work on weekends? If the pay is lower than the industry average but the employment benefits are great, are you willing to compromise on the pay? Does the pay justify the number of hours that you work? If there is reasonable pay but little opportunities to grow and progress up the corporate ladder, are you willing to compromise on the job’s limitations?
Creating a list of items that you are willing to negotiate on and a list of must-have items can help you to be certain of what you prioritise in a job. Knowing what you want helps you to be more assertive in the negotiation process. You might be staying in this job for a long-haul, so make sure you properly evaluate the kind of perks and benefits that you want carefully.
Provide Justification by Highlighting your Skillset
It’s always good to know what you are worth especially when the industry needs your set of skills and abilities, and lay them out on the table for your hiring manager to see. While networking and gathering information, go a step further to research on the kinds of skills that are needed in the industry, especially those that the industry currently faces shortage of. If you possess skills that are currently in demand in the industry, you can use them to justify the employee benefits that you would like to negotiate on.
Also take some time to reflect on the kind of technical expertise that your company needs, their goals, and milestones that they hope to achieve over the course of the year. Remind your hiring manager how you can value-add to the company and help them to fulfil their objectives with your skill set. Share your capabilities to your hiring manager, and justify why you are worth the higher pay or greater employment benefits. Showing how valuable you are for the company can also help you to negotiate for a better title at work, one that enhances your personal branding.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you are certain of the areas that you want to cover for the negotiation, remember to prepare and rehearse before the actual negotiation. Practising with someone will help to build your confidence in getting across the things that you want to say. Creating an outline of what you are going to deliver will also help you to organise your thoughts. From reinforcing your value in the company, to stating the employment benefits that you would like to have, to providing justification for them, rehearsing the way you deliver the information is crucial in the negotiation phase. With each rehearsal, you’ll find yourself more comfortable in asserting the things that you want to say to your hiring manager.
Communicating with your Hiring Manager
In a negotiation, it’s all about understanding the other person’s needs and wants. If your hiring manager conveys that it is not possible to provide you with what you requested, asking for the reason can help you to understand the company’s needs and limitations. At the same time, be clear on your reasons for the areas that you would like to negotiate on. From there, you can work with your hiring manager to find out whether there are other things that the both of you can compromise on, and you might come to a mutual agreement. A negotiation involves mutual respect and thorough communication. As you communicate what you need, remember to be gracious and empathetic to the needs of the company as well, and not to take advantage of the job offer by demanding things that are unreasonable.
Throughout the negotiation, remember to stay calm and composed. Keep an open mind to what your hiring manager has to say and stay positive no matter what the outcome of the negotiation would be.
If you are looking for a job and not sure where to begin, head over to JobsPivot’s online career portal here to kickstart your career hunt. If you are not sure what to look for in an organisation, click here for some career hunting advice.