Negotiation is not something that many people feel comfortable with, especially when it comes to discussing employment contract terms with a future employer. However, it’s becoming an increasingly common practice for employers to initially offer ‘low’ salaries in anticipation of a degree of negotiation and haggling. Therefore, it’s important to be confident and prepared to barter, otherwise you could be missing out on money and other perks.
Here are some important ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ to bear in mind when playing the negotiation game.
See also: How to Negotiate Effectively
Do be gracious
When you’re offered a job, you know that you’ve been chosen as the best candidate for the position. Always thank the company for their offer.
Don’t rush to accept
It can be tempting to rush straight in and accept a job offer. Tactically, it’s better to wait briefly. This short hiatus prepares the employer for a negotiating session and sends out the message that you’re not desperate for the job, and are therefore likely to hold out for the best package.
Do be prepared to ‘close the deal’
Being able to close the deal is extremely important. Think along the lines of the following script: “Many thanks for your offer. You offered £X, but I was actually hoping for something nearer to £Y. If we could meet in the middle, I’d be delighted to sign with you today.”
This lays out exactly what you want whilst remaining gracious and polite, and leaving room for further discussion.
Do be confident
The recruitment process can be long and time-consuming for employers. Be confident that you’ve been successful and have in all probability beaten hundreds of other applicants to the position. The last thing the employer wants to do is start their search all over again. If you’re polite and reasonable, the worst that can happen is that they will say ‘no’.
Don’t accept an offer on the spot
Never rush to accept a job offer on the spot. Give yourself at least a few hours to think it over and to make sure you have all the necessary information about the whole package on offer to be able to make an informed decision.
Don’t be greedy
Whilst it’s expected that a degree of negotiation about salary will take place, don’t be greedy and ask for too much. It’s unlikely that an employer will rescind a job offer, but if you ask for too much, the company might begin to doubt your intentions and you don’t want to create doubts in your manager’s mind.
Don’t forget about benefits
Whilst some companies might have tight budgets when it comes to pay, they may be able to offer you additional benefits instead, which can make the whole package much more attractive. Consider what would make your life easier; flexible hours or an element of telecommuting could make family time far more achievable, for example.
See also: How NOT to Negotiate Your Salary
Do ask for the deal in writing
If you’re successful in negotiating a new offer, always ask for the details to be given to you in writing. This gives you a clear audit trail which shows the renegotiated terms you’ve asked for and means that the company will have to honour what you’ve agreed verbally.
Negotiation is now an accepted part of the job search process. Always be confident, polite and gracious, keep your requests realistic, and be prepared to compromise.