When you’re on the hunt for a new job, successful negotiations can be a make-or-break situation. You can either walk away with everything you’ve ever dreamed of or simply trade one employer for another with very little to show for it. Undoubtedly, as you progress through your career, negotiation skills are a must. Here are a few tips to make your next negotiation a successful one.
Negotiate More Than Just a Salary
When most people entertain a new job, more often than not, their focus during the negotiations phase is squarely on the numbers — what’s the compensation at the end of the week, month, or year? But, it’s important to remember that negotiations can and should go beyond the paycheck.
For example, if a role was advertised as in-house for five days per week, you could think about negotiating for fewer days on-site. This, of course, can reduce your costs, commute time, and leave you free for childcare, etc. While these perks may not be in exact dollars and cents, they’re still very much tangible benefits.
If you really want a specific job or have the burning desire to work for a particular company and they can’t meet your salary needs, then consider compromising on a few benefits. Think about what else the organization can offer that would make you feel whole such as flexible work schedules, additional vacation days, or other benefits.
Decide What You Want Before Diving In
If you’re actively looking to leave your current circumstances, it’s in your best interest to be clear about what you want, what you absolutely will not accept, and what you’ll do if an agreement cannot be reached. Your recruiter would likely be your point person to sort all of this out and make your wishes known to the prospective employer. To that end, you’ll want to be upfront and open with them, as they are your voice in the negotiation.
Do Your Research
When you enter into negotiations with any organization, be sure to do your homework. In addition to knowing what salary you want, you’ll also need to make sure that your request is in line with market rates. Remember that Human Resource departments are always looking for ways to save money, so if you ask for anything above a standard increase, the onus is also on you to prove why you’re worth it.
Manage your expectations
When job advertisements list a pay range, most applicants tend to assume that they have the credentials and experience to land at the top end of said range. But the truth is, landing at the high end is far easier said than done. Only near-perfect candidates who tick off every requirement will ever sign on the dotted line for that level of comp.
So when you reach the negotiation stage, it’s important to manage your expectations and be honest with yourself (and your recruiter). Your ask should be based solidly on what you can offer. A request for compensation that doesn’t match your skill level will likely result in a “no” and a few more rounds of negotiations.
Don’t Be Afraid to Tweak Your Ask, During or After the Interview
While employers will share details on compensation within the job advertisement, the truth is, it may not always be an accurate reflection of the job and its responsibilities. You may find during the interview process that there’s a bit more to the situation. If the role seems to involve more than you anticipated, be sure to ask for a compensation that reflects those broader job responsibilities.
Trust Your Recruiter
If you’re working with a recruiter, one of the most important things you can do is to trust that person and trust that they will work on your behalf. While it’s abundantly clear that recruiters have to straddle the line between you (the prospective employee) and the hiring company, at the end of the day, their success lies in making a match. So be sure to keep the lines of communication with your recruiter open and honest. To get you to the right place, they need to know what you want and what you need. Additionally, be sure your recruiter knows what you want them to share with the potential employers and what you would prefer to keep under wraps.
Photo Credit: Canva
By Femi Olubodun, Recruitment Team Leader, Planet Pharma UK