If you have impressed a potential employer with your CV and during interview, the time will come when the terms of the vacancy are put to you. This is a really crucial time in the job seeking process which could be leading to your ultimate goal, the offer of the job. There is also a good chance that you are not the only candidate who is entering this stage of securing the job you have worked so hard for, therefore it is very important that you handle the process correctly.
In many cases a potential employer will be expecting some kind of negotiations, you don’t have to take the first offer that is put to you. Prior to negotiations starting you will hopefully have a clear idea of what you would like in terms of salary, holidays and any other benefits. If you don’t, then this is something you really need to consider before getting to this stage of your job hunt.
The negotiations process is about the following:
Getting the best possible deal for yourself without ‘pricing’ yourself out of the market.
Clarifying any unwritten promises that may have been said to you at any time during the interview process. It is easy for potential employers to make offers in principle but then genuinely or even conveniently forget them once the job offer has been finalised.
You still need to maintain or enhance their respect for you during the negotiations process or beyond the original offer. Making the offer appear completely inadequate by immediately dismissing it will not earn you any respect from your potential employees. Remember, whilst you are negotiating any job offer, you are still within interview condition and still need to impress your potential recruiters.
Keeping the offer open until you are ready to accept or reject it. Ideally you want the final decision to be yours but the offer window won’t be open for long and you don’t want to spend so much time haggling over the finer details that the potential employers choose to go for another, less demanding candidate.
When negotiating, remember the deal is fundamentally more important to you rather than to them. There is nothing wrong in telling the truth about your situation and any other job offers you have recently had, particularly the truths that support your side of the negotiations.
There may also be the possibility of trade-offs, for example, if they are not offering the total salary you are asking for, are their any other benefits which could be included as a compromise? Perhaps additional holidays, more flexible working hours, etc.
OK, so you have been given the terms of the vacancy but you’re not sure how to approach or open the negotiations:
Telling the recruiters how interested you are in the job and excited you are at the chance to work with them is always a good start.
You can then mention that you wondered if they were open to any minor changes in the job package they are offering.
After broaching the subject of changing the job offer it is vitally important that you give your reasons for requesting the change. Good reasons can include that you want to get the job done properly so feel a change in status or budget will aid this; that you feel you have a lot to offer the company based on your experience and motivation but perhaps the travelling is further than your current position so you would like a little extra on the salary to help with this; compare the package of your current job with the package offered for this new position, however, don’t make the package of your current job sound so great the recruiters may wonder why you are leaving in the first place; you can also compare any offers you have had from other jobs. If a recruiter really wants you, they will be keen to get as close to or better any other offers you may already have.
Finally, once any agreements have been made, ask the recruiters to confirm the job terms in writing or at least write your own notes as to what has been offered so you have a record of what has been discussed and agreed.