How to Negotiate a Job Offer
Studies have shown that most people never attempt to negotiate a job offer when applying for new jobs, despite the general understanding that some negotiation can be expected from a hiring manager's perspective.
When an employer extends a job offer, they’ll present you with a compensation and benefits package with a proposed salary. If you don’t feel the package aligns with your education, career level, skill set and experience, you may choose to negotiate for a better offer.
Knowing how to negotiate a job offer is a valuable life skill that can help ensure you’re fairly compensated for the work you do. Like any skill, it takes preparation and practice to successfully navigate negotiations.
Why you should negotiate your job offer
Many of us feel intimidated by the thought of discussing compensation, you’re not alone! However, missing this important step in accepting a new job offer or growing within your current employment can negatively impact your career trajectory and decrease your earning potential as you grow.
It may make it a little easier to know that employers actually expect you to counter their initial offer - yes you read that right, they want you to ask for what you want. Take a look at this survey, which found that 70% of managers head into a salary discussion or new employee contract discussion expecting the candidate to negotiate their salary and benefits.
So while you may be uncomfortable by the idea of discussing your packages, know that negotiations happen more often than you’d think, are expected and when done right can set you up for success as you grow in your career.
Here are 10 easy ways to negotiate a job offer
Know when to negotiate a job offer
Negotiating your offer too early could harm your chances of securing the offer, which is why we recommend only attempting to negotiate once you have already proven that you’re the best candidate for the job. Once you receive the offer, you have the most leverage to negotiate.
- Know industry salary expectations
A salary negotiation should be informed as possible, and understanding the average rate for your position and experience level will provide an insight into what your limits for negotiating are.
- Build your case
Once you receive a job offer, don’t immediately counter with a request for a higher salary without stating your case. Even if your research shows that the offer is lower than what can be expected for your role, there is a better chance of successful negotiations if you can comprehensively explain why you deserve more. Highlight your strengths, and provide concrete examples of how your skills and experience will benefit the company.
- Be honest
Your needs are just as important as the company you're working for or applying to.It's better to have your needs known rather than regret the position later because its salary doesn’t meet your expectations. Negotiation should be completely open and honest. Be sure to accurately portray your previous experiences, salaries and benefits, as this will paint a clear picture of what your expectations for the new role will be.
- Factor in perks and benefits
While salaries are the most common point of negotiation, it’s important to consider the entire package that the company is offering, as job satisfaction will be more important in the long run. Flexible hours, hybrid work-from-home schedules and extra vacation days are often overlooked when considering your offer, and can be less costly to a company than an increased salary offer.
Another commonly overlooked aspect is learning and development, and opportunities for growth and promotion. A smaller company may leave you with less space to grow, while bigger corporations may be oversaturated but have a larger budget for learning and development.
If you’re considering multiple offers, remember to directly compare health insurance coverage, retirement savings plans and other benefits to make an informed decision.
It’s important to consider what’s valuable to you and what would make an offer more attractive.
- Understand constraints
Sometimes, companies may have hard limits outside of the hiring manager's control. While they might feel that you do deserve it, some limits can’t be changed, and no amount of negotiation can change that.
- Know when to wrap it up
It’s reasonable to expect some back and forth during a negotiation process, however dragging it out can frustrate the hiring manager and start your relationship on a sour note. We would recommend that offers are not countered more than twice.
- Stay positive
Keeping your tone positive while negotiating salary and perks will help you more effectively navigate these discussions.
- Prepare an achievements sheet
Create a one-page summary of your achievements throughout your career. This should include measurable data, such as increasing productivity by 20%, as well as any accomplishments, awards, and customer or co-worker testimonials. An achievements sheet can help summarize your value to your employer.
- Practice how to negotiate a job offer with a friend
Practice makes perfect, and preparing to negotiate your future earning potential is no different. If you feel stressed thinking about talking about money, this step is the most important one of all.
Follow the steps we’ve listed above and meet up with a trusted friend or colleague to practice your delivery and ask for feedback. This can help you to feel more confident and comfortable discussing these topics and will allow you to walk into your meeting with confidence and a clear direction.
You’ve just taken your next steps towards succeeding in your career, be sure to take a look at the Wizco Blog for more insider tips and tricks and walk into every growth opportunity prepared. It pays to be prepared!
The Wizco Team