5 Tips for Negotiating Your Job Offer

Negotiating Your Job Offer

5 Tips for Negotiating Your Job Offer

In our experience, most job offers are virtually predetermined because both the employer and the candidate have communicated their needs beforehand. Not every job offer is cut and dry. Sometimes a little back and forth is necessary so that both parties feel satisfied by the outcome. When you initially applied to the position, you were most likely asked to provide your current salary. Some applications will even ask candidates to provide a salary expectation as a means of screening candidates in or out. Either way, the hiring manager already has an idea of what your expectations are. You obviously have a number in mind. Now it’s time to see if your target salary and their offer are close enough to get the deal done. When it is time for the final interview, and you’re expecting an employer to make an offer, here are some key points to help you come to a mutually beneficial outcome.

Make sure You’ve Laid the Groundwork
No matter what your salary expectations are, the best ammunition you have is that you have left the hiring manager with the impression that you are the best candidate to fill this role. If you’ve made it to this stage, it’s safe to say that the organization wants you to be part of the team. Since the nature of this exchange is to see just how much they are willing to compensate you to join them, you will need more than just your resume. In addition to your skills and experience, likeability is a determining factor in securing your desired salary. According to The Master Negotiator, likeability makes you more persuasive and influential in negotiations. You want to be viewed as favorably as possible by those you seek to influence in any situation. In our experience, the bottom line is that most companies are willing to pay whatever it takes to put the right person in the job. Your focus should be convincing the hiring manager that they can’t do this without you.

Do Your Research
One very basic step you can take to prepare to discuss salary and compensation is to research what typical salaries are for your position. This information is very easily found on the internet, and there are a several websites dedicated to this. A few that you might find helpful are:

Salary.com
This is probably the most popular source, and provides quick and easy navigation.

Jobstar.org
This site is very comprehensive because it links to 300 other sites that maintain salary lists that are well maintained.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program
This is probably the most credible source because, according to Forbes, The BLS surveys 1.2 million establishments over a period of three years to get their figures.

There is no guarantee that your future employer will propose a number that is in line with industry standards. Some employers may not even know if their salaries are competitive or fair by market standards. If you’ve done your research, you can come to the table more knowledgeable and with a realistic about your own expectations for the offer. The last thing you want to do is price yourself out of the market, or out of the job.

Don’t negotiate just to negotiate
If you receive an offer that is in line with the standard salary for your job title, and reflects a number that meets what you need to pay your monthly bills, you don’t necessarily need to negotiate. In a good, healthy economic market, we traditionally see an average 8% salary increase when candidates change jobs. The fact is that very few of us are so in demand that we can actually dictate our own salaries. If you are lucky enough to write your own ticket, you should know that your employer will most likely have tremendous expectations of you, and hold you to a higher standard than your other colleagues. For some candidates having a healthy work-life balance and achievable expectations is the tradeoff for having a higher salary. An article in The Muse cautions candidates to look for cues before attempting negotiations. For example, if a hiring manager tells you that they really want you to join the team, so they’re giving you their “best offer,” there may not be room to negotiate. That doesn’t mean you should settle for any offer that comes your way. Accepting a job just for the sake of a paycheck is likely to lead to dissatisfaction for you and your employer. If an agreement can’t be reached, it may be better for you to turn down the job offer and continue your job search.

Consider the Value of the Entire Compensation Package
If your job offer includes any type of healthcare compensation, you absolutely have to factor this into the total monetary value of the package. With healthcare premiums skyrocketing, the true valuation of paid health benefits is tremendous. According to data gathered by eHealth, the average health insurance cost for single coverage premiums in 2017 is $393 per month. For family coverage, the average cost is $1,021 per month. If you want to know the monetary valuation of your monthly benefits, you can visit any healthcare insurance provider’s webpage and calculate this easily. Some employers will pay percentages of healthcare or provide a stipend. This is also easy to calculate if you know the current monthly premium. Retirement plans like 401k and 403b should also be taken into consideration as part of the dollar value of your monthly compensation. It is not unreasonable to ask a potential employer to provide specific dollar amounts for health insurance, retirement plans and other benefits when evaluating an offer. They may choose not to reveal specific numbers, but if they are really trying to demonstrate the monetary worth of the package, it can be a very effective selling point.

What other topics are negotiable?
Maybe this dream job doesn’t come with a dream salary. There are other perks that you may be able to negotiate that may be appealing to you. A better job title can enhance your resume, and attract hiring managers when you are seeking a future position. According to The Muse, having the right title will affect how you are viewed at your next job, as well as while you’re working with your colleagues and clients in the meantime. If you are entering a role where you will be highly visible to clients and customers, you may request a clothing stipend to enhance your business wardrobe. Travel reimbursement is another possibility if your new job involves a lengthy commute. Many organizations will consider tuition reimbursement or continuing education reimbursement for candidates because they view it as a direct investment back into the company. More companies are realizing the perceived value of allowing employees to work from home one or more days a week. You may consider asking for this, or additional vacation days to offset any salary gaps you encounter in a new organization.

There is an art to the process of negotiation. That process begins with establishing whether negotiation is appropriate, welcome and possible. Once you establish that there is room for some back and forth in your offer, you should approach the situation with tactfulness, and a genuine appreciation for the opportunity. It can be intimidating. Confidence in your position comes from being informed and prepared. This will be your best tool when it comes to negotiating your job offer.

Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. http://bradleystaffinggroup.com/contact-us/

 

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