How to Negotiate the Job Offer

Interview Tips

What happens if the job offer doesn’t meet your expectations or even your requirements? Your first instinct might be to decline the offer – but that is not your only option. You can negotiate for a higher salary, improved benefits, better work hours, and other job-related issues. A recent study reveals that 39 percent of candidates negotiate the initial job offer. Considering we’re currently in a candidate-driven job market, there is no better time to start the negotiation. If you are going to negotiate that original job offer, there are several steps you should take.

1. Set Salary Goals Early

Salary is still one of the most critical parts of the job offer. You should set your salary goals even before you start the job search. Determine what your ideal salary is, as well as what your minimum salary requirements are. Making this determination early will make sure you are not thrown off guard if salary is mentioned during the interview process and allow you to start the negotiation process even before the job offer. Early salary goals also can help you eliminate some job options early to avoid wasting your time.

2. Consider Benefits

Salary isn’t the only thing you should consider with the job offer. Carefully evaluate the various benefits offered, such as health care costs, paid time off, career development options, career growth opportunities, location, and work-life balance. While salary is important, some of these benefit offerings may offset the lower wage. For example, a slightly lower salary may be offset by lower healthcare costs or more paid vacation time. It’s important to review both salary and benefits when deciding whether to accept the job offer or not.

3. Determine Value of Job

If the job offer does not meet your expectations, the first thing you must ask yourself is how important the job is to you. Ask yourself several questions, will this job help to advance your career? Is there room to grow with the company? Will the company provide you with remarkable network connections to further your career? Is the job more align with your overall career goals? The answers to these questions may help you determine how willing you are to fight for the job.

4. Evaluate Industry Standards

Before you turn down any job offer, be sure to evaluate salary and benefit standards for your specific industry. Check with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the latest salary and benefit statistics for your particular area. You can also use online data to determine the average salary for that specific company. Use this data to determine if the job offer details are aligned with similar jobs where you live. If the salary or benefit offerings are substantially lower than other companies within the same industry, you can point these facts out to the employer within your counteroffer.

5. Make a Counteroffer

If the job offer isn’t what you expected, but you are not ready to turn it down, you can make a counteroffer. If you went through a recruiting company to connect with the job, reach out to your recruiter for help. Most recruiters have a working relationship with the employer, and they can provide you with insight as to how the company is likely to respond to a counteroffer. If you did not go through a recruiter, keep your counteroffer as clear and concise as possible and that it includes what changes you want to make in the offer.

6. Focus on What’s Important

There’s a likelihood that the proposal may contain various parts that fall below your expectations. However, if you are still interested in the job, you will need to focus on just one or two elements of the job offer that you want to negotiate. Asking for too many changes can prompt the employer to end negotiation and renege on the job offer. Limiting your negotiations to only the parts of the offer that are most important to you will increase your chances of getting an offer you can accept.

7. Decline Professionally

If the employer cannot meet your hiring demands, then it may be time to decline the job offer. When doing so, remember that you may connect with this employer at some point in the future and you want to keep the lines of communication open. Even though you may be frustrated over the job offer negotiations, always remain professional. Thank the employer for their time and briefly explain why you cannot accept the job offer at this time. This step will allow you to move on to other job opportunities without burning any bridges with the company.

If you are not satisfied with the initial job offer, it never hurts to send a counteroffer to the employer. Just remember always to remain professional and to stick with the aspects of the proposal that are most important to you. For other career advice and for assistance creating a resume that gets noticed, contact GoResume today.