You got the job! Yay! The company has made you an offer and while it’s not terrible, it’s not exactly what you were expecting. What do you do? Should you just be thankful that you have been offered a job or should you try to negotiate? Since many candidates will negotiate, there is a good chance that the employer did not open with their final offer. With that in mind, it makes sense to give it a try. Here are some clues that it’s time to open the negotiations:
They have decided that they want you. You should never attempt to negotiate your salary unless an offer is on the table. When the employer has a big batch of candidates to consider, you have very little negotiating power. However, once the employer has decided that you are the one they want on their team, they may be willing to spend a little more money to get you. Try to stall any conversations about salary until you know that you are the top candidate, but if the employer forces you to provide your salary expectations, give them a range that is based on your industry research.
They made you a low offer. Since you are knowledgeable about your industry and have done your salary research, you should have an idea of what to expect based on your occupation, region and level of experience. If they make an offer that is lower than what you were expecting, don’t be afraid to let them know.
You have other options. Tell the employer if you have been interviewing with other companies. When they can see that they are not the only company that is interested in your skills, you will become more attractive to them. Also, since you may have more than one company to choose from, you will obviously choose the one that makes you the best offer.
There are other goodies on the table. When you are considering your compensation and benefits, try not to become overly focused on the salary number. While your salary is important, there are other benefits that could be just as or even more significant to you. Flexible hours, health and dental benefits, telecommuting opportunities, discounts, extra vacation days, and free lunches are all great benefits that should be considered with your salary. Even if the manager has strict limitations on what they can offer you in terms of salary, they may be able to increase some of these benefits.
It’s a deal breaker for you. After the employer makes you an offer that is too low, your inclination might be to just cut your losses and move on. Don’t give up too quickly! If you are planning to turn down the job anyway, then you have nothing to lose by trying to negotiate. You’ve already put a lot of time and energy into this position; why not see if you can find a way to make it work?!
(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of ratch0013 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)