Most job seekers would agree that negotiating a job offer can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be! Having a few of Maven Recruiting's insider tactics in your back pocket will make all the difference the next time you're talking numbers with your current or potential employer. This is a discussion that all of us will have at some point in our careers, so why not prepare?
As our CEO Jessica Vann says, "You are what you eat, and you get what you negotiate!"
1. Every Negotiation is Different
First things first, no two negotiations are the same. Although we all wish there was a "one size fits all" way of approaching this conversation, there's just no such thing. Not to worry: there are few tactics that will help you navigate with ease.
2. Show Your Interest Before Talking Numbers
If your potential employer asks you for your targeted compensation before he or she tells you anything about the role – now is not the time to give them a number. Instead, let your potential employer know that you'd prefer to get to know the role and its expectations before talking numbers. Show that you care about more than just money; this gives you the opportunity to convey your skills and prove your value first. People are much more likely to invest in you after they get to know you!
3. Consider the Whole Package
Your salary is not the only thing to consider when negotiating. When examining an offer, consider the benefits – is there a significant bonus opportunity or generous commuter benefits? How about a 401K match or equity in the company? Will this company allow you to bring your dog to work with you? When you ask yourself these questions, you begin to understand what's most important to you and how the puzzle pieces of an offer fit together. Maybe this opportunity can't quite match the cash compensation you were originally looking for, but if you can negotiate a space for your dog, the $6,500 annually you'll be saving on dog-walking and the extra QT you'll be getting with your cutie pup might be worth it!
4. Do Your Research
Remember, employers can't ask you what you're taking home in your current role, but they are usually aware of what the market bears. There's nothing worse than throwing out a number that is either outrageously high or, ever worse, too low in comparison to what the market drives. In fact, doing such may cost you the offer altogether. Before talking numbers, make sure you're prepared. Have you done your research? Are you confident that your salary expectations align with the market? There are tons of resources out there – use them!
5. Partner with a Recruiter
One of the best ways to get the most up-to-date information is to partner with a recruiter who's an expert in your field. As a specialized agency, we at Maven know what the market drives for Administrative & Human Resources staffing. We thoroughly understand these roles across various industries, which means we can tell you what type of compensation you can expect depending on your background and experience level. If you run your salary expectations by a recruiter first, you'll have a much better idea as to whether your number is in line with the market and as a result, you'll feel significantly more confident asking your potential employer for a competitive, yet reasonable number.
6. Give a Range, Not a Number
If you've done all your research and you're still not sure what to ask for, try giving a range rather than a firm number. This allows you to test the waters without locking yourself in at a specific target salary. Doing this shows that you are open to the whole package and everything they have to offer. At the same time, you get the benefit of potentially getting an offer at the higher end of the spectrum!
7. Your Counter-Offer Isn't a Weapon
Say you get an offer from a potential employer and are presented with a counter-offer at your current company... now what? I'm sure it can be tempting to launch a bidding war, but using a counter-offer as a weapon to get more money is not the best way to start out a new employment relationship. Employers are used to this game and believe us when we say – they don't want to play it. Advocate for what you want but keep it professional.
8. It's Not All About You
Negotiation requires a conversation—some give and take. You should feel like you are getting what you need, but your potential employer should also feel like they are getting what they need, too. Take the opportunity to remind your potential employer of what makes you unique and what you plan to bring to the table: how you can make their company better. In other words, highlight yourself, but bring it back to them!
9. Take Money Off the Table
Money will only go so far. If you take a job solely because of the money, you likely won't be happy in the long run. If you are having a hard time deciding whether you should jump ship or keep sailing with your current employer, try taking money off the table... where do you want to be? Think about the company culture, the quality of work and the mission of the brand. Which role lights you up? Which office would get you excited to leave your bed in the morning?
10. It's All in the Framing
Like your parents once taught you, it's not always what you say, but how you say it. The same rule applies to compensation conversations. Whether it's negotiating with your current or potential employer, you should be cautious of your verbiage. You are your own best advocate – but think about how the other party's needs are and frame your asks to address them.
You'll survive the negotiating convo, we promise. And with that, congratulations on the offer – it's time to celebrate!
PS: If this article helped you, share it and stay tuned for more career insights from your Maven Recruiting Thought Leaders.