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Recruitment 101: Negotiating Your Job Offer

June 23, 2021 0 Comments

Negotiating your job offer can be confronting but there are 5 simple things to keep in mind to make it that much easier.

Of the different stages of the recruitment process, many applicants find the final one the most difficult – negotiating your job offer. This is understandable. Think about it. You’ve jumped all the hurdles in the job race, from fixing up your cv and cover letter to connecting to a recruiter to interviewing to what seems like the finish line – a job offer.

But there is one last before the real finish line (which is actually the starting line – your first day at your new employer): Finalising your employment contract.

Most recruiters will brief you on the remuneration/compensation package early in the process, so you will probably have had discussions about this. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about negotiating your offer further. So, here are the five things to think about if you do go down the negotiation road.

1. Do your homework

There are two main bits of homework you should do before any negotiations.

  1. Research the market. Understand what the average rate or salary range is. There are plenty of sites, such as Payscale, Glassdoor and Indeed that offer this kind of data.
  2. Understand your worth. Go into the negotiation with a clear value proposition. Assess yourself along metrics such as years of industry and/or leadership experience, education level, career level, skills (especially niche or technical) and licenses/certifications. You may not have covered all of this off in the interview or your CV. Now is the time to use this to assess the value you bring to your new employer.

2. Negotiables v non-negotiables

Weigh up all aspects of the package and job against your professional and personal needs. Consider what’s on the table against what you value most and formulate some questions around this to take into the negotiation.

For example, you may not have discussed overtime expectations, which for some may be non-negotiable due to personal or family reasons. Or, vice-versa, you may be more than happy to do overtime or weekends but will only do so if this is remunerated accordingly. 

Essentially, work out what the baseline for you to be happy in the role is around these kinds of issues and work from there.

3. What to negotiate

When candidates hear the word “negotiate”, it’s often the base salary that comes to mind. However, while salary may have been crucial in the past, there has been a shift to compensating workers in a variety of ways.

Before you start thinking “The salary is XXX below what I would expect”, ensure you have a full understanding of the entire compensation package and ask questions about what can be negotiated. Many employers are open to “lifestyle” incentives in packages that might end up being worth far more than a higher salary to you.

Some examples of this include:

  • Flexible hours
  • Higher superannuation payments
  • Work from home
  • Relocation or sign-on bonuses
  • Equity offers
  • Expense and equipment reimbursements
  • Training and professional development
  • Onsite amenities such as childcare, gyms and staff cafes

Gorilla Jobs Blog Negotiating Job Offer Two Women Agreeing On Work During Meeting
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4. Negotiation day

When the day comes to “have the negotiation chat”, you will probably feel a little nervous. You want the job, are grateful for the offer and don’t want to upset the apple cart by seeming to be too demanding. 

But remember, you’ve gotten through the entire recruitment process and been deemed the most suitable for both the individual role and the culture of the organisation, so they want you as much as you want the job! 

Kick off your negotiation discussion with a positive attitude that both parties want this to work out. It’s not a tug of war or battle. Think about the common ground that already exists and work from there. Steer away from adversarial language and be prepared to answer some potentially tough questions to justify why you are negotiating (this is where having done your homework helps!)

Most importantly, listen to what the other party has to say in response to your questions or requests. This is potentially the first time outside of the interview process where you have had an unscripted chat with them. You can learn more about both the organisation, culture and role at this point, which in turn will inform you further about whether to accept the offer.

Also, be mindful that the other party will be operating under constraints about what is possible. Be prepared to be flexible (remember those negotiables v non-negotiables) and temper some of your expectations so you can come to a middle ground.

5. This negotiation isn’t the end of the road

Once you’ve gone as far as you think is possible, you come to a point where you have to decide whether or not to take the job offer.

This is why negotiating is so important – you are about to make a big decision, so it gives you a chance to fully assess the situation.

If the negotiations reveal this isn’t the right job for you, it’s OK to politely decline. If you are happy with where you landed, accept! Great outcome!

And there is a middle ground where you may not have quite landed the package you want but are mostly happy. If you find yourself in this place, don’t forget that some time down the track, especially once you have a better understanding of the company and have proven your worth, other discussions can be had to adjust your package.

Gorilla Jobs Can Help You

We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!