🎃Trick or Treat? Just in time for Halloween, we thought of bringing you a haunting topic. Indeed, negotiating a job offer can be a daunting process for many of us, job seekers. The good news are that just like the tricks and treats of Halloween, there are tactics that both job seekers and employers may use during the negotiation phase. To make sure that you don’t fall for any tricks and come up with the sweetest deal, it’s important to be prepared and aware of common negotiation pitfalls. In this article, we'll explore some key strategies for successful offer negotiations and highlight the tricks you should be wary of.
Trick 1 - Don’t underestimate the power of research 🔍
Most of us don’t know what salary to ask because we haven’t done our research. Before entering any negotiation, thorough research is your best treat. “Do your research and find out what other people with your title make in the company, or in the industry”. Search the internet, use your network. Know your worth in the job market by researching industry salary benchmarks, the company's compensation practices, and the cost of living in your area. With this information, you can make an informed argument for your desired compensation package.
To recap, take the following research steps:
- Search for salary information on websites like Teamlyzer or salary reports published by recruiting firms.
- Reach out to employees from the company or industry-related employees or people you may know.
- During interviews, ask about the compensation package or salary for the position, and start building your own database.
- Investigate the cost of living in your area, the standard salary in your city/country and any additional compensations.
Trick 2 - Don’t name your previous salary figure, even if they ask. 💵
One of the most common interview questions - and one of the most awkward ones - is about your current salary. It’s important to retain that not all companies will make this question, but some do. If you known that you've been underpaid in the past and fear that anchoring with your previous or current salary could be detrimental, rest assured that you're not obliged to provide a specific number. You have the right to safeguard your own interests.
So, to keep this question at bay, you can redirect it to your salary expectations instead. Avoid disclosing your current salary, but consistently communicate your salary expectations by giving a range. This way you don't lose your negotiation advantage.
“You’re not in a position to negotiate well because you’re still in unknown territory. The time to discuss salary is after they’ve fallen in love with you.” HBR, John Lees, Career Strategist.
Find the place you belong. Be happy at work. Be happy in life.
Trick 3 - Avoid setting your salary expectations too low; instead, always strive for a higher rate. 🎯
After establishing your initial expectations, consider raising them by 5 to 10% when entering negotiations with a prospective employer. Typically, a job comes with a salary range that takes into account the candidate's qualifications and unique skill set. The more specialised the candidate's skills are, the greater their negotiating leverage. Make the most of this salary range to your advantage. Finally, whenever you disclose your expectations, mention that you are available to negotiate. Leave that door open!
“After establishing your initial salary expectations, consider raising them by 5 to 10% when entering negotiations with a prospective employer.”
Trick 4 - Avoid the take it or leave it trick 🎩
Some employers may employ a "take it or leave it" attitude during negotiations. They may present a final offer with no room for further discussion. While this can be intimidating, it's essential not to rush into a decision. Politely express your desire to negotiate further and reiterate your interest in the position. In some cases, this company can prompt employers to reconsider.
Here the best way to deal with this attitude is to play with time. “I need time to think” or “there is no room for negotiation” or “I have other proposals on the table”.
Trick 5 - Don’t just focus on the money. Think about the additional perks 💸
Sometimes treats are hidden. Many people think about a job negotiation as being about one number, but it’s not. It’s about the overall package. These could include flexible working hours, extra vacation days, professional development opportunities, or a signing bonus. According to Jeff Weiss and HBR, companies sometimes won’t budget on the salary amount “but you can get a lot of value by asking for things that don’t cost much.” Another important aspect is that it’s not just about a figure, but also who you will be working for and the company culture itself. Remember, your overall satisfaction with the job is a priority. This is what we advocate at eikko, finding a balance between your goals, personality and company culture.
Here are a few benefits you should negotiate or consider beyond the base salary:
- Flexible working hours or mode work (remote or hybrid)
- Transportation: Is parking available at the office, or do I need to rely on public transportation, and if so, what are the alternatives?
- Healthcare Insurance
- Professional training or a bonus for that
- Stock options or equity percentages
- Additional holidays
- Other benefits: maternity and paternity, onsite child care,
- Meal allowance - Prepaid meal card (this is common in Portugal)
In sum, negotiating a job offer can be a tricky business, but with the right strategies and awareness, you can ensure that you're not tricked into accepting less than you deserve. By researching, staying patient, and remaining confident in your value, you can turn the negotiation process into a treat, securing a satisfying deal that's a win-win for both you and your future employer. This Halloween season, remember that the best treat of all is a fair and rewarding job offer.
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