Tips for negotiating your next job offer

Business people shaking their hands in an office

Accepting a job offer can be bittersweet. It’s exciting to take on a new role but things can quickly become stressful when it comes time for negotiations. Many candidates are afraid asking for a higher salary or better employee perks will lose them the offer they worked so hard to receive in the first place. The reality of it is most companies expect you to negotiate your job offer in some capacity. In my 25 years as a recruiter, I’ve helped countless candidates negotiate their next role, and everything that comes with it. Follow the tips below to make sure your next negotiation process runs smoothly.

Let the employers make the first move

Salary is important, and for some candidates it can be a deal breaker. But it’s best to avoid asking about the salary in your first interview with a company. It’s often a turnoff for employers and could lead to no job offer at all.

Once a company has decided it would like to hire you, it is not uncommon for them to ask you what are your salary requirements. If companies do not reveal the salary range for the position you applied for ahead of time, answering that question can lead to a lot of anxiety. It’s best to respond by asking the employer what the typical salary range for the role is. This will help you avoid accepting a salary offer that is lower than what they were willing to pay you in the first place. When they return with an answer, you can start your negotiations from there.

Negotiate beyond salary

While getting the salary you deserve is an important part of accepting a position, there are other things to consider before taking a job offer. Oftentimes if an employer can’t budge any higher on salary, they are able to find flexibility in other ways to seal the deal. Paid time off, flexible work schedules, potential for bonuses and moving expenses are all things you could consider asking about during the negotiation process. Sign-on bonuses are also becoming very prevalent, especially if a company can’t increase compensation due to internal equity. Asking for a review with a possible salary increase based on performance after 90 days or six months is another way to potentially add to your salary if the company isn’t willing to make any increases right away.

Be prepared to explain your request

We all have our reasons for negotiating a higher salary and more employee perks. But your future employer may not be willing to make changes in your favor for just anything. Be prepared to explain why you deserve more than they initially offered when countering. Below are a few things you can research and prepare ahead of time to help make your case:

  1. Cost of living: $50,000 in California won’t go as far as $50,000 in Kansas City. It’s good to know how far the proposed salary will go in the area you live. The cost of benefits premiums vary by company, too. If the new company’s benefit premiums are higher, you can ask for a higher salary to offset the difference.
  2. Salary trends: A position’s average salary in 2019 is going to be much different than its average in 2022. As a recruiter, I’ve seen the average salary for positions in Kansas City climb each year. You can search current salary ranges using the Morgan Hunter salary guide. Knowing this information will give you some negotiating power and ensure you’re not accepting an offer that’s well below the industry average.
  3. Quantify your value: If the job opening asks for three to five years of experience in a particular field and you have six years under your belt, reiterate that when asking for a higher salary range. If you made big strides at your last job—like increasing sales by 25% year over year—quantifying that skill will help reiterate the value you will bring to the employer.

If negotiating isn’t your thing, I can help. In many cases candidates we work with don’t feel comfortable negotiating or asking for more money on their own—and they’d prefer their recruiter negotiate on their behalf. At Morgan Hunter recruiters like myself work alongside you throughout the entire process. We also work with the companies to ensure they understand your target salary and benefits and make recommendations on your behalf to ensure accepting the role won’t take away perks—like bonus opportunities—that you currently have. During that process, we then communicate to those companies what other offers are on the table, and what they’ll need to do to secure an acceptance.  Reach out to our recruiters today to learn more about the negotiation process and how we can help you find the right fit!