June 22, 2023

Cracking the Career Code: Are You Prepared to Negotiate During the Offer Process?


Episode Highlights

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This is a 5-part series where Matt and Kierra will be covering how to discuss compensation with a Recruiter. In this segment specifically, part 5, they discuss negotiation during the offer process. Tune in to learn more!

Episode Transcript

So when you get to the end of the job interview process and to the offer stage, you often have an opportunity to negotiate. So Kierra and I want to talk a little bit about that. Kierra, maybe start us off where you can chat a little bit about how your salary expectations might come into play during that offer stage.

Yeah. So what I tell people when they’re thinking about salary to target a lot of people ask me, well, what do you think I should target? And it really depends on your experience and how it aligns with the responsibilities that you’d be doing. The higher your salary expectation is the more that is expected of you, so you will be compared to other candidates at similar comp ranges.

Yeah. So it’s important to price yourself where you think you can really succeed. If you price yourself at the top end of the comp range, then they’re expecting you to be the best of the best of people that are also at that similar range.

So I think that’s really important to think about because oftentimes people are like, well, I want the highest end of that comp. But you have to think about how that affects your chances in your interview process when it comes against going up against other candidates. So when do you think it’s appropriate to negotiate?

Sure. Yeah. So, there’s a lot that comes into play when you get to this negotiation phase. And so one of the important, most important, pieces of this is the transparency through the interview process and with the recruiter or the company that you’re applying to. So, like you said, recruiters often share what the comp range is, what’s possible for a job seeker’s qualifications and amount of experience.

Also if there’s any flexibility with the budget and often that gets really real when you get to the final stage and one benefit of working with an agency recruiter like us here at Hirewell is oftentimes we do the negotiations for the candidate. So, you can kind of take a backseat as a job seeker and we’ll be there to advocate for you and try and get you the most competitive offer that our clients comfortable with.

Yeah, I do think that is one of the best parts about working with an agency recruiter is that we do that hard work for you. It can be very uncomfortable for somebody to go back and ask for more money. So it’s really nice when an agency recruiter can help you through that process. They can also help you navigate what they actually think that you could get from a negotiation and how to go about that process.

They also have that client relationship so they know the client well and what they think is possible, really. Yeah. Yeah. But you know, sometimes when you’re not working with an agency recruiter, you have to do that negotiation on your own.

So some things that we would suggest when you’re in that final stage and you might have an offer that you want to be higher or you’re ready to negotiate that. I always suggest that you should default back to pitching your skills and experience and the value that you’re going to bring to that company to address their needs for why that role is open in the first place.

So another thing that you can do is use those resources that we shared with salary ranges based on different job titles or industries. Bring up what the market rate is for similar positions. Also, you know, you got to factor in your location, your years of experience, whether or not you have leadership experience, or it’s going to be a leadership or management role.

Even things like, you know, education level, what degrees and certifications or specific technical skills you have. And also look at the package holistically, right? So, it’s not always just base salary and bonus, but there’s a lot of different things that companies are offering you from a benefits point of view.

Kierra, do you have anything to add about how to approach those conversations when you’re at an offer stage? Yeah. Well, I think it’s just really important that if you sell yourself well, that there’s a better chance that you will have some negotiation room. But it’s also okay to take some time to look over your offer.

You do not have to give an acceptance right away. Yep. Takes a while to process, right? Yep. Yep. Look through everything. They’ll send you the benefits package and like Matt said, you’re going to want to look through that, see what else is offered and what that compares to with your current position and with other opportunities that you have going on, because you don’t want to make a decision and then have to go back on that.

Mm-hmm. So that’s also one thing we suggest. And then if a company provides you a low offer, after you’ve shared your expectations, you can revert back to what we’ve shared at the beginning of the process and kind of how to handle that situation by going back over your skills and why you’re a good fit for the position and why you feel that you should be compensated at the price that you want to be compensated at.

Yeah. And when you go back into those conversations with a potential employer, you know, it’s really important to be positive in those conversations and those negotiations. So you might even want to write out some talking points, rehearse it with someone that you know, right? At home, your spouse, your roommates, whoever it might be.

And just be prepared to kind of have a difficult question. You might bring some questions to them, but you should also be prepared to answer some difficult questions. Right. We’re doing the series because talking about compensation isn’t always the easiest or most fun things.

So, you know, it can be kind of a tricky conversation to have with a potential employer and maybe your boss in two weeks, right? Right, right. And one thing to note is that if you are getting a offer for a contract position, that offer is usually 99% of the time going to be the offer that you get. And that’s hard to negotiate after the fact.

So, just another thing to consider. You’re locked in at a rate that you disclose at the beginning of the process, rather than full-time roles where there might be some wiggle room at the end. Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

So, want to thank everyone for joining us today on Cracking the Career Code. Go check out talentinsights.hirewell.com for more content and follow us on LinkedIn if you haven’t already. And we will provide the link in the comments or at the bottom of the screen.

So go check it out. Thanks. Thanks.

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