How to Negotiate a Job Offer

After crafting an expert resume, connecting with a promising HR manager, and acing a job interview, a qualified executive will often find himself negotiating a job offer. Negotiating compensation, time off, and employee benefits like working from home can easily drive a wedge between a hiring manager and an executive. Remaining calm, collected, and steadfast during a job offer negotiation allows executives to close the gap without putting the job offer in jeopardy.

How to Negotiate an Executive Job Offer

  • Prepare. Even the most agreeable terms can be rejected if an executive has neglected to do proper research. Before your first job interview research the company’s average pay, vacation policy, and benefits for an executive at your level. Analyze how well the compensation aligns with your current salary and compare the offer to average salaries industry-wide.
  • Make realistic demands. Is a sticking point of the negotiation how often you’re allowed to work from home? Make sure to provide a tangible reason that working from home once a week will benefit the company. You may have children you need to pick up from school, but unless working from home increases your productivity on those days, many hiring managers with “office work only” policies won’t consider bending the regulations.
  • Stand your ground. No matter what the hiring manager indicates, there’s always room for negotiation. If the recruiter claims the company can’t match your demands, stand firm. Mention the benefits you’ll bring to the company, why your demands are reasonable, and how you’re willing to negotiate. Speak politely but firmly. If you cannot reach an accord with the hiring manager, ask for several days to contemplate the job offer. The additional time may encourage them to increase their offer.
  • Think outside the box. Most hiring managers have a cap to what they’re willing to offer new hires. If the HR representative is unwilling to meet your desired salary, discuss how other compensation — like a one-time signing bonus — can help you close the gap.

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