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It’s Okay to Negotiate
It’s okay to negotiate during the offer stage of potential employment. Both the hiring company and the candidate have presumably completed a successful interview process to get to this point. Both sides have decided that the role, responsibilities, organizational culture, and employee value proposition match well for both sides.
Before the offer letter is drafted, the candidate will likely be asked, “How does this opportunity compare with others you’re exploring…If an offer were extended, would you accept?” An outline of what the offer will look like should be shared. Answer these questions and address each point openly and honestly.
Since both sides are working with a professional recruiter, when the formal offer letter is drafted, both sides should be in relatively close alignment with compensation offering / expectations, benefits, terms, and conditions of employment, etc.
We’ve established that negotiation is an acceptable practice for both sides. The key now is to remove emotion during the negotiation process. Be transparent. On the company side, define what is not open for discussion, but articulate the ‘why’ behind not being able to move in certain areas. The candidate may not understand your perspective at first. On the candidate side, respond with what you would like to request to be changed in the offer. Neither side should only focus on money. While there may need to be some adjustments made, focus on the entire opportunity: meaningful responsibilities, professional and personal growth, location, flexibility, perks, internal support, etc. It’s important to address all concerns at once during negotiation. Don’t address one on one, and don’t go back with additional points when you’ve completed negotiations.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate during the offer stage. Both sides have agreed they ‘like’ each other. The negotiation process is not a protagonist vs. antagonist exercise. It should be a well thought out, researched and completely transparent process. One that is healthy for both the hiring company and candidate.