How to Negotiate a Job Offer

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the interview process and received a job offer. While you may be anxious start your new job as soon as possible, there are a few steps you can take during the job acceptance process to ensure there is no confusion on either side and you are getting everything you expect out of the offer.

The Official Job Offer

After your initial informal conversations, you should get an official offer from the employer. If the offer comes in the form of a phone call, ask them to send a written document for you to review as well. It’s fine if this comes via email.

It is crucial that you get all the details of their offer in writing both to make the offer official and to fully understand their expectations of your role, pay, start date and benefits.

Take Your Time

While being respectful of the employer’s time, it is perfectly acceptable to take a few days to make sure you fully understand the offer. Express your appreciation and ask for a time-frame for when they’ll need your response. An example being “Thank you for the offer, I’m looking forward to reviewing the terms. When do you need a response?”.

Negotiating a Job Offer

Negotiating the terms of a job offer is a common part of the acceptance process. Coming into this conversion, be prepared with exactly what you want to be changed in the offer.

If you want to negotiate the salary, provide a range that begins with the number you believe to be reasonable. Carry out research into similar roles to gain a comparison point on predictable salary offerings. If you are using a recruitment consultant they should be able to advise you. Keep in mind that the employer will be basing their figures on the amount they can afford to pay, your current salary and your level of experience. Be clear about what is important to you and decide before any discussion where you’ll compromise and where you won’t.

Consider the Package as a Whole

The value of your total compensation is more than just the base salary. Other elements to consider could be:

  • Bonus / commission
  • Technology packages (phone, laptop etc)
  • Company car
  • Fuel allowances
  • Pension scheme
  • Relocation packages
  • Share options
  • Private health care
  • Travel expenses
  • Lunch/ staff canteen
  • Gym memberships
  • Home working
  • Company credit card

Final Acceptance

Before you hand in your notice to your current employer, make sure you’ve done all of the following:

  • Formally accepted the written offer letter with a confirmed start date
  • Signed any documents from the new employer that make your offer official
  • Cleared any final steps like reference conversations or background checks

Your new employer should be eager to help you so keep in touch with them and pick up the phone if necessary. If you’re using a recruitment agency they will also be able to help and advise you at this stage.

Further Reading

How to Handle Your Resignation

New Job Success – 30/60/90 day plan

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