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Negotiating a Job Offer

So, you have done the hard bit, the CV writing, networking, applications, telephone screenings, interview stages, the presentations, tasks and testing. You finally have the job offer, Congratulations! Hopefully, you will have been made a fantastic offer in terms of salary and benefits package that is a no-brainer to accept, but sometimes, there is negotiation to be done first. Here are our top tips for handling this stage well:

  • Prior to your application think realistically about what really matters to you and why you are making this job move. Is it purely based on basic salary, bonus and benefits? Or is it because you are seeking a new challenge in a different industry, location or role. Would you consider a sideways step on salary to get in to your dream job or are you well established in your field and only considering moving for a step up financially? Would you consider a drop in salary if you were able to shorten that long commute? Is holiday allowance, healthcare, level of pension contribution important to you or are you willing to be flexible on these areas. Essentially, think about your negotiable and your non-negotiable factors realistically, be open with your recruiter about this so that they can advise you on your expectations in relation to the market and manage this with potential employers.
  • Consider the offered package from the outset Whilst employers are sometimes able to be flexible on basic salary and bonus package, there are some areas that are often not negotiable. These are most often company wide factors such as holiday allowance or pension contribution, which in most cases need to be uniform.
  • When you get the offer Take some time to consider the offer. Some companies may make one strong offer and expect no negotiation, others may be more open. Don’t just think of the numbers, think of the bigger picture and the whole package. It is always acceptable to ask for the offer in writing and to ask for a short period to consider this. Communicate with the recruiter or employer, impressions form at this stage and if you do go on to work for the company you want to have started on a positive note.
  • If you do want to negotiate Think about this from the employers perspective. Your recruiter should have made them aware of your expectations from the outset, so if they haven’t matched these, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to them that you would like to negotiate. However, if you are looking to negotiate a substantial amount higher than your original indication, you will need to be able to justify this.
  • Should you get counter offered Revert back to point one! Remember why you are making the move. If the counter offer meets your original criteria for the move, then it is certainly worth consideration, however, if it increases your salary but doesn’t offer the challenge/ promotion/ change of culture/ shorter commute you were originally looking for then it may not be right to stay.


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