I recently negotiated an offer and wanted to post about my positive experience. This is the first time I have negotiated an offer and in preparation I looked through the previous posts and asked for a bit of advice from SirTradesaLot for help in the process.
Negotiating an offer is like a dance, both partners need to know how to tango in order for both parties to leave feeling satisfied. More than likely, the potential employer (HR, future boss, Hiring manager) will have a greater amount of experience negotiating offers. So ensuring you are caught up on the steps is important. For those of you that think that negotiating an offer will tick off your future employer, it will not if you do it correctly. After going through it, I feel like they respected me more for negotiating what I thought I should make. For all those who might be negotiating an offer please read through these links, they will be extremely helpful.
Here are few things in the below posts I found most helpful/applicable to my recent experience (take a look at the posts and the video for more details):
- Always throw out a number that you would be ecstatic about getting. Do your research and ensure this is at least slightly above the market rate for this position, so that you don't low-ball yourself. This is the most important part of the process, because to quote "This Anchor number is where all future negotiations will likely to be set against".
2) Allow for the employer to pay you in more ways than one. Tell them you are flexible in ways they can pay you. Ask for carried interest, revenue sharing, stock options, and any other they might be willing to discuss.
3) If you are leaving before bonus time, ensure that you ask for this bonus from your new employer. This is industry norm and this will increase your signing bonus. I've heard of people getting paid in September by their new firms what they would have received in December. Don't be afraid to ask.
4) If they say "No" today, it doesn't mean they will say no tomorrow. If they say no to a request, it doesn't mean they will say no tomorrow, or at later date in the negotiating process. You can and should revisit the topic after you have signed. This also goes along with staying at the table in the negotiating process.
5) Let/make them believe that they can get you. Communicate that this firm is Number #1 but you are not desperate and can always turn around and take another offer/stay at current shop if they don't offer a respectable number.
6) Answering the question "What is current salary" if it is substantially less than the new jobs current salary. You could tell them what you plan to make the next year at current firm based on a few reasons that you should provide. This is a tough situation as you might not want to low ball yourself. I think in the end the best route is don't lie about your current salary. Because this will be grounds for termination if the truth ever comes out.
7) Avoid ultimatums- If the employer says we can never do this. Ignore what they just said and move on. Because they might be able to in the future and you don't want to point out the fact that they had to take back what they said. People don't like being wrong or having their noses rubbed in it.
8) Know whom you are dealing with- Know the situation the person you are negotiating with and put yourself in their shoes. Think about how much pull they have and why they are doing/saying the things they are saying. If it is HR, they will most likely not callon a anchor number you have since they are really acting as the messenger for the compensation committee (hiring manager etc..). If it is your future boss you are discussing this with you should try not to annoy them. In all cases, you want the person you are talking with to leave the conversation wanting to do everything they can to help you.
In closing, negotiating an offer is a critical part of the hiring process and you should be prepared to negotiate. These below posts are GREAT resources in learning the "it take 2 to tango" negotiation dance. In my recent negotiating experience I was extremely surprised at how accommodating the firm was with my requests. I received almost everything I asked for and then some. Believe me when I say that nearly everything in the below posts are true.
Special thank to SirTradesaLot for the wise advice he was able to impart on my situation.