Finding a New Job
Finding a New Job

How to Negotiate a Job Offer

With today’s labor market being relatively robust, job candidates have more leverage than ever when it comes to negotiating a job offer.

That being said, many companies have a take-it-or-leave-it policy when it comes to job offers, particularly for front-line or entry-level positions. Before you start even thinking about negotiating, find out if you have a willing partner on the other side of the table.

If an employer is open to haggling over the details of a job offer, you should go into negotiations with the attitude that the company is not out to skin you in the deal. Keep in mind: An employer would not even enter into negotiations unless they want to hire you.

It’s also important not to lose perspective and become focused on winning the negotiation – as opposed to just getting a deal that will make you satisfied. If the company comes at you with a generous offer, don’t haggle just for the sake of it. Remember, this could become the place you spend a large chunk of your week, or even life.

Understand both your position and the company’s position

When going into negotiations, it’s important to know where you, the person across the table and the company all stand.

Ideally, you should come across as likeable. The person you are negotiating with will work harder to get you what you want if they feel a personal connection with you. Also, you need to know what your skills are worth and be able to convey your value in a compelling way. The company should know how hiring you will add value to its ranks.

You should also try to understand the position of the person across the table. If she or he is someone who will be your supervisor, they are in a position to discuss things like start time or working conditions. If he or she works for human resources, they will be more willing to talk about paid time off or other benefits.

Also know the negotiating constraints the company is under. An employer might have some flexibility in certain areas but not others. If a position has a designated pay grade – shift your focus away from negotiating salary.

Consider the deal holistically

Don’t confuse negotiating a job offer with negotiating salary. There are many other aspects to a job offer that could increase your job satisfaction. For example, having the flexibility to work from home one day a week can go a long way to increasing the quality of life for you and your family.

Determine the element of a job offer that concerns you most and lay the concerns out simultaneously. If you keep coming back to the table with new issues, you will erode you’re likability. Also, never ever give an ultimatum on any part of a job offer.

Negotiating a job offer can be tough, especially if you do not have much experience at the negotiating table. If you’re concerned about going into a negotiation for a supply chain job, contact ZDA and we will work to assist you in any way we can.


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