Negotiating Job Offers

Whether you’re negotiating a job offer with a new employer or are in the middle of a salary review with your boss, a few simple guidelines will improve your chances of securing your desired outcome.


Don’t underestimate the importance of being liked. If somebody likes you they’re more likely to go the extra mile to improve an offer to get you on board. Managing the inevitable tensions during the negotiation process is all about tone and takes practice to achieve.  You need to be comfortable asking for what you want without sounding greedy, point out shortfalls in the offer without sounding petty and be persistent without causing irritation.

Justify your worth

If you’re looking for a higher package than has been offered, you need to be comfortable justifying why you’re worth the extra money e.g. why your background is a better fit than other applicants, how much value you’ve added to your previous employer or how your strong people management skills have helped increase retention and productivity.

Looking at the overall package

Remember an offer is much more that a basic salary. You need to take everything into account when making your decision – salary, healthcare, pension, holiday leave, training & development, flexibility, promotional opportunities etc. If you’re told there’s no room for manoeuvre on salary, look for movement in other areas. Thinks outside the box –  if they can’t reach your salary expectations now, can they do so in six months time or can they give a larger bonus if certain performance criteria are achieved?

Negotiate multiple issues simultaneously

If you’re negotiating a number of aspects in your job offer, address them at the same time. If you focus on only one issue initially, you could lead the employer to believe that once it’s resolved to your satisfaction, you’re ready to accept the offer. When negotiating a few issues simultaneously, it’s helpful to let the employer know which are the most important to you. It shows flexibility and eases the process.

Giving comfort

If you’re negotiating a job offer, you need to make it clear that if certain criteria are met, you’ll be happy to accept the position. An employer will only jump through hoops and flex salary bands if they believe both parties are acting in good faith.

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