Negotiating On Your Terms: How to Leverage Several Job Offers
This blog post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Rumeer Keshwani ‘20.
After one has completed the job search and is at the point where they are receiving offers from the companies they are in the job process for, it can get stressful evaluating and knowing how to best utilize multiple job offers. You must make sure that you have an acceptance letter in writing, so that you can properly evaluate the offer in its entirety and can hold the employer accountable for provisions of the position.
MANAGING SEVERAL OFFERS
The first step when you receive at least one offer and are in the process for another company, you have to know what your timeline is. You offer will likely be given with a time deadline for when you must accept by and you must take this into consideration. Contact the employer you are waiting to hear from and tell them that you have received an offer and that you are interested in hearing back from them, but that you are trying to be respectful of the offer deadline. Tell them when the deadline is and ask if there is any update on when they plan on getting back to you.
Next, contact the first employer you received the offer from and reaffirm your interest and appreciation. Let them know that you do not have all the information you need to make a decision and request an extension if you have to. The reason for this tactic is if you want to push the deadline so that you can make a decision on both offers. It is critical you maintain honesty and professionalism. The employers will appreciate the open communication.
If you decline an offer, it is appropriate for you to first phone the employer to let them know and then follow up in writing. You do not have to give any details about your reasoning for declining the offer. Often saying that your decision was based on the fact that another opportunity seems to be a better fit for your interests and goals is enough.
Mentioning to employers that you are dealing with several offers and then opening up a conversation for negotiation is a strong place to come from as it reaffirms that you are a valuable candidate and the employer will likely be willing to engage in a negotiation and you may likely obtain the items you are looking for. Employers often expect to negotiate an offer. Negotiating is a little tricky- a poorly managed negotiation can cause unnecessary conflict. There is a protocol for negotiating that needs to be adhered to during the process. You do not need to close the deal in one conversation. Seek to expand the conversation to explore possibilities. Again, because the offer is often seen as the end of the process and not the beginning, there is a strong tendency to want to get it over with. Resist this temptation. A few more days of patient, focused work will bring rewards beyond dollars.
Do not negotiate over the phone if at all possible. It is more difficult to judge the other party’s response to your negotiating tactics over the phone. Schedule an in person meeting if possible, and when you call to schedule it, reiterate that you are confident in your ability to add value to the organization and that you have several items you would like to discuss in person.
Do not position your negotiation based on previous employers pay structures. Position your negotiation on a forward looking basis, reaffirming the value you place on your skills in the context of the organization that you are considering. If your past salary has been confined to standard incremental raises that are not reflective of your actual performance, discuss your salary requirements as they relate to your ability to outperform and exceed expectations. Request a slightly higher salary than the one offered (typically 10-15% higher) and offer justification for this adjustment.
Do not negotiate more than once. If the employer is unable to meet your stated salary requirements, inquire about possible adjustments that may be affordable in other areas of compensation. This tactic is more for full-time jobs, as you can get a variety of additional benefits to supplement a desired salary. Ask if they can be flexible regarding vacation, continued training, benefits or other perks. Additionally, you may request increased responsibilities to justify a higher salary or for a performance review within six months instead of waiting a full year.
Here are some items you may negotiate on as well as suggested verbiage on how to say it. This list as been pulled from career beam, which can be accessed via the Babson Hub. It is an excellent resource! (https://cb.careersearch.net/custom/babson/interview/neg/tactics.tt2)
- Promised increases
- Yearly bonuses
- Signing bonuses
- Profit sharing
- Stock options/ESOPs
- Overtime/Comp time
- Company car
- Travel awards
- Relocation assistance
- Expense coverage
- Work & Life Balance
- Access to technology
- Promised review dates
- Travel assignments
- Home equipment usage
“I’d like to begin by thanking you for inviting me to join your company. I have carefully reviewed your proposal. May I share my comments and ask some clarifying questions?”
“I am delighted that you feel I am the best fit for the work you need done.”
“I understand that my benefits will include…I am very impressed with your 401K matching policy and can see good value in your plan…”
“I am very excited to be at this stage in the process and my mindset is enthusiastic. Right now, I also need to operate from a mindset of financial responsibility. The base salary that I accept now will anchor my salary progression and may have an exponential impact on future earnings. I want to be responsible about establishing the correct base salary to start.”
“I’ve considered several salary surveys and reviewed survey information on recent Babson graduates in this industry and function. It appears that the competitive market for the role we’ve been discussing is in the $X-$X range. I understand that you are suggesting a salary of $X as a starting base salary. May we discuss together the possibility of improving this piece of the package?”
“Would you be willing to advocate for my interest in achieving a higher base salary that would put me at the high end of this range?”
“If salary is non-negotiable, are there other aspects of the employment package that are negotiable (i.e. transportation, relocation expenses, vacation, other benefits, start date, accelerated performance review)?”