You have been interviewing with a few companies. You get one or several job offers. They all tell you that 1) they have tried their best to offer you the most competitive salary 2) they cannot really raise the offers and 3) they want you badly and 4) they want to quit your current job and start working immediately.
It’s a game HR plays again and again with every candidate.
You should absolutely, definitely, positively negotiate. This is the only time you have an edge over your future employer to negotiate, assuming they really want you.
You deserve more than what they offer.
From my experiences, I suggest you do the following:
- if you can, make sure you have two or more job offers. The more offers you have, more relaxed and confident you’ll feel. The best lever for negotiation is the ability to walk away at any time.
- To negotiate salary, I would start at 25-35% above the initial offer. I think you should expect 15-25% increase in salary when you switch job in today’s market.
- Negotiate on multiple items: don’t just negotiate on salary alone. Make sure you make counter offers that include several factors — e.g. salary, stock options, bonus, etc. The more items you have to negotiate, the more combinations you will have, which make the negotiation process more flexible, and less likely to reach a stalemate.
- It’s easier to get more bonus than salary. Companies are reluctant to offer a large salary because they’re concerned about salary parties within the company. However, they’re more willing to offer higher bonus since it’s one-time. In term of signing bonus, I’d negotiate for 20-30% more than what they offer you initially.
- Keep yourself calm and collected. Keep your emotion in check. Never get mad or angry during the negotiation process — this is simply a game you have to play to win. It’s just a game, nothing more.
Next week, I’ll write a post about how I negotiate $30,000 raise and a higher job title. Until then, happy negotiating! Leave a comment if you have any question or insights to share.