For Job Seekers:
How Recruiters Can help You Negotiate for the Role and Offer You Want
Sabrina Deltoro, Founder & Recruiting Director
Delson Talent Consulting
January 19, 2023
Negotiating a job offer can be intimidating, especially in the current economic climate, where reduction in force announcements are everywhere. While it might sound terrifying, advocating for yourself and agreeing on a price for your time is a normal and expected part of the hiring process. In fact, according to a survey by CNBC, 85% of candidates who negotiated were successful in getting what they wanted for their offer. But, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, less than 50% of candidates are actually negotiating. LESS THAN 50%!! I always like to remind folks that, in the words of the great Wayne Gretzky (yes, I’m a hardocre hockey fan), “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”!
Here are a few key steps that you can follow when negotiating your job offers:
RESEARCH THE MARKET RATE FOR THE POSITION
It is important to have a good understanding of what the market rate is for the position you are applying for, so you’re well informed of the range to expect. Do your research to find a benchmark to work with when negotiating your salary. Look at salary data on Glassdoor or PayScale, and reach out to former colleagues, industry professionals or recruitment agencies for updated info.
KNOW YOUR VALUE
In addition to researching the market rate, it is important to consider your own value and what’s most important to you. Write a wish list, and prioritize the areas that are “must have” vs “nice to have” items. To prepare for the negotiation, think about your skills, experience, and education, and how they align with the needs of the company, and write down notes. Be prepared to articulate why you are worth more than the initial offer. Practice your pitch for why your time is worth your price.
CONSIDER THE ENTIRE COMPENSATION PACKAGE
While salary is often the main focus when negotiating a job offer, don’t leave other levers on the table. Consider the entire compensation package, including bonuses, benefits, vacation time, perks, stipends, free memberships and parental leave policies. This is where your list of what matters most comes in handy. Ask about benefits early, and keep track in a spreadsheet so you can weigh total comp, and start asking which are potentially flexible. For example, if a free bus pass is high up on your list of must haves and 9/10 of your top companies offer a transit stipend, offer that data up to the 10th company and see if they can bump your base to cover the out of pocket transit costs.
COMMUNICATE YOUR NEEDS
When negotiating a job offer, it is important to be clear and direct about your needs and expectations. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want, but also be open to compromise. Remember to stay professional and respectful, and be prepared to explain why you are asking for certain things, and be able to back it up with data. Unfortunately, “my rent is $5,000 a month” is not going to get you the results you’re looking for. Start the total comp conversation on the first call, so you’re aligned from the beginning.
USE A RECRUITER
Working with a recruiter can be a great way to negotiate a job offer. Recruiters are experts in the hiring process and can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the negotiation process. Delson Talent conducts research on market rates and can help advise you on what to ask for in your job offer. The ranges may have changed since you last looked for a role, or your experiences could qualify you for an entirely new level. Our resources share compensation bands so you have an accurate starting point and solid data to negotiate with.
According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, job candidates who use recruiters are more likely to receive higher salary offers than those who do not. Don’t miss out on the chance to gain a huge percentage increase in base salary; you’ll likely regret it and may have difficulty delivering in your role if you feel underpaid. Agency recruiters have relationships with a wide range of employers and can help you identify job opportunities that align with your skills and goals. Even if you aren’t actively looking, it doesn’t hurt to get a pulse on the market.