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6 Tips To Help You Master Your Next Job Negotiation

6 Tips To Help You Master Your Next Job Negotiation

Assessing employment proposals and settling on just remuneration can be stressful. Yet if you come to the negotiating table prepared, you can walk into your next interview with confidence.

A webinar on how to position yourself for negotiation success, talk to recruiters about monetary and non-monetary compensation, and assess whether what you’re asking for is non-negotiable was recently held by Indeed and Harvard Business School Online.

Leading the conversation were HBS Professor Michael Wheeler, who teaches HBS Online’s Negotiation Mastery course, and Indeed’s Job Search Academy head, Matt Berndt. Four recruiters joined them: Jenn McNorton, senior director of global talent attraction at Indeed; Whitney Omole, senior business recruiter at Indeed; Toni Tovi, president of Bright Flag Recruiting; and Liz Painkin, lead recruiter at Rakuten.

We offer their professional guidance in this post to help you be better prepared for your upcoming employment negotiation. Click here to view the webinar.

1 piece of advice for aceing your next employment negotiation:

Do your homework
Any negotiation requires preparation, but to be successful, you need more than just facts. Prior to making any decisions, McNorton advised making a list of your top priorities, including pay, paid time off, the ability to work remotely, and flexibility with regard to your work schedule.

If a candidate is unable to express their expectations clearly, McNorton stated, “I can tell they aren’t prepared.” “Conduct research to determine your top priorities. Working remotely is really important to me, though I’ll accept other aspects of the package.

After you have a clear understanding of your own needs, begin market research. Use tools such as Indeed and Glassdoor to find the typical salary range in your area for the role you want. Match that against your years of professional experience, career trajectory and skill set to determine where you land.

“When a candidate knows based on their experience and trajectory where they should fall within that range, that definitely lets me know that they’re ready and prepared,” Omole said.

Interviews for jobs are mutually exclusive.

Determining whether you’re the right candidate is the company’s goal. You must, however, determine whether the organization shares your values, ambitions, and objectives.

Wheeler stated, “You never have 100% of the information you wish you had.” “You must create a list of the things you hope to learn during the negotiation and incorporate those inquiries into the dialogue.”

These questions show recruiters that you’re serious about the job in addition to assisting you in learning more about it.

Tovi remarked, “I love it when candidates ask me what I think the company can do for them.” “It seems like they genuinely want it,”

Tovi continued, “I like asking candidates about the role’s growth trajectory because it demonstrates their forward-thinkingness and strategic thinking—not just about the here and now, but also about how the position could develop and the future of the company.”

Other inquiries to think about posing are as follows:

  • What would you say about the culture of the department and the organization?
  • What is the average tenure of employees at the company? How long have the people in my team been there?
  • What rules do you have regarding hybrid or remote work?
  • Which opportunities and difficulties do you see the most in this role?

Be ready for challenging inquiries.

It’s inevitable that the hiring manager will pose challenging queries to you. The best you can do is prepare your responses ahead of time in order to get the upper hand.

Wheeler advised approaching the situation with the mindset of “to get a yes, expect a no.” “You need to be prepared for questions and consider the person on the other side of the table and what they might be worried about, but I don’t mean you have to be gloomy.”

For instance, you might have taken a break from your previous roles to raise your kids. When someone asks about the gap on your resume, be ready to respond honestly. After all, being a parent takes a full-time job.

Give an explanation of the transferrable skills you have acquired, such as time management, and provide examples of your regular tasks and responsibilities that relate to the job you are applying for.

Creating your responses ahead of time will prevent you from stumbling during the inter4. Never be afraid to bargain for remuneration.
You’ll also be asked some difficult questions regarding compensation. Omole stated, “My expectation for candidates is to simply be prepared for those discussions because they will undoubtedly occur at some point.”

She suggests practicing your response in front of the mirror, both vocally and visually. When articulating your compensation terms, make sure your tone is firm and that you are composed and focused. To become more at ease standing up for yourself and your needs, keep practicing.

Recruiters can all recall instances in which they have asked a candidate about pay and they have responded with words that almost seem like a question mark, as if they were hoping to see if you would disagree, show disapproval with your body language, or provide a rebuttal, according to Omole. “The reality is that employers want negotiating candidates, and the more confidently you can express your terms and value, the more negotiating power you will have.”

You should be aware of a reasonable salary range and eager to answer if you followed step one and conducted your research.

Berndt remarked, “You know the question is coming, so be ready and finish your homework.” When the time comes, be grateful that the question is asked so that you can respond, ‘Thank you for asking. I completed my homework. Based on my review of Indeed and Glassdoor’s salary data, I’ve determined that the range for this role in this city is between X and Y. Here’s where I think I fit in that range, given my background and performance. Does that align with your hiring range?

A response like this will demonstrate that you have done your homework and give the recruiter a chance to react and express their expectations. look.

Recall that non-monetary compensation exists.

Your pay is merely the beginning. While negotiating, take into account additional benefits like paid time off, volunteer opportunities, remote or hybrid work arrangements, employee wellness initiatives, bonus structures, and educational reimbursement.

Berndt remarked, “I adore the concept of continuing education as an incentive.” “It demonstrates your intention to stay, so I encourage job seekers to inquire about that.”

It’s possible that your prospective employer will cover the cost of a degree program or an online certificate course, so think about the knowledge gaps you’d like to close. Additionally, prepare a prioritized list of your needs so you know what you’re willing to give up if the hiring manager is unable to accommodate all of your requests.

Are you willing, for instance, to take a lower starting pay in exchange for a signing bonus and other benefits that are stipulated in your contract?

It’s simpler to bargain for a package you’re happy with if you know exactly what you want.

Keep in mind that there are always compromises.

It’s obvious the company is interested in hiring you if you’re talking about a job offer, which puts you in an excellent position to negotiate. At this point, don’t be scared to ask for what you want. A company will find the appropriate incentives if it wants to hire you.

McNorton advised being daring and assuming that everything is negotiable. “Until you fight for what matters to you, you won’t know what is or isn’t.” The information a recruiter has at the beginning of a role might not be accurate at the end.

Initially, recruiters may have been given specific budgets or benefits that they were permitted to provide. However, they might alter when they begin to fight for you to get the finest benefits package for you.

Recall what McNorton said as you get ready for your next negotiation: “Take a deep breath, be bold, and assume it’s all negotiable.”

Would you like to successfully complete your next negotiation? Check out the HBS Online course on Negotiation Mastery to find out how to get the most out of your negotiations.


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