How to Negotiate Your Job Offer

So, you received an offer — congratulations! Now, you might be wondering, Can I negotiate it? Yes, you definitely can negotiate your offer! Companies will not retract the job offer if you do.

In fact, those who negotiate are often successful in getting a better outcome. If you're unsure, your Candidate Experience Manager can offer support as you make decisions. We want to set you up for success in your next role. Part of that is starting with an offer that's right for you.

Decide What Matters Most

Aside from your salary, there are other important aspects to incorporate in your overall or total compensation package. Take some time to think about this! Some examples could include:

  • Additional vacation time
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Professional development budgets 
  • Technology allowances or incorporating a compensation adjustment with a performance review after 6 months and other perks

In our 2021 State of Tech Salaries Report, we found that 76% of tech employees are willing to accept a lower base salary in exchange for other forms of compensation, such as equity. Flexibility, work-life balance, and company culture also weigh heavily in tech employees' decision to accept a job. 

You should also ask yourself: 

  • What does success look like in this role over the next 9–12 months, and how is that success recognized?
  • What are your opportunities for growth and development? 
  • What are you looking for in your next role and does this position meet those needs? 

Preparation is Key - How the Candidate Experience (CX) Team Helps

We can help you identify your top skills and experiences to leverage as negotiation points. Examples could include: running meetups, working on special projects, or earning certifications. 

We can also conduct mock negotiation sessions to help you prepare for the conversation with the company. Companies may be willing to negotiate the following: base salary, stock options, and other benefits, such as a signing bonus, (but you must make a case for it). 

The Key to Successfully Negotiating Salary 

When you start negotiating, focus the conversation on what value you bring to the role and express your excitement about joining the team. 

We recommend negotiating with a company you’re thrilled about and are likely to accept an offer from if they are not able to meet your request. Focus on raising the salary OR the equity. Reiterate your commitment, your motivations, and your why. 

Before the conversation, consider what you’re looking for and how flexible you are. What are your must-haves vs. nice-to-haves? 

An in-person conversation is fantastic, but you can also negotiate your offer over the phone. To avoid any miscommunication, do not negotiate via email. 

Companies may put an expiration on your offer — it is commonly 48 hours — so you can certainly ask for more time to review and assess it, but we recommend only asking for an extension once. You don’t want to appear as though you are waiting for something better to come along. 

Be prepared to explain why you need more time. Some examples include discussing with family or comparing it to another offer. 

Be transparent if you’re interviewing with another company. Tell the recruiter that you are interviewing elsewhere and want to be fair to both organizations. Make sure you reiterate your interest and excitement with their offer. 

Understand the Market Value for Your Salary 

Use available industry tools to understand your value. Check Hired's salary calculator and Payscale

Research laws about whether employers can ask how much you currently make, or “salary bans.” Even in states where they can ask, if you currently earn below market value you’ll want to avoid answering this question. 

Editor's Note: Sometimes people confuse or simply mishear "salary bans" as "salary bands." A salary ban prohibits employers from asking about your salary history, or what you "made at your last job." A salary band is a term for the range budgeted for a role. The salary band for role "A" might be $110-142K.

Be clear when negotiating that if offered “X” amount you would be eager to accept and follow through if they hold up their end of the deal. For example: “I have researched the fair market value of X position and I anticipate a base salary in the X range.” 

Related: The 2021 State of Tech Salaries Report can help you understand tech role salaries and compensation trends across markets and over time.

To Keep Things Moving, Try a ‘1-2-3’ Offer Negotiation Strategy 

1. The company makes you an offer. 

2. You counter if you’re not satisfied (think about the entire package, including base, equity, bonus, benefits, and career opportunity). 

3. Then, they counter one more time or accept your counter offer/negotiation request. 

Beyond compensation, remember that other elements of a role bring satisfaction, such as: 

  • Teams with clear visions and strong management. 
  • Diverse and inclusive work environments. 
  • Opportunities to provide or receive mentorship. 
  • Strong feedback loops and environments receptive to opinions. 
  • Alignment with the core values of a company, including, for example, a core mission. 
  • Opportunities to be innovative in your role or tackle stretch projects. 
  • Flexible work hours and locations. 

Want more help landing a new role? Sign up and complete your free profile on Hired to let employers find you!

Have a profile on Hired already? Great! Check out this blog to optimize your profile. Increase your chances for interview requests and better matches!