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Negotiating the Deal

If you are 'in line' for or have been offered a top job - or a very distinctive one - you may find your self in a negotiating position on matters such as salary.

Here are some guidelines and tips

  • Decline to discus salary and conditions until the very last stages - preferably after they have said that they would like you to take the job (Say that you are sure that something mutually acceptable can be worked out - and you are happy to leave such details until later).
  • If you are pressed - at an early stage - just give an indication of the salary range that you would expect to be the norm for such jobs - 'from your experience'. Try not to be specific - or to refer to any single figure
  • When salary is mentioned - always say that there are other aspects of the 'package' which are important also. If pressed, refer to incentives, contract terms etc
  • When the time comes to fix conditions say that you would like to first 'rough out' the general terms - and not to agree specific things straight away.
  • Have some aspects that you are quite relaxed about - that you don't intend to negotiate on - eg notice period, start date, relocation allowances, pension contributions , car etc. Try to get these discussed first - ie get off to a positive start.
  • When it gets to the tough things - usually salary and contract period - don't make the first offer. Ask what they had in mind.
  • Don't jump at the first offer - even if it is better than you had expected. Ask if they have any 'flexibility'. Try to move it up a bit - but be gracious and don't expect too much. Don't negotiate hard - just enough to get respect.
  • If the offer is seriously disappointing - say so. If they don't move - say you will have to think about it and commit to getting back to them in (say) 1 week. If they ask you what you want tell them your mid-point figure.
  • If the final offer is worse than you had wanted - but you are still interested - try to negotiate a review after 6 months and get it in writing in the offer letter.
  • Try to remain friendly - whatever the outcome.
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