One of the biggest challenges of any job search is the salary negotiation. Very few people enjoy this part of the experience and it’s especially challenging when you don’t have a job and need a job. Balancing the desire for a higher salary and possibly not getting the job is an extremely challenging task for many positions.
Daniel Alarik recently shared a salary negotiation experience that he sees as a mistake:
You find the perfect candidate. You ask them what their salary and benefits needs are. It’s a stretch but they are worth it so you send out the offer letter…. THEN THEY COUNTER IT!
Surprisingly, I’ve seen this more than once.
Of course they might be worth more, but usually they assume they are taking to a recruiting firm or someone that doesn’t talk to the decision maker. BIG MISTAKE.
The fact is, the interview process is the first date. This is their best efforts to impress you and vice versa. You can’t go out on a date with me and flaunt your dishonesty.
Good luck…somewhere else.
While I do think that Daniel is right that you should be very careful after you’ve given an employer your salary benefits and needs about trying to negotiate, I don’t think it should be as earth-shattering as Daniel implies. Circumstances change and so your salary and benefit requirements might change too.
The real key to this situation is appropriately communicating with the potential employer. If you have a good reason why your salary needs have changed, then it’s fine to go back to them with a counter offer. However, be sure to explain the good reason for the change. For example, maybe you got another offer that changes your situation. This is a good reason why you may go back to the employer and explain why you need more money than you originally stated.
Of course, even this can be tricky since it can give them the impression that you’re not totally bought into the company. However, done the right way you can preserve the fact that you’re excited to work for their company, but that you have other options that have to be considered. Plus, if you’re going to go back and renegotiate your salary, you better be ready for them to walk. You also should avoid going back and forth multiple times in this negotiation process. Doing so will leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
Salary negotiations are always tricky because you have imperfect information. There are always a lot of unknowns on both sides of the negotiation. However, if you’re upfront and communicate well, you can find a salary that works well for you and the employer.