Articles From the Team

How do I negotiate a job offer?

There are two negotiating positions in the world of recruitment:

-          The Employer

-          The Lawyer

If the demands and needs of both positions align, we hit the Goldilocks Zone and the offer’s accepted. If they don’t, the offer’s refused and it’s back to the drawing board.

This blog discusses The Lawyer’s role in negotiating a job offer: what’s reasonable, and how to avoid crossing the line.

Due diligence

It starts with your own due diligence. Make sure you’re across the packages that are available; you need to have an understanding of the market from the outset: what’s on offer and therefore, by absence and implication, what’s not. The earlier you highlight your issues, the earlier you’re likely to negotiate in your favour (without it appearing ill-considered or greedy).

More preparation

Unfortunately, some Lawyers set off on the wrong foot and their lack of preparation puts them in a difficult situation during the later stages of the process. Of course, there are multiple reasons that effect good preparation: a busy home life, busy work life, and a recruiter who doesn’t provide the appropriate information. I can help you with the latter, but if you want to move jobs, (which let’s face it, is no small undertaking), then finding time to prepare is an absolute must. If you take shortcuts, you’re at high risk of making a poor decision, burning bridges and/or limiting future opportunities.

Avoid hasty demands

There’s another type of Lawyer: the kind who believes that a foot in the door (an interview) automatically strengthens their negotiating position. Because of this, they start making demands around salary, flexibility, and wider package elements. This is (mistakenly) based on a misunderstanding that The Employer will cede to these demands as the process goes on; as The Lawyer becomes ‘irresistible’ to them. This is a risky approach as an Employer’s stance and patience is always variable so it’s likely you’ll have the offer pulled from under your feet. Difficult negotiations are a prism of The Lawyer’s making, so they should prepare for any fallout, including the loss of an offer. Instead, The Lawyer should take on the Hanlon’s razor mindset.

So, in a nutshell, what’s unreasonable when negotiating an offer?

  1. Being unprepared from the beginning
  2. Attempting to manipulate an Employer once you think you’re an attractive proposition to them
prepared to negotiate from the start.

For more information please contact Mike Huggins at BCL Legal.

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