Sealing the Deal: Negotiating Tips for Candidates

Posted on September 2014 By Speller International
Speller International Negotiating Tips For Candidates

Negotiating your new salary or rate can be a stressful scenario for both parties because everyone is invested in a positive outcome and no one wants to compromise too much on what they want, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are many positives to salary negotiation, the most obvious of which is if you successfully manage a respectful, strong negotiation, it can set the tone beautifully for your relationship with your new employer.

On a similar note, we should say that if you are well-informed about the duties involved with the role and the value of your experience with regard to the work you’ll be doing, you will probably have a fair idea of what the role is worth on the current market. Unless you are being a little too hopeful or your prospective employer a little too frugal, there aren’t likely to be too many nasty surprises in this final (but all-important) formality of the recruitment process.

With all this in mind, we’ve put together some handy tips to arm yourself with when entering into salary negotiations to ensure you get the best possible outcome – both financially and relationship-wise.

Know what you want (and how you’re going to get it)
Pretty much, this means you should always know what your minimum expectations are – and be prepared to walk away (politely, of course) if your prospective employer is not able to accommodate you. The ‘how you’re going to get it’ part involves showing why you are worth what you are asking for: prove to them that you know what price tag fits your skills, and use it as a bargaining tool.

Attitude is everything
Keeping cool, calm, collected and polite is crucial to any type of negotiation. Remember, this is part of the recruitment process so you want to maintain that you can work well under pressure and will be a respectful team member – raising your voice, going in too hard, being too blunt or arguing aggressively will all work against you, so be firm but always be respectful and never, ever lose your cool. Additionally, always be optimistic. Aim high and expect the best. The finest negotiators are always optimists, so a positive attitude is one of the strongest weapons in your arsenal.

Know your stuff
Do your research and know what the market is paying. This is for your own confidence more than anything – knowing what you want is fair and current makes you a stronger negotiator but chanting ‘I can get more elsewhere!’ will not work in your favour! Ultimately, preparedness pays – both literally and figuratively. As the old saying goes, ‘Anxiety is the price you pay for an unprepared mind and mouth.’

Get your collaboration on
The best negotiators know that successful outcomes mean positives for both sides. Envision the negotiation from your prospective employer’s point of view and imagine what they would need to understand in order to agree to your desired pay scale. Listening is just as important as talking for this very reason: you must always keep the other party’s needs in mind when negotiating and be open about aiming for a mutually beneficial outcome.

Don’t take it to heart
Try not to take things personally. Often, hard negotiations are the result of a tight budget, so seek to understand the other parties concerns, dilemmas and problems by asking open questions. Once you get the full story as to why the negotiation is necessary you may be able to offer up other solutions (or show why the value you will bring to the role is worth the salary you are asking for).

Don’t forget what you came for
The purpose of this negotiation is to close the deal and secure a salary commensurate with your skills and experience. Take all the time you need to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial, be flexible but firm, take the time to listen and remember that you are starting an ongoing relationship with the people on the other side of the table. Very rarely an agreement can’t be reached and you have to walk away but most of the time as long as you keep a cool head and a kind heart, you should be able to seal this deal and be home in time to pop that champagne bottle.