Negotiating a job offer isn’t easy, even during times of business as usual. When you add factors such as the current global health crisis and unprecedented times of economic uncertainty into the mix, it becomes even more complex.
That’s not to say, however, that you should simply accept the first offer that comes your way. Providing you take a few important contexts into account and that you approach the situation in a diplomatic way, you should be able to negotiate the right package to suit both you and your new employer.
Read on for some top tips on negotiating a job offer during times of economic hardship.
Get a clear idea of your worth
While you might need to take the company’s own financial challenges into account later, it’s important to start negotiations from your side with detailed documentation of your achievements, and how this demonstrates your worth to your future employer. Compile a list of key achievements from your previous roles and show how you benefitted the company both economically and by furthering company goals. If you can apply this to situations where the business was struggling and you helped turn it around, then make sure you prioritize and emphasize these examples.
Take the whole value of the package into account
No doubt, you’re already used to reviewing job packages in their entirety including vacations, health insurance, bonuses etc. and offsetting the benefits against the proposed salaries. Doing so now is more important than ever.
You’ll probably have a good idea of salary expectations for your role already but take another look around to see if other companies have adjusted remuneration or packages. Perhaps they are reframing their offer to include more perks and trying to reduce the salary itself. Maybe the competition is coaxing people on board on lower offers with the promise of an increase once life normalizes.
Global crises have a way of putting life into perspective so take some time to think about what is really important to you. Now and into the future. When we finally get to travel again, wouldn’t it be nice to have a few extra days to play with?
Consider the needs of your future employer
Even if it seems like your future employer isn’t affected by the current situation, that doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned about the future. Likewise, just because they are still hiring doesn’t mean they’re enjoying job security across the whole workforce. It’s probably not appropriate to question them about their finances or security too much but if their offer differs significantly from usual it’s OK to enquire diplomatically about their reasons and how they might see this changing in the future. Many businesses are being forced to improvise right now. Showing that you understand and appreciate the issues they are facing will endear you to them far more than if you focus only on your goals and requirements.
Know what you want - and hold your ground
You’ve been lucky enough to receive a job offer during a time when many fear losing theirs or have been laid off already. Understandably, your first reaction might be to snap up the first offer, even if you have your reservations. Before you sign on the dotted line, take a deep breath and a long, hard look at what you want and need now and in the near future. It’s fine to take the long-term into account though with so many what-ifs to factor in right now it might just muddy the waters further. Consider the security, remuneration, overall package, location, and above all, how much you think you will enjoy and thrive within the role. What are your absolute priorities and how many boxes does this role tick for you.
When you come to negotiate with your potential employer, do so with a clear idea of your goals and be honest about the details of the contract that you are excited about and those that you would like to put forward for negotiation. Hold your ground on those that are really important to you and explain why. Be open to suggestions for how you might reach a compromise. Listen carefully to any counter-offers and don’t be afraid to ask for more time to weigh up your options.
If you’ve had another job offer don’t use this as an aggressive bargaining chip. By all means, mention it in a constructive way, maybe even pointing out the reasons you are attracted to their offer. However, you should steer clear of pitting them against their rival. They don’t need this kind of negativity on top of everything else and, even though they might be really desperate for your skills and the value you’ll bring to the company, this just isn’t a nice way of building relationships with a new employer during turbulent times.
We hope these tips have helped guide you through negotiating a job offer during times of economic hardship. At Bramwith we are doing all we can to help our candidates and clients during this challenging period. If you need support with finding a new role or simply finding out more about your options, please get in touch. We’re always happy to help.
Take care and stay safe.
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