Job Offer Negotiations…Don’t Be Scared!

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October 31, 2013 by texasbbacareerservices

shannon%20hicksonJob Offer Negotiation Advice from BBA Career Services Assistant Director, Shannon Hickson 

Job offer negotiations can be pretty scary but they don’t have to be! With research, confidence and help from the BBA Career Services team, you can get through it. As Assistant Director of Employer Relations for the BBA Career Services team, I speak often with employers and students about offer negotiations and answer lots of questions.

Here are a few common questions that I receive from students:

Q: Should I negotiate my offer? This is my first professional job and I don’t have much experience. 

A: If you have done research and determine that the offer is below average or does not match what the market is bearing for the required skill set then YES! The key to this situation is research. Check the BBA Career Services website for resources, including BBA Salary Statistics and also see your Career Coach for advice.

Q: The employer is asking me to give them a number but I was told that you should never be first to present a number – What should I do? 

A: Try to get the employer to present a number first but if that does not happen then present a salary range based on industry, functional, and regional data.

Q: I received a written offer and I am excited but I am not sure where to begin! How should I proceed?

A: The first thing is to thank the employer for the offer and show your enthusiasm.  Employers want to know that you are excited about the offer that they have made.  From there, ask when the employer needs to receive your response and then honor the request.

The next steps are to evaluate each component of the offer. Offer components include:

1. Time – this includes the time needed to decide on the offer
2. Compensation – base salary, bonuses, tuition reimbursement, etc.
3. Benefits – insurance, paid time off, retirement programs, etc.
4. Work Environment – telecommuting, cell phone, car allowance
5. Location – preferred city or office location
6. Position/Promotion – job title, performance review cycle

When evaluating the offer it is important to determine what is most important to you. Time to evaluate the offer –especially when you have multiple offers may be critical to your decision. Extended time is something that you can negotiate. Paid time off may be more important than salary to you because you like to travel to see family overseas during the holidays. Prioritize the list and do research and determine the terms that you will ask for. Leverage your Career Coach for assistance.

Additional tips:

• Always negotiate in good faith. If you are not really interested in the job then don’t waste your time or the employer’s time. Doing so could damage not only your reputation and relationship with the employer but also that of McCombs and your classmates.
• Never negotiate over email. Try to speak to the recruiter or hiring manager by phone or in person to avoid your tone being misconstrued. Your negotiations should be based on facts and the market value of your skills and not based on your personal needs or what someone else received.
• If you receive a low offer, don’t take it personal. It is ok to counter the offer but understand there are sometimes business reasons for the offer terms, such as: internal salary bands, industry or economic conditions or departmental parity.

Negotiating can be fun! A pleasant negotiation experience will set the tone for your experience at your new job.


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