6 Steps to Negotiating Compensation

Posted by Nicholas Ugbode

August 16, 2012 @ 02:09 PM

After a long interview process and the uncertainty of whether or not you nailed the final round, nothing feels better than getting that offer letter. But wait, what happens if they come back to you with an offer $5K lower than expected, or a job title not in-line with your discussions? This is where you can employ some of the best-practices below to ensure that you come away with the healthiest compensation package possible.

As a rule, keep in mind that negotiations are not always a negative conversation to have; they are oftentimes expected. You are never in a more powerful position as a prospective employee as when the offer letter is received! Employment and salary negotiation should be a win/win situation, not necessarily a competition. Maintain a positive, realistic and confident attitude in all conversations about your employment package and you will ultimately be able to get your points across more effectively.

salary negotiation resized 600Some unique things to look for in an Executive compensation package:

  • Sign-on bonus

  • Cash Incentives/annual bonus

  • Stock

  • Relocation allowance

  • Severance Agreement

  • Change in control agreement

To help you approach this sometime daunting conversation with a potential employer, go through this summary of what to do after receiving an offer.

6-Step Guide to Negotiation:

  1. Do not immediately agree to the initial offer. Politely and enthusiastically acknowledge the offer without negotiating.

  2. Thoroughly analyze the offer, scanning for any missing details such as benefits, paid time off, bonus structure and non-compete clauses/durations.

  3. Decide, prior to your conversation with the employer, what your “walk-away number/terms” will be.

  4. Begin negotiations with a polite inquiry to discuss the offer; ensure to have a counteroffer in place for proposal and know your value.

  5. Be patient and willing to compromise when necessary because negotiations can go several rounds.

  6. Obtain the final offer/contract in writing.

Using this process and working diligently with your prospective employer can only set you up for long-term success. It’s important to remember that a company will usually not come in exactly at their maximum offer potential, often their midpoint, so it’s important to explore all possible avenues before putting pen to paper and accepting their initial package.

Being able to demonstrate your solid value proposition to the employer in these conversations will make that extra $5K seem worthwhile to them. Maintaining a winning attitude, listening carefully and being able to offer constructive solutions to the issues within the initial offer will demonstrate your commitment to a win/win solution!  

Nicholas Ugbode

Nicholas Ugbode is a Certified Professional Career Coach, CPCC, for TheLadders. He leverages his cross-industry HR experience to provide a well-fitted coaching program for his clients, based on a thorough and individual needs-assessment. His job is to make sure job-seekers are running the most efficient and successful search that they possibly can!