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Negotiation: Don't Wait Until the Offer to Prepare

By Alyssa Gelbard, Founder & CEO, Point Road Group

When looking for a job, although it may feel like putting the cart before the horse, you know you’ll enter the offer negotiation phase at some point. Instead of waiting until late in the interview process to think about what’s most important and what’s negotiable, start preparing for that conversation now. Besides salary, the benefits and perks you’ve prioritized in past negotiations may not be as significant as other priorities today.
Here are some tips to ensure you’ll be ready to negotiate the best possible job offer.
  1. Define your priorities. In addition to salary requirements and working remotely, which are top of mind for most, also think about schedule flexibility, vacation time, commuting and/or remote office reimbursements, health and wellness benefits etc. Knowing what you must have and what would be nice to have is critical to negotiating from a strong position as well as clarifying when to walk away from an opportunity if certain priorities go unmet.
  2. Know the numbers. As a financial executive, you know how critical this is. To land an optimal salary, do your research. Make sure that the number you’re asking for aligns with current market trends. Consider industry, geography, company size, if it’s a public or private company, remote role etc. If possible, look at company financials and leverage your network to find out where the company generally falls in salary ranges and for insights into how the business is doing.
  3. Consider the other side of the table. Many companies have been getting creative since 2020 in offering benefits and perks that better align with flexible work arrangements. Find out what your current employer is offering new employees and ask people in your network what their companies are offering so you’ll have a better sense of what is acceptable and fair game to round out a total compensation package.
  4. Know when to be flexible (and when not to be). Employers will often consider alternative options to win the interest of top talent and attract a broader range of candidates. However, they may not be able to accommodate everything, especially if an ask relates to working remotely and they haven’t made a final business decision on it yet. Think carefully about what you’ll need to make “work” work for you.

Every stage of the job search process requires careful preparation and offer negotiation is no exception. The pandemic has caused many executives to reexamine priorities, so don’t wait until an offer is on the table to closely evaluate what’s most important to you. Do your homework and gather insights before you need them so you’ll be informed and ready to negotiate the best possible offer when the time comes.
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