As expert legal recruiters we play a pivotal role between our employers and candidates in assisting in the negotiation of renumeration packages. As something we do daily we are well versed in the negotiation, however from our job seekers we hear it can be one of the biggest areas of unease when securing a new role. So our team have put together a few of their tips on how to negotiate your next job offer confidently (should you decide to negotiate).
1. The biggest key to success is to approach the discussion strategically and be prepared before you enter any discussions. If you know in advance that the employer has put their strongest offer forward, and they have made it clear that there is no room for movement carefully consider whether you open up the discussion to negotiate the salary.
2. Research the average salary range for similar positions in your industry and location. CoLegals salary guide is one point of reference for this. This kind information will assist you in determining your market value and set realistic expectations prior to negotiations. At this stage it is important to evaluate the complete package beyond the base salary and determine what is important to you; consider all aspects of the offer such as benefits, bonuses, holidays, flexible working hours or part time arrangements and development opportunities.
3. Prepare your negotiation strategy in advance by writing down your key points and practice communicating them confidently. Anticipate potential objections or counters from the employer and prepare a response.
4. Our biggest piece of advice is to focus on the value you can bring to the employer. This is done by highlighting your unique transferable skills (e.g. client management, mentoring juniors), relevant experience, billing track record and past achievements. Articulate how you will directly be able to positively impact the employers goals and bottom line.
5. Be enthusiastic and open the discussion by expressing your gratitude for the job offer, share your excitement to be joining the company. It’s really important to keep the conversation positive and professional.
6. By being specific you are more likely to get the outcomes you actually want and be prepared to give logical justifications for your requests.
7. Be mindful of the language you use, while you want to project confidence in your communication ensure you do so in a respectful way.
8. Pay attention to your prospective employers responses and concerns and try to understand their perspective. This will enable you to respond thoughtfully and find common ground.
9. Remember negotiation is a two way process. It's important to be realistic – for example, for junior lawyers working in a firm, salaries are likely to be fixed or have a smaller band compared to senior lawyers where greater discretion can be used due to the value senior lawyers can bring from day one into a practice.
10. Enter the discussion open to consider alternative options, an employer may simply be unable to meet specific requests but able to add to the package in alternative ways that still enhance the overall offer.
Leave the negotiation on good terms, this will be done by remaining professional, open minded and respectful during discussions. Negotiating a job offer is a normal part of the hiring process, this is where having a recruiter involved in your hiring process can add real benefit for both the candidate and employer as an impartial third party.