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How to Best Negotiate a Job Offer If You're the Recruiter

By Poyen Ramos on April 8, 2016

You've just found your perfect candidate, one that fits the job description and fits your company's culture. After deliberating and agreeing with the rest of the team, you head on to give that candidate a job offer.

More often than not, some candidates easily agree with what you give them—compensation and benefits wise—especially if they're fresh grads. But, let's say your potential candidate asks for "more," how will you handle the negotiation without sounding too combative, or too promising?

A survey by Salary.com revealed that 37% of people always negotiate their salaries—while 18% never do. We understand that presenting and negotiating a job offer with an ideal candidate can be a nerve wracking situation, but with practice, I bet you'll be able to enhance your negotiating skills to not only land the best candidate but to also get a deal that works well.

Here are some tips to guide you:

1. See whether the candidate's intentions are reasonable.

When it comes to negotiating, you need to look into a few more things before considering on giving a counter offer. Are they qualified enough? Is it because they're relocating? And with the employer's side: Does the company have the funds to offer higher compensation or give more benefits? By this, you'll be able to pinpoint substantial reasons to start the conversation with the both parties—employer and candidate.

2. Determine your limits.

With limits, this means figuring out what resources your company can't go beyond to, no matter how qualified the candidate may be. It's never a good idea to promise the stars if your side of the agreement can't deliver.

3. Consider offering the less costly benefits...

...instead of looking into a raise in compensation. Make use of these perks that won't cost you much but would still gain a great deal for both parties. This could range from offering additional vacation leaves, a few days to work from home, or bi-monthly performance bonuses.

4. See what the other companies are offering to similar positions.

Do your market research. Call other HR's from your same industry and ask what range salary they're offering candidates to fill a similar position. With this, you'll be able to evaluate your offer strategically. Another option is to conduct independent research through online salary surveys. Sites such as Monster or Salary.com offer resources that can help you get the range.

5. Don't go overboard. 

Meaning, stick within the initial salary offer price. Don't offer the candidate the uppermost amount you have available because it will just go up from there, and the negotiations will become harder. You might even risk losing the candidate all the more because they'll see you as inflexible. And once you've discussed the negotiation with the big boss...

6. Deliver the job offer you've agreed upon in writing.

A written offer is important so that there will be no misunderstanding with the agreements with both parties.

7. Anticipate questions from the candidate. 

There are some applicants who are crafty negotiators, so stand by your offer. This is also a great opportunity for you to observe an future employee's potential whether you  like it or not. Avoid coming across as desperate. If the negotiations you have is the best possible offer, then let the candidate know this is the best offer you could give, add to that, let them know that you think he or she will make a great addition to the company. Your goal is to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.

Here's a sample text on how you should say it:

"I understand how you perceive your qualifications. However, given our experience of people in the industry at your level of experience and with the qualifications that you have, the amount that we have offered you is very generous. We think it is a fair offer and we also think that you have a fantastic opportunity to grow here and learn a great deal."

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