Can Negotiating Salary Backfire? | JobSearchTV.com
Here are a few ways that YOU can create circumstances where it can backfire.
Now, can it backfire? Absolutely. Is it probable that it will backfire? No. It depends on how immaturely you go into the conversations about salary. Now, I want to preface all this by saying they are negotiating salary from the first time they’re asking you how much you’re looking for. And they’re then followed up by saying, “Could you be a little flexible if you needed to be.” That’s their negotiation.
You see, Job Hunters, think negotiation starts at the time they make the offer. They’re collecting data from you all the way through the process. So, by not dealing with that first question right away, you’re making a mistake that can backfire on you later on.
So, the way to handle that scenario is when they say could you be a little flexible, “I suppose so. But the fact of the matter is, I don’t know anything about the role other than what I’ve read. I don’t know my hiring manager, what their expectations are, I don’t have a sense of the team. I just have what I read in an ad or a job description, or I was told by Rhona the Recruiter. So I can say yes now. But after I talk with people, I may change my mind.”
And what that does is let them know that you’re not going to instantly cave. That there are other variables, and they couldn’t box you in.
How can it backfire? Number one, you go into negotiation real hard, and you try, and as an old partner of mine would say, break their shoes, get blood out of a turnip. Every DIME. And it’s, you’re bumping heads with people. And they have two options there. Number one is they cave in. And that’s how it feels to them. Or number two is they wait until you’re on board and they take it out on you in the new job. That’s one way it can backfire.
Another way is in negotiating with you before the acceptance, if they’ve extended an offer, and there’s a couple of terms that you’re trying to deal with. They agree with them. And then you come back with new things. And that suggests to them that maybe you’re not negotiating in good faith. Now, they’ll probably turn around and say “What else? Because I don’t want to do this anymore. What else?” So you’ll notice my tone of voice is annoyed and that affects you once you’re on board and affects their behavior during the negotiation. So that can backfire.
And of course, the third way is they do negotiation, everything is fine, you accept, you get another offer, and you circle back to them and make it seem like it’s Take it or leave it and you’re not all they’re thrilled with Company Number two, the one that gave you the second offer.
You say, “I received an offer from another firm.”
Well, why did you keep going on on interviews after you accepted our offer?”
“I didn’t, they approached me and extended an offer. I hadn’t heard from them in weeks.”
Notice what I’ve done is I’ve explained to them how this happened without you interviewing. And then you turn around by saying, “Look, I prefer joining your firm. But no, I’m not independently wealthy. They’ve made me an offer for $10,000 more than you. I’d really appreciate it if you can match.” And if they don’t, you have a decision to make. Do you want to continue on? Or was the second firm and their opportunity better than this one? Are you willing to lose the first and be stuck with the second?
So those are a couple of ways that it could backfire? There are many, many more, and some of them involve your behavior during the negotiation. You’re shooting much too high over what they’re talking about. Like there was one situation where I still did recruiting. I got an offer for someone and it was almost a $200,000 offer. He said yes. And a week later, he comes back and says “you know, I was thinking about it and I want 220 from them.” And they turned around and said that “he can try getting it from someone else. We’re out.” Yes, you can blow offers. But if you’re an adult. If you act maturely, and you talk to them like human beings instead of dishing out ultimatums that sound like take it or leave it. then you can win and you’re not going to backfire.
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2300 episodes.
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