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EP 1506 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter discusses what to do if the headhunter says they cannot negotiate the Job offer.

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What sometimes happens is the recruiter extends the offer and you really aren't happy with the number. What you're basically saying to them is, "I need more money." They turn around and say, "There is no negotiation." A lot of people by that bull.

There are sometimes situations where that is true but not a lot of them. Let me give you an example.

I had one negotiation not long ago when the client told me point blank that they had blown your budget to get the number that was offered. All along, the client the talked about one number that was too low for the candidate and they up the offer, still too low for the candidate. I was is much as they could go They told me that point blank.

The trick to dealing with the recruiter who says that there is no negotiation is to asked them, "Why is that? Why is there no negotiation?" Make them justify it to you.

They may tell you exactly what I just said. "The client went to bat for you. They were unable to offer more. Etc."

The follow-up to that is, "I'm just going to call the client because am not really happy with the money."

"NO! NO! NO! NO! You'll blow the deal!"

What they are trying to do is close you on the number that was offered.

If you do choose to call client, obviously, don't start off in an indignant snit, the ideas to say something like, "I want you to know I appreciate the offer. It is a little lower than what I was looking for. Could you do a touch better?" The idea is to get them to up the number a little bit more. Do this around the recruiter, rather than through them, because this recruiters obviously represented themselves in a way that suggests that they might've been deceptive and unwilling to go to bat for you. They are more concerned with closing the deal. Having you be happy. It suggests that they are more interested in maintaining the relationship with the client than satisfying you.

Again, at the end of the day, you may want to accept the offer so you don't want to walking indignantly and act like a jerk and be immature in your conversation with them.

"Thank you so much for extending the offer. I'm really excited about the possibility of joining. Frankly, the salary was a little bit more than I was hoping for. Could you do a touch better?"

"How much better?"

Tell them. They're not going to do $20,000 better. There going to do a few dollars better at most. Be prepared that if you ask for something crazy, they're going to start backing out of the offer and you will be left with nothing. Don't get foolish. If you do have that conversation, keep it simple and let them know, "I really want to accept. I would really appreciate if you could do a touch better."


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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