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I am "possibly" going to get an offer this week and in the event that I get the offer, I want to understand how to "negotiate" with the hiring manager without compromising the relationship between him, me and the recruiter.

The position was originally arranged via a recruiter. I just received an email that said they are putting HR in motion to start the offer process.

The recruiter told me that he hoped he could get me salary $X, but the hiring manager has mentioned

pmoriarty's picture

In the interviewing series, Mark says that you can't negotiate.

In order to negotiate, you have to be able to offer something different than what you were initially offering (negotiations being give & take). If you do go back and succeed in getting $5-10k more, it is possible that you may do so at the expense of the relationship with your new boss/company.

See what they offer and make your decision. Good luck!

tomas's picture

[quote="pmoriarty"]In the interviewing series, Mark says that you can't negotiate.

In order to negotiate, you have to be able to offer something different than what you were initially offering (negotiations being give & take). If you do go back and succeed in getting $5-10k more, it is possible that you may do so at the expense of the relationship with your new boss/company.

See what they offer and make your decision. Good luck![/quote]

Mark's definition of "negotiate" has always bothered me as being artificially constrained. It seems overly restrictive to suggest that negotiation requires that both parties be in a position to adjust their offer. My dictionary defines negotiate as:-
[i]
"try to reach an agreement or compromise by discussion with others."[/i]

It is common to talk about negotiating the sale price of a house, for example, without having to throw in an extra room or a set of steak knives in order to satisfy the definition. The "give and take" from the candidate's side is not extra hours or better performance, it is their acceptance or non-acceptance that they (attempt) to wield as power in a negotiation.

Semantics aside, I think Mark's sentiment is correct. Perhaps a better description of the process would be "haggling", which is what you do with a shop-keeper when you are trying to get something for the lowest price, and they want to achieve the highest price possible. Haggling with your potential employer seems like a good way to fritter away a lot of the goodwill and trust that exists at that stage, and those elements are vital to starting a new position.

My understanding of the Manager Tools approach is that you try to secure the best possible offer by executing well in the pre-offer stages of the recruitment process and then either accept or politely reject the forthcoming offer.

I hope Mark or Mike will correct me if I have misspoken.

TomW's picture

[quote="tomas"]Mark's definition of "negotiate" has always bothered me as being artificially constrained. It seems overly restrictive to suggest that negotiation requires that both parties be in a position to adjust their offer. My dictionary defines negotiate as:-
[i]
"try to reach an agreement or compromise by discussion with others."[/i][/quote]

In the real world, negotiation usually DOES involve a form of give and take... you give me this, I'll give you that. You give in a little on your point, I'll give in a little on mine. It's persuasion through mutual concessions.

[quote]It is common to talk about negotiating the sale price of a house, for example, without having to throw in an extra room or a set of steak knives in order to satisfy the definition. [/quote]

Steak knives, no, but inspection, repair, and closing costs may be considered.

What is really being discussed in this setting is the fair market value of the house. You can pretty easily look that up and find out exactly what that value is. If you feel the house is overpriced (or the company is underpaying), it's a normal tactic to bring that up because it is based on outside, objective data. The company might actually be offering a lower price than the rest of the market based on someone's current experience level and (most importantly) the value they bring to the firm.

You might pay a little more for a house if the current owner agrees to pay the inspection costs any any required work. Or, if the owner is in a big hurry, they pay the inspection costs and give you a substantial discount in case the inspector finds anything.

What can you offer that would make the company pay more than they offered?

tomas's picture

akinsgre,

In my experience, the recruiter is usually the one who makes the offer, in which case you deal with them in accepting or rejecting the offer. If the hiring manager makes the offer, then I would assume it is fine to deal with them directly.

In any case, the general consensus is that asking for a higher offer is just not worth it in terms of the damage you can do to your reputation and the potential to completely botch it up and end up with nothing, or even worse end up with a hostile manager.

TomW,

I suspect that I'm not going to convince either you or Mark to accept a broader definition of "negotiate", so I'll just have to live with it. I'm quite sure that a discussion about the meaning of "negotiate" will do very little to enlighten the original poster, which is the real value of these forums.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Given a 3rd party recruiter gets paid a commission based on your salary, I would hope they would "negotiate" hard to make the most $. That being said, they don't want to negotiate too hard as to burn the relationship with the hiring company.

And you really only start "negotiating" at more senior-level jobs, when you have a wider array of compensation options beyond a base salary and a 15% bonus, like stock options, bonuses, vacation time and use of the corporate retreat, use of company jets, severance, pension benefits etc.

*RNTT

tomas's picture

asteriskrntt1,

I wouldn't rely on a recruiter to go to any great lengths to secure a candidate the maximum pay possible. The marginal benefit they would receive is unlikely to be worth the effort compared to them spending that effort trying to fill other roles.

And yeah, if are being hired on as a CEO or other high level executive the general advice about not negotiating probably doesn't apply. Maybe there should be a CEO-Tools site for those people. :)

akinsgre's picture

Thanks everyone.

My feeling is, this isn't negotiation in the truest sense.

Basically, I was "slightly" misled about the amount the position would pay. If I "reject" the offer without letting the manager know why, I'm not giving him an opportunity to improve the offer. Wouldn't most of us want that opportunity as a hiring manager?

On the other hand, in this case, it's such small amount that I'm not willing to risk any negative at the start of the relationship (I'm pretty excited about the opportunity and would probably take it for even slightly less).

What this has drummed home (once again) is the value in networking and building career opportunities out of relationships.

Thanks for all your help.

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="akinsgre"]

Basically, I was "slightly" misled about the amount the position would pay.

[/quote]

My thought's are to take the job if you can live with the lower amount. That said was it the Recruiter who "'slightly' misled" you on the amount?

If so I would think about giving the HR Manager (after you accept the job)some feedback on the recruiters practice.

akinsgre's picture

[quote="JimGutherson"]My thought's are to take the job if you can live with the lower amount. That said was it the Recruiter who "'slightly' misled" you on the amount?

If so I would think about giving the HR Manager (after you accept the job)some feedback on the recruiters practice.[/quote]

I agree on accepting the offer, Jim.

The amount wasn't that much. It wasn't enough to be upset at the recruiter (In fact, I've already referred some friends because I liked the guy).