In this article, we will discuss negotiation skills.
Negotiation skills are universally valuable and will come up time and time again in day-to-day life (for example: who’s making dinner tonight, you or your partner), as well as in your job search. Like any other skill, it can be learnt.
When should you negotiate?
Negotiation is based on a bit of a power play. The more someone knows you (in other words, the further along the job interview process you are), the more they trust and like you, and the more bargaining power you have. Choosing when to negotiate is key. You want to avoid trying to negotiate in the early stages of your job application as you effectively have not had a chance to prove yourself yet.
Most online resources will tell you to negotiate after you have had the job offer. This is an obvious tactic. We would also argue that even before you’ve been offered the job, you should be communicating your level clearly enough, and if you have been asked what you want directly (salary/ benefits), be prepared to answer and get the message across regarding what is negotiable and non-negotiable for you.
How do I prepare?
As with most things, preparation is key and will add a huge amount of value for you. Throughout the interview process, try to gather as much information as possible to inform the negotiation step. Information is power and the more you know, the stronger your negotiation skills will be.
You also need to clarify what your own expectations are around ownership, growth, health, contribution, engagement, stability & security, development & growth, and financials & benefits.
Also consider the following questions:
- What are you looking for in terms of pay, working conditions, and other considerations?
- What does the organisation want from you?
- What can you offer the organisation?
- What can the organisation offer you?
- What kind of environment are you negotiating in?
- What does the industry generally pay for your skills, product, or service? This is because wellness is a relatively immature industry, pay scales and industry averages have not yet appeared on the likes of Glassdoor. Try to gather as much data as you can throughout the process and ask people you know in the industry, where appropriate.
Finally, refer back to your ideal career criteria and have a true understanding of what you want and what you’re willing to negotiate on. Factors, such as company size, salary, types of people, culture, location, industry, job role, personal strengths that you can develop, working hours, and holiday, etc.
How do I now negotiate?
In the modern world, not all negotiation is done face-to-face and a lot is dealt with over email.
If it is face-to-face, be open and honest throughout the process and don’t let the awkward situation fluster you. Take your time, ask all the questions you need, be an excellent listener, gather information, and make a considered response. Be sure to repeat back to everyone involved and paraphrase, where necessary, to confirm everyone’s understanding. It is key to get anything promised to you verbally, in written form.
If negotiating over email, where possible, ask to jump on a call. If not, consider the tone of the email and be sure to be clear and communicative.
The point of a negotiation is for you all to come to an agreement. Do be flexible throughout the process and willing to give something up that is less important to you, if it means you can get something else which is more important.
What do you think?
Have you successfully negotiated something (e.g. money, hours, holiday, maternity, responsibilities, etc.) in an interview before? What did you do to make the interviewer come around to your way of thinking? Share in the Comments section.