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Mastering the Art of Job Offer Negotiation

December 12, 2023

At Kenova, negotiation is an integral part of our daily routine. On average, we handle one job offer per business day for our candidates.

Finance professionals progressing through the recruitment process inevitably face several crucial stages, with the final negotiation phase often being the most delicate.

Beyond prioritizing criteria and defining non-negotiable points to accept a new position, it is essential to consistently adopt a clever and thoughtful approach to ensure a positive conclusion and obtain optimal conditions.

As finance recruitment experts, we can assert that the vast majority of our processes conclude with remarkable success stories. In fact, many candidates enthusiastically embrace the new chapter in their professional lives. However, we have also witnessed a few unfortunate experiences that demonstrate how a simple mistake on the part of a candidate can quickly tip the scales.

The following lines will summarize the best practices to ensure the success you deserve.

Your recruitment partner is your best ally in negotiations.

Our recruiters at Kenova, carefully trained to guide you at every stage of your hiring process with an employer, play several essential roles to help you secure the best professional opportunities in the field of finance and accounting.

👉 The Neutral Intermediary:

  • We maintain an impartial balance between your specific interests and those of your future employer.
  • Our goal is to create win-win successes with sustainability in mind.
  • We aim for each candidate to choose the right offer, regardless of the direction it takes. We ensure that our emotions do not compromise the situation or direction, as we prioritize the relationship over the transaction.

👉 The Wise Advisor:

  • With our expertise in the financial and accounting job market, we offer informed recommendations tailored to the current market situation.
  • Each candidate receives personalized advice through a thorough understanding of needs, values, and career goals.

👉 The Compassionate Facilitator:

  • We create a positive and constructive negotiation environment, even in the most stressful contexts.
  • Open and transparent communication is strongly encouraged among all parties involved.
  • We promote mutual understanding of expectations and aspirations, ensuring successful negotiations.

👉 The Strategic Partner:

  • We always find creative strategies and solutions that lead to positive results.
  • We act as your dedicated partner to maximize obtaining ideal offers based on your specific needs.
  • Our negotiations aim for fairness and success for all parties involved.
  • We favor proven communication methods to build trust and openness at every stage of the process and avoid any potential missteps.

So, take advantage of the benefits of an active collaboration with your recruitment advisor at Kenova by adopting a posture of transparent communication at all times!

In some circumstances, it may be necessary to engage in direct negotiations with the employer. The next lines will provide you with tools to better prepare for this situation.

️ The 3 Pitfalls to Avoid in Direct Negotiations with an Employer

  • Negotiating without Sufficient Preparation:
    • A game plan must be developed to identify your priorities (minimum acceptable salary, essential benefits for you and your family, important criteria for happiness in your future environment, etc.).
    • Try to anticipate some potential alternatives in case your requests are not fully met.
    • Be attentive to your negotiation limits to bring clarity and coherence to your demands at each stage of the process.
    • Take a step back and question why your criteria are important to you. Ensure they genuinely contribute to your happiness.

*Reflection and preparation are essential before entering into negotiations.

  • Neglecting Direct Interaction: Underestimating the importance of direct dialogue is often a mistake. Nuances of non-verbal communication, tone of voice, and real-time interactions are crucial in negotiations. Whenever possible, avoid relying exclusively on virtual means and prioritize in-person or video call conversations for better understanding. Use the phone as a last resort. Negotiating via email is not recommended. Written communication serves to summarize and formalize verbally discussed elements.
  • Letting Emotions Take Over: Howard Baker emphasizes the importance of eliminating emotions in negotiations. Stay focused on the facts, explain your requests rationally, and in case of refusal, propose constructive compromises without letting negative emotions influence your approach. Also, avoid letting past negative experiences affect your perspective on the new opportunity. Resolve those issues rather than transferring them and maintain an open mindset for a constructive negotiation.

Opt for a thoughtful and professional approach, allowing yourself space when necessary.

The 7 Best Practices to Implement in Your Next Negotiation

  1. Identify Your Priorities: Clearly define your priorities regarding factors that could lead you to change jobs, such as the acceptable minimum salary, working hours, career prospects, work mode, etc. This clarification will help you be precise and stay focused during negotiations.
  • Develop Your Strategy: After carefully analyzing your needs and goals, prepare to adjust your negotiation approach based on your counterpart’s personality while clearly stating the foundations of your requests. Ensure an understanding of the issues and concerns of the other party by fostering open and transparent dialogue and demonstrating attentive listening. Also, consider the long-term impact of your actions, especially in negotiating style, to maintain a positive relationship regardless of the outcome.
  • Know the Alternatives: Be aware of potential negotiation alternatives the employer may have if their flexibility is limited to meet salary equity, they may be flexible on other aspects. If impossible, be open to negotiating other benefits.
  • Highlight Common Interests: Adopt a holistic perspective by evaluating the pros and cons of the offer conditions, responsibilities, and the company you are considering choosing. Align your short-term expectations with your long-term goals, ensuring they align with the employer’s objectives. By doing so, you demonstrate a strategic vision, which may encourage your future employer to invest more in you.
  • Reiterate Your Interest While Being Honest and Transparent: Establish authentic communication using positive and motivating verbal and non-verbal language. The goal is to reassure the employer by showing that your interest is based on solid reasons, promising a lasting collaboration. Be ready to compromise while being transparent about your concerns and career goals.
  • Be Guided by Your Important Needs: Focus on your essential needs rather than random feelings depending on the period you are going through. Do not let fear, fatigue, or stress of the moment influence your decision. Consider the long-term impact of your actions and decisions, especially in the negotiation approach, to preserve a good relationship regardless of the outcome.
  • Ask for Time to Reflect: Take a step back and the necessary time to seriously reflect on the offer and conditions before giving an immediate response. Changing jobs is a significant decision that impacts an entire life; it is normal to think about it seriously without rushing things.

In the competitive field of finance and accounting, Kenova positions itself as your dedicated ally to guide you towards your ideal job. We accompany you at every step with a personalized approach, leveraging our expertise in the art of negotiation.

Planning to change jobs soon?

Consider the organizational culture of your future employer.

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