How to Negotiate Your Way Into A Better Job Offers

The End Game in the Executive Search Hiring Process

You are negotiating a job offer—the final moves in the executive search mating game. You have done the flirting, been on a date or two, and now you’ve been invited to join the family.  A job offer is made to you, but are you ready to take a chance on this new relationship? Is there still time to set your goals and boundaries when you are sent a job offer?

How do you make sure this is a long-term relationship? Can you keep the passion alive for both of you? Can you both remain satisfied and faithful for the foreseeable future?

Negotiating is always a challenge but, executed well, can be very satisfying. You will find that going through the negotiating process will set your expectations clearly to your new potential partner, and you will open up the conversations to talk through your professional goals.

Let’s find out.

The Engagement – Can I Negotiate?

The excitement has settled, everyone has said their congratulations, and now comes the reality – can you marry into this firm and on what terms? Whatever the state of the employment market, our experience and clients tell us that at least some negotiation is expected when hiring top executives.

As with every union, there must be given and take. The new love of your life may smite you, and you might adore the new family. But you should still ensure that your final package is competitive and acceptable.

Where Does Your Negotiation Begin?

Your suitor likes you. If they didn’t, the offer would not have been made. This gives you some power in the negotiation but not ultimate power. You should be honest and clear about what you want from the relationship.

Please list your needs and wants and put them in order of priority to you.

What Is Important to You?

After you have compiled your list of what is important to you, take the time to go through each list item and ask yourself what motivated you to explore this opportunity in the first place. Think of this career opportunity as a potential partner with which you are starting a life.  Ask yourself what it is about this potential partner that may enhance your life.


As a career-minded executive, we know that money is not your sole motivator. It’s not how to buy happiness, however. Of course, you should be suitably compensated for your skills, expertise, and experience. To negotiate a reasonable salary, ensure that you research the market, understand market rates, and be sure about your own financial needs.

Signing bonus

Can you negotiate a signing bonus? Use your research to let them know how your skills and experience will help them in business recovery.

Medical Insurance

The larger the family, the bigger the bills, right? A handsome medical package can be worth a small fortune in the longer term.

 Working from Home

The pandemic has taught us the value of working from home. If this helps you manage caring responsibilities or health issues and create a better work/life balance, it’s worth the effort to get it included.

Flexible Hours

Do you love to get away to that holiday home at a weekend? A flexible working contract can shave up a few hours off the Friday drive.

Retirement Benefits

Negotiating a higher pension contribution is definitely to be considered to help protect your future.

Progression Bonus

The company may not be able to offer a higher salary, but is there a results-based bonus for the near future?

Vacation Time

A few more days’ annual leaves might be more within reach than the dollar bill.

5 Tips for Negotiating Well

1.      Win/Win

Give and take. A good outcome is when both parties feel like they have gained and there is compromise on both sides.

2.      Confidence, Not Arrogance

It’s a fine line between the two, don’t overstep the mark. You may be covered by another firm or two, but don’t play them off. Work out the pros and cons, and don’t burn your bridges.

3.      Be Clear from the Start

Be honest about elements of a package on which you cannot compromise from the start.

4.      Flexibility

No one likes to be thought of as ‘inflexible.’ So think about your language when negotiating. Use phrases like, “How flexible can you be on that?” or “How have you closed gaps like this in the past?”

5.      Don’t Negotiate to Prove You Can

Make sure your reasons are valid and viable; otherwise, this marriage starts with mistrust.

Look at the Big Picture

Changing jobs, like getting married, is a lifestyle choice. But make sure you look at the bigger picture.

  • A shorter commute, for example, will give you more free time and cost less in travel expenses. How much are these things worth to you?

Consider your values and what the changes are going to mean.

  • For example, a small sacrifice elsewhere may mean a more significant opportunity for career enhancement in the long run if you are career-focused.

Perhaps you value stability and longevity – does this proposal offer that?

Consider cultural fit. Your offer may include the freedom to do more and build your team, for example. Is this the reality? How has the hiring company treated new executives in the past?

Are you ready to embrace a role that works with your lifestyle instead of shaping your life around your job? Contact Lincoln Group to explore how our executive matchmaking could enhance your career and life.

Do you want to find your next career opportunity? Let’s Contact Us for help! We’ll find the perfect opportunity for you, negotiate a fair salary, and give you the hand-holding you need to succeed in the transition. Get in touch with us today!

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