Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer

All 15 Rules and the whole Harvard Business Review article are worth reading. In two recent discussions with others who had offers on the table, we were optimizing for the first five rules:

  1. Likeability
  2. telegraphing your Yes
  3. Consider the whole deal
  4. Don’t negotiate just to negotiate, and
  5. Avoid, ignore, or downplay ultimatums of any kind

Being courteous and negotiating in good faith — to close the deal successfully — are key. If there’s any whiff of either party being “difficult” during the wooing period, smart parties know to have zero expectation of this improving post-wooing period. This is as true for vendor, partner, and other negotiations as it is for job offers.

Specifically to employment negotiations, if the “whiff of difficulty” includes any inclination of lack of team-playing or future personnel issues, it quickly turns into the hiring manager’s obligation to the organization not to hire that party.  i.e. it moves from questions of “liking the candidate” and “cultural fit” — already important enough — to “I would be abdicating my responsibilities to the organization by hiring someone demonstrating tendencies that may run counter to the wider organization.”