Job seekers shouldn’t be so quick to accept the first job offer that comes their way, new research shows.
A study by The Creative Group revealed that professionals who accept an initial job offer may be leaving money on the table, as more than 60 percent of the executives surveyed are at least somewhat willing to negotiate compensation when extending a job offer to a top candidate.
"Job seekers often have more leverage than they realize when negotiating a starting salary," said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. "Businesses that have gone through the process of selecting a top candidate are motivated to hire that person, even if they have to sweeten the deal."
Farrugia said job candidates who are thoroughly prepared for negotiations are the one who have the most success.
"These conversations are delicate and can easily go off track," she said.
The Creative Group offers five common salary negotiation mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Showing up unprepared: Job candidates should enter negotiations with a solid understanding of current salary trends for their position and location. Review compensation sources to ensure realistic expectations.
- Playing games: Tactics like misleading a prospective employer about current salary or other job offers in an effort to obtain higher pay almost always backfires. It's better to be honest about current situations.
- Making it all about you: Job seekers shouldn't base the request for a larger starting salary on the fact that they want a new car or bigger down payment for a home. They'll make a much more compelling argument by talking about the value they can bring to the organization.
- Viewing money as the only object: Salary is just one part of the equation; a generous benefits package or opportunities to learn and grow with the company may compensate for a lower starting salary. Remember to look at the full picture when evaluating a job offer.
- Drawing a line in the sand: Giving ultimatums too early in the process may cause negotiations to fall apart. Instead, look for common ground and avoid taking an adversarial stance. How job candidates conduct themselves during the negotiation process sets the tone for employment with the firm.
The study was based on surveys of 375 marketing executives from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives from agencies with 20 or more employees.