Should you negotiate your job offer? If you know you won’t take it, then yes, negotiate. But what if you want the job? Or need the job? And you’re afraid they’ll pull the offer if you negotiate?
Do Employers Pull Job Offers?
It happens. Fairly often it seems. A Salary.com survey reported that 19% of respondents had lost a job offer because they negotiated. That’s almost one in five people. Like this:
I’ve had two letters in the last week from people who negotiated and lost:
Good Morning Donna,
I just read a post you wrote, 10 Steps to Countering a Lousy Lowball Job Offer, and I almost started to cry.
I have been out of full-time employment for over two years. In December, I was contacted by a recruiter at X Corporation regarding a VP, Marketing role. After NINE interviews, three phone screens and six in person, I was called about an offer.
The HR rep’s tone of voice on the call was negative to begin with. My initial high ask, $110,000, was met with belligerence. After coming all the way down to $85,000, and two phone calls later, I was told I offended her, wasn’t a team player, and the offer was rescinded.
I have tried to call and email the hiring manager to no avail. BTW, I just saw the position listed on various job boards.
I read a lot about offers and they all say “negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.” At the end of the day, I have no job, no more unemployment, I’m fighting foreclosure, and now, no job prospects.
BTW, the position was a perfect fit.
Any help in my employment search would be greatly appreciated.
[Our mutual friend] recommended that I reach out to you.
Three months ago, I lost a position during the negotiation phase. I asked for a 10% increase above the offer. The job required a cross-country relocation for my family. The position and company culture were perfect fits.
The company pulled the offer and offered it to another candidate who has a fraction of my experience and a history of job hopping.
Based on your experience, how would you recommend reaching out to them? Do you have any articles on how to handle such situations?
Should You ALWAYS Negotiate?
The conventional wisdom says, “Yes!” Interesting, because another Salary.com survey found that only 59% of people reported negotiating the offer for their current job.
The right answer is, “No! Not Always!” Some people prefer a bird in the hand.
When & How Should You Negotiate?
- How badly you want or need the job.
- Whether or not you’re in demand.
This will give you a rough idea of when to negotiate and how to do it:
When & How:
- If you’re at the 1 & 1 coordinates, your lines are, “Thank you! When do I start?”
- Somewhere up from 1 & 1, you start asking, “Is this negotiable?” and you trot out the internal equity lines for negotiating a lowball job offer (here, again). You will find additional tactful and effective opening lines here.
- Somewhere approaching 10 & 10, you play hardball. You’ll find superb advice on how to do that here and here.
DO NOT take many bloggers’ advice to ALWAYS negotiate. They aren’t making your house payment. Consider your facts and circumstances, coupled with the knowledge that some employers pull offers, and do what’s best for you.
How Do You Revive a Dead Negotiation?
Good luck with that. I don’t have any happy ending stories, hence this post and the cautionary tales.
Regarding the letters I received, one hiring manager has disappeared and the other position has been filled.
If any of you have ideas, please, let’s have a brainstorming session (there are no dumb ideas, just “foundations for additional creativity”) in the Comments below!
I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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Updated June 2017
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