Anyone who negotiates for a living knows that time kills all deals. If and when negotiations start dragging out and response time lags, it usually means a deal is going to fall apart.
To prevent this, you need to have your ducks in a row and be ready to jump into action when you get the call, lest you lose the opportunity. This means you need to know in your gut if you’re going to take the job before that call comes in.
When a company starts zeroing in on you as their next hire, an amazing thing begins to happen. Roles begin to reverse and suddenly you gain leverage.
When a company starts zeroing in on you as their next hire, an amazing thing begins to happen.
Roles begin to reverse and suddenly you, their top choice, begins to gain leverage. When the hiring manager decides that he or she wants you, they’re not going to wait any longer than absolutely necessary. They’ll expedite an offer. And you need to be prepared for this moment.
What You Can Expect
If you receive an offer on a Monday, the company will want an answer by Friday at the latest. Five business days is about the most you can expect. If you’re lucky, you might get a weekend in there. That’s a reasonable thing to ask for, but you shouldn’t count on it.
The best job hunters try to bring two to three jobs in for a landing simultaneously. This gives them the opportunity to have all their options on the table before they have to accept one. If you have another company that’s getting close to making an offer, you should manage their expectations and let them know what’s going on with the other companies you’re interviewing with. Doing this is an act of fundamental respect, but it also creates a sense of urgency on their end. If you light a fire under them by letting them know there’s competition, they’re much more likely to sweeten the pot and start throwing additional perks and compensation your way.
Stay calm and confident, and explain that you owe it to yourself to see the other opportunities through. At the same time, be honest and give them a realistic timeline that you promise to stand by. If you don’t manage both employers carefully and honestly, you may find both offers gone in a week’s time.
The Best Negotiation Is No Negotiation
We’re firm believers in the idea that the best negotiation is no negotiation. This means that, throughout the process, you’ve a) managed your own expectations about what you need from that next opportunity and b) shared that information with the companies you’re interviewing with. If companies know your motivations and you’ve effectively matched them with their needs, your leverage in negotiating for your own interests will increase substantially.
Always keep in mind that straight shooting is valued way more than nuance when it comes time to negotiate. The other side is looking for a framework that only you can provide. Giving them that framework in a timely, respectful, and honest fashion allows them to feel like they’re still in control of the offer process.
You didn’t come this far just to blow it by taking too long. Keep an open line of communication with every prospective employer, and don’t be cagey about competing offers. You won’t hurt your chances by being honest about another company’s interest in you. They’ll appreciate and respect your candor. And they just might make you an offer you can’t refuse.
You’re considering accepting a job offer, but is your new boss really the right fit? We’ll help you figure it out.
28 Days to a New Job is a month-long Hired Guns course designed to help you maximize your competitiveness in the current job market. Learn the secrets to getting a job from hiring managers, recruiters, negotiation experts and more. Read our our introductory post here. Or Subscribe Now to receive 28 Days to a New Job as a daily email.