Negotiating a job offer: How can we help?

Negotiating a job offer: How can we help?
February 10, 2022
Author: Yassmine Alieh
Source: Rasd

Attracting top talent has become one of the most difficult challenges organizations face in a post-pandemic world. Leaders with the requisite executive skills and competencies are hard to come by. Organizations ought to find effective ways to retain leaders once they are placed with their teams.

It is a relatively rare occasion for an executive to negotiate a significantly better compensation package, the most potent opportunity is when assuming a new role. Compensation packages are usually made up of a fixed component, additional fixed benefits, and a variable component, including a bonus scheme (performance-based), Long-Term Incentives (LTI), stock options, and sign-on incentives (sometimes referred to as a sign-on bonus). If fixed compensation is non-negotiable, selected candidates can explore negotiating for a better bonus or more benefits and perks. Benefits can include health and life insurance. Perks can range from flexible work hours to working from home and memberships to health clubs or a complementary company car.

Enter the Executive Search Consultant

The executive search firm plays a crucial part throughout the hiring process, especially in the final hiring stage. Clients sometimes prolong the process, and to gain certainty, they may conduct multiple interviews and request specialized assessments. Still, they tend to finalize rather quickly when the offer stage is reached. The executive search consultant sets expectations and ensures that both sides are kept honest by balancing the relationship between the candidate who wants to get the most out of it and the client who wants to keep the cost minimum.

As a safe, unbiased third party, clients and candidates can have honest conversations to ensure their needs are communicated and addressed.


Candidates have different approaches to gauging the situation and deciding whether they have received the best possible offer. One thing is for sure, hiring companies that are less constrained and adopt healthy practices tend to present their best offer first. Typically, seasoned executives recognize that and understand as well as appreciate their potential employer’s seriousness. On the other hand, some candidates believe that they should always try to negotiate their first offer (fair point) and might feel more assured about the process if they could get a slightly better commercial deal. Either way, the approach that fits best depends on the context of a conversation that has been had with the hiring company.

A word of advice

View the matter holistically: The financial aspect and compensation should not fully dictate whether or not one joins an organization. It is important to consider things like internal structure and the dominant culture within the organization. Are the employees happy and satisfied? Do they have a good work/life balance? Is there room for promotion and growth?

Clarify your expectations: One of the least desirable outcomes for executives and candidates is for several interviews to be conducted and to find out later that there is no alignment on financial compensation. Make your expectations clear from the get-go to avoid wasting your and anyone else’s time.

Exercise patience: If you’re unsatisfied with your basic salary and know the hiring company won’t be able to accommodate you, talk to your executive search consultant about if you can increase your LTI and/or performance-based bonus. Both can compensate for any perceived shortcomings in basic pay significantly.

Your satisfaction as a candidate hinges on the success of your negotiations. If managed properly with an experienced executive search firm, your acceptance of a suitable offer will only be the first step in a long and successful career journey.