The subject of negotiating with an employer has always been a touchy one. Some fine lines can’t be crossed, and others could be pushed to the limits to get more from the deal. 

Negotiating could be considered an art, with professional negotiators receiving many hours of training to perfect the process. Ordinary people don’t always have the luxury of waiting for the experience, and the skill needs to be applied immediately. Learning a few tricks of the trade could help make it a lot easier. 

Employers could be intimidating, and the exercise may seem daunting, but negotiating for better employment terms has a few basic steps: 

1. Be Prepared For The Conversation

Having tough conversations is never easy, but being prepared for them may ease some of their anxiety and stress.  

Write out every possible scenario, say the speech repeatedly back to yourself, role play with a family member or friend, and make sure that all the possible angles of the conversation are explored.  

Preparing for a negotiation is imperative for its success. 

2. Look The Part

Find an outfit that would give the necessary confidence to face the discussions head-on. Having more confidence adds to the allure of why your requests should be granted. 

When negotiating, especially for better employment terms, employers may take your requests more seriously when dressing smart.  

3. Enter The Negotiations Openly

Being open and honest in any conversation would ensure the negotiations stay on track. Voicing your concerns and stating the precise reasons for your employer to reconsider their terms of employment would show the employer you mean business. 

Management would not have all day to listen to half-baked stories and flaky reasons why they need to re-evaluate their team member’s working conditions.  

Be to the point when addressing the issues. 

4. Be Courteous and Friendly

This should be self-evident. Nobody wants to negotiate with someone who is a closed-off, rude, and abrupt person. Mind your manners when addressing management and have a friendly demeanour when entering the conversations. 

Friendliness could pave the way for proper negotiations that may end with everyone leaving the meeting happy and satisfied.  

5. Upsell Skills Tactfully

Explain to management why they should reconsider employment terms without bragging and sounding like you’re blowing your own horn. Employers will always have a standard title, salary, and performance parameters for a specific position, but sometimes it may be necessary to challenge these tactfully. 

It may be possible that a candidate could have a lot more experience and additional qualifications that the standard set of requirements doesn’t consider. In this case, you could mention it during the negotiations. 

6. Answer Questions Concisely

During the negotiation process, management could have a few questions. Maintain your composure and stay calm while answering the questions professionally and to the best of your abilities. 

It is a natural part of negotiations for both parties to state their side of the case, and handling this with poise may give an excellent impression to management. 

7. Avoid Ultimatums

Never make the other party feel like they’re in a corner. Phrasing the request so that management would have to grant the request or else it never ends on a good note. 

With ultimatums in negotiations, it may seem the person is being threatening. The main idea of negotiating would be for both parties to get to a point where they would agree peacefully. Ultimatums are thus very counterproductive to the process. 

8. Take Notes Of What Was Said

During stressful situations, it could be easy to forget your discussions. Taking notes of the main issues could help keep all the employer’s feedback at hand. 

Sometimes employers may want to consider your request and give feedback at a later stage, and having reliable notes to fall back on would serve as a great reminder. 

9. End The Meeting On A Friendly Note

Even if the answer was no, keep working relationships intact and courteous. Thank the other party for their time, shake their hand, and leave the meeting room with a smile.  

Ending a negotiation in this way may leave the door open to more discussions in the future, and it shows a strong character that could sway the employer to be more in your favour. 

In Conclusion 

Negotiations of any nature could bring on a lot of stress. Speaking to management about employment terms needs a diplomatic approach, with friendliness being an undertone throughout.  

There is a considerable difference between what you desire and what you deserve, and this fine line is difficult to negotiate when inexperienced. It may be easier to tackle the situation and have yourself heard with the helpful tips listed here. 

  • About the Author
  • Latest Posts

Samantha is an HR practitioner who has worked with several companies to help them improve their HR practices. Samantha has gained decades of experience in handling all HR facets that include managerial relations, labour relations, training and development, recruitment, and compensation and benefits.

When Samantha is not busy at work, she writes articles about the importance of effective HR practices and why startups should always prioritize this area of the business.