Here’s a quick overview of how to manage conversations with both your manager and recruiter during the negotiation process:
Why Negotiate with the Hiring Manager
Recruiters often have limited knowledge of the specific role you're interviewing for, and their primary concern is to fulfill the company's hiring needs.
Because they are the one interfacing with you most frequently companies intentionally give them little ability to substantially change your offer – otherwise the offer would change for every candidate a recruiter works with.
By negotiating directly with the hiring manager, you shift the conversation to one focused on value and mutual benefit. A manager who is enthusiastic about hiring you can have a significant impact on your compensation package, going beyond what a recruiter might be able to offer.
Managers have more insight into the potential value you can bring to the team and the company's overall success, making them better advocates for your case.
Plus, compensation committees often listen to the hiring manager more than the recruiter because the HM is ultimately responsible for meeting the company’s business objectives.
What to Negotiate with the Hiring Manager
The Level of Your Offer: This directly impacts your compensation, and your manager might have the authority to adjust it based on your skills and experience. Ask your manager - “Is there a possibility to discuss me joining at a higher level? I’m happy to do more interviews.”
Career Scope & Future Development: Discuss opportunities for growth within the company and how your skills align with the organization's long-term goals.
Offer Deadlines: If you need more time to consider the offer or evaluate other options, discuss the possibility of extending the acceptance deadline. HIring managers know how urgent it is for them to fill the role – or if they can give you a few more weeks to decide. Meanwhile, hiring managers are incentivized to close out roles as quickly as possible.
Their Support of a High Offer: As you start negotiating, it’s helpful to ask your hiring manager to provide their support for you to the compensation committee. Typically we have candidates build out an impact roadmap (see example below) of what they hope to accomplish in the role and the metrics they plan to impact – and discuss it with their hiring manager. Then, at the end of the call, ask for the hiring manager to express their support to the compensation committee so the candidate can get the best possible offer.
How to Negotiate with Your Manager
Negotiating with your manager should be viewed as a chance to demonstrate your value and how your skills can contribute to the company's success. Instead of focusing solely on your own interests, consider how your contributions will benefit the organization and make your manager's job easier. Emphasize the positive impact you can have on the company and how your skills align with the role's expectations, challenges, and goals.
We love using an Impact Roadmap (example here) to help facilitate this conversation and get you and your manager aligned on what impact will look like at the company.
We’ve guided hundreds of candidates through the impact roadmap process. At worst, a hiring manager says “Thanks for sharing - so when are you going to sign?” And, at best, they say “Thanks so much for putting this together. It’s really exciting to think about all of the impact you can have in this role. What do we need to do to get you to sign?”
Remember - at the end of the day - negotiation is about establishing a mutually beneficial deal where both parties win. By showcasing your ability to meet and exceed expectations, you can increase the likelihood of getting the compensation and benefits you deserve while fostering a positive and long-lasting working relationship with your future employer!