Identify the Right Person and Communicate on the PhoneWhen beginning negotiations, identify the person with whom you should communicate. This may be the hiring manager, human resources professional, search chair, department head, or dean. Always communicate on the phone because negotiations go more smoothly when voice inflections can be heard.
Know Your BATNAOne concept to keep in mind when negotiating is your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). Having multiple offers or the ability to say “No” is extremely powerful. However, creating a bidding war between competing offers with only the intention to take the highest offer is bargaining in bad faith.
Have a Rationale for Your PositionWhen making a counteroffer, have a rationale behind your position. For example, "I understand I’m asking for a $7k increase, but these types of positions are traditionally filled by bachelor-level candidates. I’ll already have my master’s by the start date and can bring additional skills that won’t require an extended training period."
Be ProfessionalWhen negotiating your salary, it's essential to present yourself in a professional manner. Remember, you'll be working with or for these individuals, and your behavior during the negotiation process can affect your future interactions. Maintaining a professional attitude highlights the valuable skills you bring to the job and sets a positive tone for the conversation.
Avoid bringing up personal financial needs during the discussion. While it may be tempting to mention student loans or the need to purchase a new car, these reasons are not valid justifications for an employer to increase your salary. Focus on highlighting your qualifications and the value you bring to the organization, rather than personal financial concerns.
Ask Questions Instead of Making DemandsFacilitate negotiations in good faith by posing a request as a question rather than demand. For example, “The salary you’re offering is $X. I found that the average salary for that job in this city is more around $Y. Is there any way we can get closer to that number?”
Reframe Your Counteroffer as a Benefit for the EmployerReframe your counteroffer as a benefit for the employer. For example, "For the first academic year, I want to make sure I can get my research program up and running, which is one of the things you were really aiming for with this new tenure line. I believe having a 3-3-2 teaching load that first year will really help me focus on getting that program up and running. Once the foundation is set, a 4-4-2 load is more manageable."
Look for Creative SolutionsIf an employer is unable to increase salary, look for creative solutions. For example, ask if you can be evaluated at six-months for a merit increase.