Compensation negotiations are expected and are your responsibility. In a poll of a thousand human resource professionals, the Society for Human Resources Managers found the following:
· Ninety-two percent said salaries are generally negotiable.
· Eighty-two percent admitted that the first salary offer they make is just a starting point.
· Seventy percent of HR people said they are comfortable negotiating salary.
· Only twenty-one percent of job candidates are equally comfortable negotiating salary.
Whenever you receive a compensation offer, slow down, take a deep breath, and ask for time to think about it. Sleeping on the offer before you accept, decline, or reopen negotiations will benefit you in several ways; it gives you the opportunity to think about the deal and consider each aspect of the package in relation to the whole; it gives you a chance to think of new and creative ways of bridging whatever gap may exist between you and your prospective employer; and it permits you to discuss the offer with your spouse, partner, best friend, or career mentor.
In addition, acting a little hard to get rather than overly eager has a way of increasing your value in the company’s eyes, thereby enhancing whatever leverage you already enjoy. Don’t let anyone pressure you to decide immediately, but set a reasonable deadline for responding. Twenty-four hours is minimal; forty-eight hours to seventy-two hours is fairly common.