One of the questions asked most often when it comes to interviewing and negotiating isn’t how to negotiate or how to determine your worth – it’s how to make the right counter-offer. It’s rare that any negotiation expert would tell you to accept a first offer, but how do you know what to counter with that won’t totally turn off the hiring manager?
I asked this question of a number of hiring managers and HR executives over the last few years, and here’s the unanimous answer:
- If you are a recruited candidate (meaning the company reached out to you, found you through a referral, etc.), a reasonable counter-offer is 15-20% higher than the initial offer.
- If you are an un-recruited candidate (you applied without solicitation online or by sending a resume, etc.), a reasonable counter-offer is 10-15% higher than the initial offer.
It’s all about the percentage! With these ideas, use your best judgment. Nothing is set in stone, but these guidelines will help.