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Is There a Limit to How Much I Can Negotiate a Job Offer?

You’ve landed the job offer. It’s the home stretch toward starting a new job. There are three options now: Accepting the offer, declining it or making a counteroffer on the salary they’re offering. You don’t want to blow the job or make the employer mad, but you also don’t want to walk away from higher pay if you can get it.

But how do you know if a counteroffer is possible? How should you approach it? Is there a limit as to how much to ask? Here’s how to negotiate a higher salary for your next job in the hospitality field.

How Do You Know if You Should Counteroffer?

Many times employers will offer you something just above what you’re making now. It may be just above your minimally acceptable salary range. That’s a good time to consider a counter. Consider the minimum a locked in number, take a deep breath, and consider the counter.

Instead of just stating you’d like a 10% increase, try explaining the high points of why you’re the best person for the job. Why exactly do you deserve a higher rate than the average employee? If you can’t justify the “why” behind why you need more money, it’s possible you shouldn’t counter. But if you are making the counteroffer, make sure you lead with how much you want the role and how well you think you’ll fit in.

How to Counter “Is it Just About the Money?”

While a good range for the counteroffer is 10% to 15% above what the employer offered, make sure you consider the entire package, including the job responsibilities and how it will build your resume and, your commute time, and is there any flexibility in work hours. What kinds of growth opportunities are there? Does the company offer great vacation and health benefits? Submit your counteroffer, and be honest about why you’re asking for more money. It could be the commute; or the fact you bring specialized skills. Either way, submit a counter one time, all up front, and see what the employer says.

Case Study for the Counteroffer

Here’s an example for you to study. If your minimum acceptable salary is $50,000 and the company offered $55,000, that’s good. But if you want to counter, but not seem too aggressive, go for 10% or 15% above that. At 15%, the counter becomes $63,250. You can round either way, to $63,000 or $63,500, to make things easier. Expect the employer may split the difference or say they simply cannot hit those numbers. If this happens, try to understand their situation; it’s possible that other employee’s pay ranges just aren’t that high, which can make the counter seem unfeasible from the employer’s perspective.

What if They Offer Less Than Your Minimum Acceptable Salary?

This is why it’s so important to go into the interview process with an understanding of your minimum acceptable salary or hourly rate before the interview. How much will it take for you to meet your financial obligations?

If the employer goes under your asking rate, you have a decision to make. You can tell the hiring manager or recruiter you’re sorry, but you simply can’t afford the pay cut, counter with your minimum acceptable salary, and then prepare yourself for the outcome. If you can’t come to terms, be prepared to walk away if you have to.

These scenarios are exactly why job candidates should consider working with Gecko Hospitality. For more tips on how to improve your salary negotiation, talk to the team at Gecko Hospitality

Gecko Hospitality


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