Both Sides of the Coin: Why Companies Should Use a Recruiter to Negotiate an Offer
What a professional recruiter brings to the hiring company
To put it plainly: When a company brings a professional recruiter on to support a search, they’re calling in the experts on hiring strategy. In a market where the margins of talent are hard to find and harder to close and the trend lines are shifting constantly, you’re going to want a hiring strategy that is anchored in best practice and guided by someone with a clear view of the current market. Recruiters spend their days tracking market trends and talking to top talent. I think this part of the value proposition is fairly well known.
But when it comes down to negotiating and offer, some hiring companies think they can close without a professional recruiter involved. They take negotiations offline, and too often, things fall apart from there.
Here’s why you need a recruiter in your corner until after the offer letter is signed:
- We can help you avoid the back and forth of the negotiating process. Going back and forth with a candidate on offers and counteroffers can be exhausting for both parties, and worse than that it can start a new hire off on an adversarial foot with a new company. When we initiate the hiring process with a candidate, we begin the relationship by outlining some goals, and part of that dialogue includes zeroing in on the total compensation package that a candidate needs to accept an offer—based on their personal goals and market data. Before we even introduce a candidate to a hiring company, we’re setting the stage for the general ballpark a candidate can hope to land in for an offer, and we have a pretty good idea of what it will take to get a candidate to “yes.” All of this initial groundwork prevents inflated hopes, misaligned compensation offers or cagey conversations from derailing the end of the interview process.
- We serve as a helpful buffer for both parties. When you’re hiring someone, you want to put your best foot forward, and make a good impression. And a recruiter serves as the intermediary that helps make that possible. We are a neutral party because we’re accountable to both the hiring manager and the candidate. We can serve as a confidante and strategist, working on the sidelines to help both parties reach their best possible outcome. You want to welcome a new hire to your team in a way that makes them feel valued and excited. So if a candidate’s expectations need to be redirected, we can help to neutralize some of the inherently uncomfortable negotiations that might come with hiring. This gives you more time and headspace to think about the 30-, 60-, 90-day plan for when you have talent in the door.
- We can spare you some time and trouble. We usually have a good gauge on how a candidate is feeling about the interview process. And if we start to sense a fit isn’t there or a candidate needs more reassurances, we can help address that with you before you put an offer on the table. And while we’re helping you reassure the candidate, we can help source some back up talent to keep your options fresh. The last thing you want to do is end up with no candidate pool to pull from.
- We can create a sense of urgency in accepting an offer. Once you’re ready to put an offer on the table, we can provide a lens into strategies that will save you some time and trouble. For example, in this market it’s not outside of the realm of possibility to see a candidate take your offer and shop it around for a better one, only to return with a counter or rejection of the original offer at hand. But if you work with a recruiter, we can offer helpful strategies, like time bound deadlines for reviewing and accepting an offer.
Working with a recruiter is the pro tip I wish everyone kept on their shortlist of ‘work smarter not harder” life hacks. Guess work in recruiting and hiring can be costly—especially in this market. If you’re spinning your wheels in the recruiting process, you’re likely losing time finding and acquiring the right talent and valuable work is being left undone. A professional recruiter can help take surprises out of the process, especially when it comes down to making an offer.
Both Sides of the Coin: Why Candidates Should Use a Recruiter to Negotiate an Offer
The hiring market is moving fast right now. Hiring companies are having to take a hard look at their compensation philosophies to stay competitive with an emerging Wild West of salary and benefit negotiations. And candidates are ghosting hiring managers as they’re being lured into new (potentially bad fit) roles by steep offers. Now more than ever, hiring managers and candidates need the expertise of a professional recruiter in their corner to help them get a strong candidate or strong offer for their next role. For a closer look at the other side of the coin, check out my blog on the value a recruiter brings to the hiring company’s side negotiation process [link].
What a professional recruiter brings to the candidate
If you’re anything like me and millions of other professionals out there right now, your LinkedIn box runneth over with outreach from recruiters. It’s a talent-driven market and companies are making offers that even three years ago might have been out of reach for you. It’s a good time to be looking, but what are you looking for? And what is your experience and skill set worth? With companies posting aggressive hiring goals and hiring managers scrambling to stay competitive in the market, it can be hard to know what the give and take should be in compensation negotiations. That’s why leaning on a recruiter is so important and ultimately valuable for candidates.
Here are a few things a recruiters going to bring to the table as you go through the process of negotiating and offer from a company:
- We can tell you what your worth and where to get it. As recruiters, we spend our days keeping up with hiring trends and helping candidates get the offers that most closely reflect their value in the market. We start our work with any candidate by setting some ground rules for what you’re looking for, what your non-negotiables are and looking at market trends to help see where we can realize that most valuable offer for you. Once we have a better idea what your skill set is fetching in the market, we can give you an honest assessment of whether an opportunity is a fit and could be a lateral move or a step up to the next level. Throughout the process, we can help you get a gauge for whether or not your experience and offer are consistent with market data trends.
- We have insider knowledge of companies and their cultures. Increasingly, offers come down to culture for talent. I’ve had many candidates tell me their bottomline has to include a quality of life they can be excited about. But when you’re reviewing an offer, it can be difficult to know exactly what the experience ahead will look like. That’s where a recruiter can help. Maybe we’ve placed someone to this company before, or maybe we’ve helped someone leave the company recently. Either way, we can help sketch a better picture of what the job will feel like, not just what you’ll make doing it, and that can help you gauge just what you’re getting with your offer.
- We serve as a helpful buffer for both parties. Before introducing you to a hiring manager, we set the stage for who you are and what you need. We can also be a neutral sounding board and coach because we’re accountable to both parties. The hiring company might have brought us on to source a role, but in many cases, the candidate becomes our hiring manager down the line. We have a vested interest in making sure it goes well for everyone involved.
- We can take the negotiating out of the equation. A recruiter will help put your best and final on the table early. Some candidates think that there should be a back and forth or you’re leaving money on the table; but all of this push and pull can start to break down the trust and affinity you’re trying to build up. If you work with a recruiter, you don’t need to worry that the offer is too low. We have industry data to help you know exactly where you should land.
Most candidates only go through the negotiating process for a job a handful of times in their career, so chances are you’re learning on the fly—especially in a hiring market as fast and competitive as this one. With everything that’s riding on the process, you don’t want to make a costly mistake. Most people don’t even think about negotiating things like sick time or PTO. A recruiter can help give perspective on conversations like 401k matches, profit sharing, plus salary increases, and help make sense of some of the elements of the offer that you might be weighing. When you’re talking about your own pay and how you’re going to pay your bills, we can help you avoid blind spots and awkward conversations, so you get an offer you’re excited about, leaving you to focus on hitting the ground running in your new career.