The offer is on the table and then what happens?

19 October 2017 | Margaret Cauley, Head of LatAm

The offer is on the table and then what happens?  The deal flops. After successfully
sailing through what can often be a lengthy interviewing process, the candidate/client relationship suddenly sours during the offer negotiations; neither party can bring
what once started as an exciting new relationship to a successful conclusion. Based on discussions with candidates and clients, here are a few pointers on how to manoeuvre during the offer stage so that the new job becomes a reality.

                                           Mimi Insight Photo 1            

  • Structure a win-win strategy: At this stage, it is all about finding a way to come to an agreement. Unfortunately, negotiations are sometimes viewed as a win/lose situation. Yet being confrontational and setting up too many “deal breakers” as conditions for acceptance, will likely end in failure. The goal of the negotiations is to reach a compromise.
  • Justify salary expectations: The offer usually comes with a salary increase, most likely in line with market conditions yet suppose the offer is not what you expect. Rather than focus the discussion on how and why you need a target compensation based on your own personal needs and living costs, concentrate on what you bring to the table, how you can help the fund accomplish its goals.
  • Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees:  Too often, there is a tendency to concentrate on the annual base salary. Yet many clients lament how candidates fail to appreciate the total package, including bonuses, benefits and long term incentives, such as carry and other longer term incentives.  Equally important, what is the long term potential for professional growth? Has the candidate measured the long term impact and potential on his/her career by joining the fund?
  • Pick your battles, no need to nit-pick: Make a checklist of what you perceive as crucial in the offer and what can be viewed as “nice to have.” As well, make the list and stick to it; trying to go back to the table once an agreement has been reached will only raise unnecessary tensions. A prolonged haggling over the offer is a sure way to strain the relationship or lose the offer.
  • Don’t threaten: PER makes sure that clients are well aware when a candidate has other offers or there is a likelihood of the current employer making a counter offer. Trying to threaten for better terms by bringing up other alternatives will only sour the deal and has resulted in some clients withdrawing the offer.

And while not always possible, try to ensure discussions are conducted in person, rather than via email or phone. A face to face meeting goes a long way in demonstrating your sincerity and interest in reaching an agreement. It becomes more personal and gives you a chance to better demonstrate why you are the best person for the job.

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About the author

Mimi heads our Latin American office in Mexico City and handles searches for local, regional and global funds–from analyst through to managing director and partner roles. She supports generalist funds that invest in diverse sectors and cater to the growing middle classes in Latin America.

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