Finalizing the Negotiation

Now that you have your letter created, here's what you do with it and how to handle all the recruiter follow ups after you send it.
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Negotiating Steps
📖 Using Your Email Letter
Who should I send this to?
You should send this to your recruiter. This is the same person who should have given you your offer. If you didn’t work with a recruiter to get the role, then send the email to your hiring manager or whoever gave you the offer.
When should I send this?
You want to respond to the offer within 24 hours of receiving it. If you’re not ready to negotiate, send an email back saying you’ve received the offer and that you’ll think about things. If you think other offers are going to come in, then you’ll want to ask for more time so all your offers are available to you at the same time. They’re not the only ones who get to put you on a timeline.
☎️ Recruiter Phone Call
After you respond to the offer with your negotiations email letter, the recruiter is going to call you. Recruiters negotiate all day; they get good. Getting on the phone with them lets them ask you all kinds of tricky questions. Let’s not talk shop on the phone.Recruiters will call you out of the blue. Don’t feel any pressure to talk to them right then and there.
Strategy for the call
Unless you feel very confident in doing so, you should always try your best not to negotiate on the phone. Negotiating on the phone is tough, especially if you're new to it. Instead, try listening and saying:
"I really appreciate the call. I’m not quite ready to talk about the offer yet. I’m still thinking things through and considering my options. Let me think about things and I’ll send you an email to schedule a time to talk."
⏰ Asking For More Time
Why ask for more time?
If you’re about to get multiple offers, you deserve to be able to consider all your offers. They interview multiple candidates at one time. You deserve to have all your options on the table for you at the same time.
Example of this process
"I noticed the offer expires in three days. I’m afraid I won’t be able to make a decision on this kind of timeline. This is a big choice and one I need to discuss with my family and mentors. I’m going to need more time to make a decision."
"I appreciate your concerns. But we’re really strict on our timeline. It’s to be fair to other candidates. If you’re not going to take the offer, we need to be fair to other candidates that are on a timeline."
"Sorry, that’s not going to work for me. 72 hours is just too short of a window to reasonably make a call. This is a big decision for me and one I’m not going to rush to."
"Fine, how about we extend things by another couple days?"
"I’m currently in the process with a few other companies which is going to take me another week. I’m not going to be able to make a decision before my other offers come through."
How aggressive should you be? Unfortunately, common logic dictates that the more leverage you have, the firmer you get to stand your ground. If you’re a senior engineer with multiple interviews and a good chance of getting multiple offers, you can afford to push the timeline back more aggressively. If you’re a new graduate, your leverage is not as great, and even simple things like extending a timeline become trickier. If you’re worried about this, try this less aggressive approach.
“This is a really big decision and not one I want to be rushed into. Is there a specific reason I need to sign in the next two days? I want to make an informed decision while being fair to you and the other candidates.”
Other Common Recruiter Tactics
"We don’t negotiate, especially not with new graduates."
“Thanks for letting me know. My goal from having this conversation with you is to do our best to make something work here. As you know, this is a big decision for me and I have other options I’m considering. Let me take some time, discuss with my family, and I’ll get back to you. I really appreciate all the time you’ve spent on this. If anything changes on your end, please let me know.”
"I'm not sure the research you've done really compares as this is a brand new role and what you'll be doing is different."
"I know you've mentioned this before and I've given this quite a bit of thought. While I know this role may not exist within the company yet, the research does suggest that other people with my role and similar backgrounds to me are making $X."