Building a Winning Business – Negotiating a Job Offer

Building-a-Winning-Business-BookWhen you’ve found a top-performing candidate whose skills, personality, and values fit with your organization, it’s time to negotiate an offer. I believe in the guidance given in the book ‘First, Break All the Rules,’ which advises that people be treated candidly.

  • When talking with a serious candidate, find out what’s most important to him by asking up front—is it time off, telecommuting, money, or something else? Take that into consideration when you make your offer.
  • Of course, there are no guarantees that candor will result in a happily-ever-after scenario. We’ve had experienced executives demand significant pay, bonus, and benefit packages. In some cases, we’ve agreed. In a few of those cases, we later let them go. There is no entitlement. If someone demands a lot, a lot should be expected of him. If he doesn’t deliver what he promised, then he needs to be let go.

Tom’s Takeaway:  “Understand what a potential employee values before making an offer. If someone expects a lot, you should expect a lot in return.”

Thoughts Since the Book

  • While the example in the book is of a couple of candidates demanding a lot and not delivering, in the past couple of years, we’ve had employees with very solid compensation packages and deliver a ton of value for the firm.
  • Enough people value being able to do some work from home (WFH), that we’ve baked it into our SOP.  Whether it’s the flexibility to WFH or our sabbatical program, these types of benefits are hard for a much larger firm to match when a candidate is comparing offers (i.e. if these types work-life-balance benefits are not in place at a Fortune 1000 company, the odds of the large firm being able to quickly change their policies to match what we can offer is low).