Negotiating a job offer – The do’s and don’ts

You have reached the end of an interview process and an offer is now in front of you. So what’s next? The next step is negotiating the terms of the offer. This may make you nervous, but the reality is, if a company isn’t interested in you, they wouldn’t give you an offer in the first place. Keeping this in mind should help you muster up the confidence to ask for a little something extra. If the company values you enough they should be receptive to reasonable negotiation requests as well.


If you are thinking of negotiating your salary, you should ensure you do your due diligence and research your industry to understand what others at your level are making so that you are equipped with relevant data. I have seen people ask for ridiculous amounts of money well beyond the range for employees of their position title and experience. To be honest, asking for way too much money may hurt your credibility a little. Plus, if you truly are expecting an exorbitant amount above and beyond what the company is willing to pay, the job offer can be pulled if you aren’t willing to budge.

That being said, there are times when companies may try to low-ball you. The reality is companies are focused on the bottom line and being as profitable as possible. So if a firm can save on salaries, they will try. If you know that people at your level with your skillset are making significantly higher than what you are offered, state this to the Recruiter or Hiring Manager you are dealing with and specify your expectations. The company should be well aware of the salary ranges for your position so should not be surprised when you come back and ask for more in this case. They will likely accommodate your request to a reasonable extent.

So where do you get this salary data for yourself if you aren’t sure of the appropriate ranges? Besides asking your peers, you can check with large recruitment and staffing firms who tend to publish annual salary guides. Additionally, Workopolis and Payscale are companies that have plenty of data on salaries per region and industry that is easily accessible online.


Typically companies will have a predetermined number of vacation weeks they offer per position level. This is an area of an offer that is not always negotiable. However, if you are coming from somewhere where you have more vacation than you are being offered by a prospective employer, make sure you speak up. I have also seen cases where people with highly sought after skillsets ask for an extra week of vacation and get it. If the company is dying for someone with your experience to come onboard, they will be willing to accommodate a request such as one extra week of vacation.

Start Date

Typically people have a set amount of notice that they must give their employer – the most common is two weeks’ notice.  Make sure you thoroughly read through your employment contract and ensure you know what you agreed to, as typically more senior staff are expected to give at least 4 weeks notice. Never let an employer pressure you to start earlier than you are comfortable with. You never want to burn bridges with your existing employer so make sure that you give sufficient notice.


These days there are many perks that you can negotiate into your job offer outside of the standard terms. An example is the ability to work from home one or two days a week. My suggestion here is for anything above and beyond the standard offer terms that you agree upon with your new employer, ensure to get confirmation in writing.

My final piece of advice is to always negotiate. It is much easier to get a little something extra at the offer stage when negotiation is expected rather than waiting until you are settled into your new job. The worst case scenario is the employer says no to your additional requests and you still have a decent job offer in hand. You can then determine from there how you want to proceed. Good luck!

Do you have further questions regarding offer negotiations? Or are you looking for assistance with hiring? For all of your Recruitment needs in the Burlington, Hamilton, GTA and Kitchener-Waterloo regions, please contact Key Recruitment Consulting at 905-537-6986. Or visit us at