Avoiding the Errors Candidates Make in Negotiating Employment Contracts

Negotiating a new employment contract, especially in the financial and accounting field, isn’t always easy. For one thing, the range of compensation you can expect varies quite a bit as you move along in your career. And just as importantly, factors like benefits, vacation time, and incentives can figure into the mix as well.

Because of this complexity, and the emotional elements involved in making a big career decision, we have noticed that candidates sometimes make dire mistakes at the negotiating table that can cost them later. Here are some of the most common ones:

Agreeing to everything without considering the long-term consequences. Sometimes, candidates are so eager to get back to work – or to escape an unfavorable working situation that they are already in – that they will agree to almost anything. That’s understandable, but it’s better to take your time and work out something that won’t put you in the same position again later.

Not knowing the industry norms for compensation in the position. Doing a bit of research about your new position can be a great help, especially if it represents a promotion or sideways move. It could be that the industry norms dictate a higher salary than you are prepared to ask for.

Being inflexible with their needs and missing the bigger picture. Salaries are important, of course, but other benefits like stock options, health care coverage, etc., can be as important (or more important) for your future happiness and stability. Don’t be too inflexible, or miss the forest for the trees, because it could lead you to pass up a great opportunity for the wrong reasons.

Failing to realize that contract negotiations are a give-and-take process. Don’t necessarily take an employer’s counter to your proposal as an “all or nothing” offer. In some cases, it can take a bit of back-and-forth communication to find a middle ground that everyone is happy with.

Not knowing when to walk away. There are some situations that simply aren’t a good fit, either because the numbers don’t work out or other factors get in the way. When that happens, it’s best to make the right decision for everyone’s future and move on.

The fact of the matter is that contract negotiations can be a complicated topic, which is one reason why job seekers often get as much from our services as employers do. If you want to work with the kind of financial and accounting recruiter in Montréal who cares as much about your long-term satisfaction as they do filling the position in the short term, then call or e-mail the team at Exceleris today.

contact@exceleris.com

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About the Author: Dejan Ristic

In 2004, I founded Exceleris. In addition to managing all recruitment aspects of Exceleris, I have consulted (as CFO or in similar roles) with a number of technology companies (both publicly traded and venture funded start-ups)....