Navigating a Job Offer: If and when to negotiate

By Victoria Fellows


Receiving an offer for your dream job is a moment for celebration, but sometimes it’s not the end of the process.

If you feel the offer you've been given is not in line with your expectations, the next steps can be tricky to navigate. But with research into the market, your relative value and any benefits you’d like to receive, you can be in a good position to accept the offer with aplomb and look forward to achieving your professional goals with an eye on the next stage of your career further down the line.

Firstly, seek advice from your recruitment agency, they will have more market knowledge and their objective insight can be invaluable, as well as knowing your potential employer better than you do.

Also, it is important to remember that the salary is not the only area where you could gain ground. Consider a bigger benefit package or more holiday allowance, the most important thing is to be realistic with your expectations.

Should you negotiate your salary?

The post-pandemic landscape was characterised by huge hiring drives in several areas of tech, coupled with a shortage of skilled professionals. However, over time, inflated salaries given post-pandemic are coming down and we are seeing candidate expectations are sometimes inflated for today’s market. You will likely be given a window of time in which to consider an offer. Use this time wisely - it is your opportunity to do some research and get back to them with a counteroffer if you believe you’re worth more.

Reference salary guides

The first place to look for information is the regularly updated salary guides that are frequently published online. They will offer useful insight into what others in your field are being paid at present and act as a benchmark for your own negotiations. Salary guides are a good way to reassure yourself you’re achieving your market value.

Check out our latest salary guide for technical salaries here.

Monetise your experience

Design engineers, software developers or technical project managers are not created equal, so don’t be afraid to cite niche skills and experience as a reason to increase an offer. Hiring managers will be aware of the positions you’ve held in the past, which is why they want to employ you in the first place.

Highlight industry certifications

As well as the roles you’ve had, there are other credentials to factor in, such as conferences you may have attended, articles published and industry certifications. Training you’ve undertaken from professional bodies and recognised accreditation is valuable to your new employer and means you’ll be able to share your knowledge with other members of the team, so flag this too.

Compare yourself with others

While you might not know exactly what Tom or Elaine who you graduated with are getting for their current roles, it’s worth comparing your career to theirs. LinkedIn is a good resource for analysing the progression of others and seeing how you match up. Look at the profiles of those who might realistically be applying for the same jobs as you and identify any areas you excel against them.

Explain how you’ll impact the bottom line

There’s no point in knowing your worth and not expressing it. Having done the research, lay out the reasons why you deserve a higher offer, along with concrete examples. Also, explain how the specific skills and experience you’d be bringing to the business would impact its bottom line, making you a good investment.

Consider benefits

Now, more than ever, it’s worth looking beyond the monetary figure when negotiating salary. If you know you can live comfortably and save, on the salary that’s being offered, but that extra holiday or a hybrid work set-up would greatly improve your life, then include these in the negotiations instead.

Compare job offers

In the current tech environment, there’s a good chance you’re being courted by multiple employers looking to take advantage of your skills and experience. That means you can make comparisons, but ensure you’re factoring in any differences. A business that won’t utilise an area of your skillset but has an office within walking distance needs weighing against a higher salary with a long commute.

Don’t inflate the truth

When negotiating a pay deal, it can be tempting to push the truth a little, but this can easily backfire. Basing your argument for an increased salary on falsified information like a competing offer or unverified credentials could see your prospective employer questioning your values and morals, and backing out altogether, so stick to the facts.

Ask the experts

Salary negotiation is a normal part of the hiring process, and most employers expect some level of negotiation. Empowering your recruitment agency to handle the process on your behalf is a sensible way to remain professional and increase your chances of achieving a fair compensation package for your technical job.


Approach your salary negotiation with confidence, humility and positivity, because, at the end of the day, you’ll be working with this team if a mutually beneficial agreement is made. Be sure not to sour relations from the start and present the homework you’ve carried out in a level-headed manner.

Ultimately, there are many answers to the 'Should you take this offer?' question. Only you will know the answer to this once you have done your homework. Asking for more is a good way to show you understand your value, but the subsequent issue becomes when to settle on a figure. Deciding what you’re looking for in advance is an effective way to know when to stop negotiating and start thinking about the other logistics of beginning a new role.

If you would like to discuss this or any other blog topics, please contact us at or call us on +44(0)118 988 1150.

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