Negotiating, how to?

Mike van der Burgt 26-10-2016 11:58 AM
Categories: Improve your recruitment and selection process

Negotiating, how to?

There are only few things more difficult than negotiating, as the very prupose of negotiation is resolving conflicting desires. Ofcourse you want to get across what's important to you, but the person you're negotiating with wants the very same thing. How can you get what you want out of a negotiation without ruining the relationship with your 'adversary'? In this post you will encounter several tips for adjusting your behavior or communication that will help you reach this goal. In this post we will discuss negotiations surrounding the labor agreement, but many of these tips & tricks can be applied in negotiations elsewhere as well.

Confront them head on
What do you think of when you hear the words labor agreement or labor contract? Your pay, undoubtedly comes to mind. With this we immediatly address the elephant in the room and this is also what you should do with the subjects of discussion in your negotiation. As soon as you discover a subject that you aren't agreeing on, don't postpone talking about it. The longer someone is thinking about this conflicting desire, the sturdier he/she will become regarding it. Because of this, these painful subject should be dealt with head on. We're not proposing that you should start with painful subject. We're saying that you shouldn't let them simmer on after discovering them by postponing the discussion about them. As soon as you discover such a point you should confront it head on.

The pay offer
Making the first offer can be a tough and difficult subject in negotiations about labor agreements. However, there is psychological research that found that when your offer consists a precise number, the eventual agreement will be closer to your precise offer. This is because precise numbers signal that you know what you're talking about very well. So make an offer of €2.498,- a month instead of €2.500.-. Another finding by psychological research is that it's beneficial to always be the one to put in the first offer. Seeing as you probably have a vacancy out on behalf of your company this is already working in your favor! 

Identify and respect the core needs of your negotiationpartner
Be sure to offer your partner enough space to express their needs and wishes. Is their pay or something completely else most important? Most people nowadays value flexibility of the working hours or workingplace more than their pay. Be sure to check what is most important to your negotiationpartner and try to cater to their most important needs. If you're able to compromise on a subject that's important to them, they will be more likely to choose for your company as well as being more inclined to compromise on another subject to your benefit.
Try to sincerely listen and hear your partners wishes and needs. If someone wants to finish work at 12:00 on wednesday because of their kids, take this seriously even though it isn't an option. "I understand that you would like to pick up your children from school on wednesdays, but wednesdays are our busiest days. Maybe we could agree on you working full days on wednesdays, but finish up by 12:00 on fridays?". By involving yourself and trying to work something out together with your negotiationpartner they will feel better understood and a positive relationship will begin forming. They will be more inclined to cater to your needs, because you do the same for them.

Show your interest

Just like candidates at interviews should show their interests, so should you towards them. You will only get to negotiating a labor agreement once you're pretty interested in a candidate, so be sure to show that! Say it when you're willing to make a concession for them, because you want them. If you're successful in making it clear that you're very interested in your negotiationpartner, he/she will leave the negotiation with a positive feeling about you and your organization. This positive feeling will then in turn lead them to be more inclined to choose your organization over others and it will motivate them to work harder for you than they would elsewhere.

Be aware of your body language and phrasing
Try to always remain positive in your phrasing. Try to avoid "no" as much as possible and try to speak in opportunities. Someone again asks to be able to leave work at 12:00 on wednesdays? You could respond with: "At the moment wednesday is our busiest day and we'll be needing your services all day because of that. So for now it will be difficult to manage that. We can however offer that you can finish working at 12:00 on fridays and maybe we could shift this towards wednesdays in the future, if possible.".
Also be sure to give subtle compliments, this has always worked. Do make sure that you only compliment others sincerely and sparingly. Acknowledge it when a candidate has prepared well for an interview and compliment them when you think someone's intentions to ask for something are noble. If someone wants too work from home because he takes care of his parents at home, you can let them know that you find this admirable.
Try to be aware that there are psychological mechanisms that make us like others that are similar to us more. You can actively use this to your benefit. You can, for example, order the same drink as your negotiationpartner or emphasize the things you have in common. As soon as someone starts talking about their kids, hobbies or background you can stress the commonalities you have in these matters. In general it's about getting your negotiationpartner to like you so that they will want to accommodate you.

Summarize the conversation
Finally, you need to end the negotiation by briefly summarizing what has been spoken about and agreed upon. This way any vagueness can be cleared and you can both leave the negotiation positively and with clarity. Point out your and your partners' concessions and conclude the conversation in a positive manner. People judge experiences based on the emotional top and end of the experience. This is often referred to as the "peak-end-rule". The most positive or negative experience together with the end of the experience will be weighted most heavily, in your memories about the experience. Ending things positively can go a long way because of this!


  • Confront them head on (conflicting desires)
  • Offer in precise numbers
  • Make the first offer
  • Show your interest
  • Identify the core needs of your partner
  • Show empathy for their needs
  • Use positive phrasing
  • Use subtle compliments sincerely and sparingly
  • Emphasize commonalities and find similarities

Try to implement these tips & tricks and you will see that your negotiations will run more smoothly.

Coming to an agreement that's beneficial for all parties quickly and easily, that is what Career Result stands for. We see all sides of the recruitment and selection process. We support candidates in their job interviews and their wishes, while we provide the best candidates to our clients and assist them in making the best selection. In doing so, Career Result makes it easier to get the right people at the right places and that makes all the difference. Want to know who you need in your organization? Read more on our blog and find out who you need.

Interested in our services or questions about them? Feel free to contact us via or call +31 (0)85 00 20 019. You can also react to our blog and let us know what topic in the recruitment and selection process you want to have discussed! For further questions or suggestions about this or future blogposts you can also mail directly to me at

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