The LLoyd blog: hidden talent.

Getting Stuck in the Twilight Zone of Over-Negotiation

Hiring managers are excited when they find their potential hire, but sometimes a candidate can over-negotiate the offer, souring the process and making a company re-think their decision to extend an offer.

First and foremost, you got to this end stage because beyond your skill set and experience, there was a likability factor. Any negotiation tactic that makes you less likable reduces the chance that the hiring manager or other leadership will work to get you a better offer. There’s a very fine line between greed, real situational needs and just being a pushy nuisance.

A company needs to believe you are worth whatever you are asking for. So you won’t succeed on just likability alone.   You will need to justify why you need more money…or permission to work one day remote… AND these reasons can’t be special circumstances or things that they don’t traditionally offer to their existing employees.

The company also needs to believe that if they concede to your demands, you will accept – that this is not just a negotiation game you are using to bring back to your current employer to improve your current position or salary – as in “look what XYZ company is offering me.”

In the end, no matter how good your case or how likable you are – companies still say no. Salary caps exists, remote work policies are already in place and employers need to live and lead by their policies – it’s just how things are. Companies are more likely to be flexible on salary, job title, start dates, vacation time and even a signing bonus.

Whatever happens, be professional in your actions. It is smarter to get the job right rather than the negotiation – it’s the challenges of the role, the company culture, the opportunity to be innovative, the people you will be working with and so on that matter most. These are the things that will ultimately give you greater satisfaction than some of the things you think you need.   As an Executive Search professional, it is very disheartening to see a candidate get stuck in the “twilight zone of over negotiation” – especially when a position and a candidate are an excellent fit, but the candidate just wants more.
Be wise in your wants and the good stuff will follow.

Okay to ask for…

  • Salary increase
  • Sign on bonus
  • Vacation time
  • Benefits and or cost contribution
  • Early salary review once in the role
  • Job title

Avoid these negotiation sticklers…

  • Working from home
  • Flexible hours (leaving early/coming in late)
  • Salary that is wildly beyond your experience/skills – no matter how good you think you are people/companies look for fair market value in compensation structure.


Doug Berkowitz is one of the principals of APR Executive Search and now a Vice President at LLoyd Staffing..
Effective May 2019, APR became a LLoyd Staffing company where Doug continues to recruit and place senior level executives into a wide range of roles within industries such as Consumer Goods, Life Sciences, Big Pharma, Packaging, R&D/Innovation, Scientific/Quality Assurance/Regulatory, Supply Chain and more.
Email:   Phone: 516.466.4120


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