Remember you’re not taking part in a battle, the aim is to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
Don’t get dragged into a bidding war – set a limit on the salary you’re prepared to offer your preferred candidate after checking the correct market rate and be creative with the other extras you can offer which might tip the balance in your favour, such as a company car.
Genuinely be prepared to negotiate – so keep a little something up your sleeve, such as extra annual leave, to sway the candidate if necessary. Think about corporate benefits such as a bonus scheme and if they are on offer, make sure the candidate knows exactly how much they are worth. Look to the future and flag up future pay reviews.
If the candidate comes back to you, asking for an improved offer, get them to be specific about what exactly would clinch the deal, but after you have listened to their pitch, make it clear if their request is more than you can accommodate or within reach.
And if, despite your best effort to keep the negotiations on track, your offer is rejected and there is stalemate, don’t be afraid to call a halt and look for another option.