5 Mistakes Marketers Make When Negotiating A Job Offer (And How Not To Make Them)


Forbes | February 4, 2018

The Forbes article, “5 Mistakes Marketers Make When Negotiating A Job Offer (And How Not To Make Them)," interviewed Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Richard Sanderson about common mistakes CMOs make when negotiating job offers. His Q&A featured common mistakes and how to fix them, including questions around compensation and flexibility.  The article is excerpted below.

Negotiating a CMO job offer is quite challenging. Little has been written and so it is usually through word of mouth or trial and error that CMOs figure it out. To demystify the process, I consulted with an expert in the field, Richard Sanderson, leader of the Marketing Officers executive search practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. Below, he shares the common mistakes CMOs make when negotiating job offers and how not make them.

Kimberly Whitler: Across your career, you’ve been involved with placing dozens of CMOs and hundreds of marketers. Through this experience, what are the biggest mistakes you see CMOs make during negotiations?

Richard Sanderson:
I. Not understanding when to bring up the compensation conversation with either the recruiter or the client. This is a really delicate topic. Too early, and the candidate is perceived as overly focused on compensation rather than the opportunity itself. Too late, and there is a risk of missing each other’s expectations and wasting time. Typically, a skilled recruiter will address this very early in a search, often touching on the subject in the preliminary conversation.

The fix: When a candidate is asked about their compensation expectations, that is also an appropriate moment to ask about the company’s compensation range or parameters for the role.

2. Not knowing about the new compensation laws. With compensation laws now changing in some cities and states, candidates are arguably in a stronger negotiating position as recruiters and clients cannot ask about compensation history.

The fix: First, do a quick search to find out what the laws are in your city or state. Oregon, New York City, Delaware and California have enacted compensation history laws and Massachusetts will join them in July 2018. Importantly, the law applies to the location of the role, not the location of the company HQ or the residence of a candidate. Consequently, recruiters are now trained to structure the conversation around expectations. The risk is that bringing material compensation information late into a conversation can cause a lot of tension. This typically centers around the disclosure of equity information, strike prices and vesting dates. Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements should also be disclosed as soon as possible. Quite simply, the more information that can be shared at the earliest moment is the best approach. Candidates can still of course volunteer their compensation history. I’m finding that when I ask the expectation question, 90% of the time the candidate will revert to sharing their compensation history anyway.

To read the full article, click here.

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5 Mistakes Marketers Make When Negotiating A Job Offer (And How Not To Make Them)