Fashion job negotiations: nailing your counter Offer

Great news: that amazing fashion job you’ve been dreaming of is all yours… Except, the salary they are offering isn’t quite what you were hoping for. Don’t let that dishearten you. In many cases, the company makes an offer they know is on the low side, fully expecting candidates to negotiate and make a counter offer. What does counter offering entail? How should you approach it? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a counter offer?

A counter offer is a candidate’s response to an employer’s salary offer. It can also happen when an employee is awarded a promotion and wishes to discuss the new compensation.

Counter offers can also be made by a company wishing to retain a valued employee who has received an offer from a different organisation, incentivising the individual to stay.

When should you make counter offers?

Typically, you will want to make a counter offer if you know that the compensation you would receive for a position is out of line with the market. But before you decide whether to proceed, you need to make sure it’s the right move.

  • The first factor to consider is whether you would rather take the job at a pay that doesn’t align with your expectations, or walk away if the employer is not open to negotiating.
  • Before counter offering, ask the employer if there is any flexibility in the salary (starting or future).
  • Consider other perks you can negotiate instead of or in addition to a higher salary. These can also be part of your counter offer.

How to succeed in your counter offering negotiations?

Succeeding in salary negotiations in the fashion industry requires an in-depth understanding of the industry as a whole and specific knowledge of the company you are looking to join. This is where enlisting the help of a dedicated headhunter firm such as Beyond Talent can make all the difference. As a fashion recruitment agency operating globally, we’re here to help candidates secure their next major role, put together a compelling counter offer and make their ambitions a reality.

Target your compensation

Counter offering mustn’t be done on assumptions. You may have a clear idea of how much you would like to make in your new position. However, if it doesn’t align with the current realities of the industry, you could be pricing yourself out of your dream job. Conversely, selling your skills too cheaply when it isn’t necessary is not ideal either.

The best approach is to research salary ranges, so you can tailor your counter offer accordingly. Websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, or Payscale provide free salary calculators that should give you a sense of what to expect based on the job title, qualifications, and location.

Take your time

Counter offers rarely need to be made on the very same day! Thank your future employer for the job offer and give them a clear timeline for when you will get back to them. It will allow you to prepare your arguments and think about how flexible you need/want to be, depending on the initial offer.

Consider non-salary benefits

Look beyond the numbers. Are you being offered additional perks or benefits that could make up for a lower salary? Whether it’s the ability to work from home, additional vacation days, a flexible work schedule, great healthcare coverage, etc., some non-salary benefits could make a significant difference in your daily life.

Don’t divulge too much

Making a counter offer doesn’t mean you have to over-explain. Even if your main motivation for seeking higher pay is closely tied to your financial situation, remember that your salary should be based on your qualifications and the market. Similarly, discussing your current or previous salary is only relevant to exemplify that you are worth at least that.

Understand the reasonable counter offer range

While there is often room for negotiation and employers expect to receive a counter offer, hiring managers have a budget that limits how much more they can agree to. For instance, a counter offer of 50% is simply not realistic, whereas asking for a 5–10% increase has a good chance of succeeding.

Know when not to push

Negotiating always has to serve a purpose. Counter offers for the sake of it don’t reflect positively on you as a future team member. The best job negotiations are justified. If you are comfortable with the offer, pushing too hard to get just a little more could be counterproductive.

You may also be interested in:

The 10 Interview Body Language Tips

Importance of Good Work-Life Balance

Most common fashion buyer interview questions and how to answer them


By Federica Pantanella
25 June 2024 11:28

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