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How Not to Blow Negotiating a Job Offer on the First Phone Call

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Despite their talk about the importance of hiring great people, I make the contention that companies go out of their way to hire people like they’ve always hired. Just look at the job descriptions posted online for proof. Candidates need to be a perfect fit on skills, experience and personality traits before they’re even considered. Even those that make this first cut then need to pass through the compensation filter imposed by some green eyeshade in the back corner. So regardless of how lofty the talent vision statement, the skills and compensation filters they use ensure companies will hire people just like they’ve always hired.

Job-seekers fall into the same trap negotiating terms and conditions way too soon, ensuring they only learn about jobs like the ones they’ve always had.

In a post last week, I presented the Job-seeker’s Decision Grid describing why people leave jobs and how they should compare opportunities. The big point of the grid was to highlight the importance of emphasizing the long-term opportunity while minimizing the glitz of the short-term benefits. Few candidates do this properly. In fact, they often shoot themselves in the foot by asking about all of the wrong things during the first 10-minute phone call with the recruiter. In this video I describe how to reposition the conversation by making the case that it’s best to delay negotiating the offer until the real job and career potential is fully understood.

Note this video will self-destruct in 30 days. It’s the final video in a 10-part video series on a dedicated educational site and we only have permission to make this video public for a short time.

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Lou Adler (@LouA) is the CEO of The Adler Group, a consulting and training firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring. He’s also a regular columnist for Inc. Magazine and BusinessInsider. His latest book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013), provides hands-on advice for job-seekers, hiring managers and recruiters on how to find the best job and hire the best people. You can continue the conversation on LinkedIn’s Essential Guide for Hiring Discussion Group.