The Art of Negotiation

At Townsend Search, we employ an outcome-based style that’s beneficial for both sides—employer and candidate. 

How do we do that, exactly? 

Here’s a little look into our art of negotiation.

Developing Relationships

A successful negotiation starts very early in the search process by developing a layered relationship with both client and candidate. The more confidence and trust each party has in our team allows us to have more candid conversations once the process nears a conclusion. It’s these relationships that allow us to discover what’s most important to each candidate, and what we have to do to ensure the best outcome. 

Pulling Levers

Through transparent discussions with the client, we often have multiple levers to pull in a negotiation—whether it’s flexibility on base compensation, having equity we can provide, enacting signing bonuses, or a variety of other creative comp structures. If we understand what’s important to both candidate and client, we know what levers to pull and which ones may be more difficult to operate. 

The Value of a Third Party

While we may have been hired by an employer, it’s important that we represent both parties equally. Since our ultimate goal is to find the most successful outcome, we’re able to play the intermediary, negotiate without bias or emotion and get the deal done. 

Transparency Wins

We do our best to manage expectations as early as possible in each candidate engagement, which starts with communicating what we’re looking for in terms of compensation to see if we’re aligned. In some cases, we’ll go in without a budget just to collect data points on what candidates are making so our clients can have a more competitive starting point. 

Consider the Must-Haves

In a negotiation, it’s typical for top candidates to make a list of their need-to-haves and nice-to-haves as a way for us to understand what’s most important to them. We then take that to the employer, and fight to get as many asks for them as possible. To prevent unnecessary emotion during the process, we make it a rule to only do this exercise a single time—allowing the score to be settled with efficiency so we can move on and close the deal.

Manage Expectations

When one of our candidates ultimately joins the employer, there’s typically less “scar tissue” from the negotiation process due to the work we did in managing expectations on both sides. When negotiating is done properly, the deal should be pre-closed before a formal offer letter is even presented. Verbally communicating to the candidate what the offer is or should look like is the best way to avoid hiccups at the finish line. 

The Townsend Search team has mastered the art of negotiation, and can play an invaluable role in placing the perfect candidate for your organization. 

Get in touch today and see what The Journey can do for you.

Get in touch with search professionals who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is—experience The Journey to placing top executive talent, customized to any and every work structure your organization offers.