3 Tips to negotiating your employment contract

3 tips to negotiating your employment contract



An employment contract is usually taken too lightly. Several times after getting an interview for the job, people sit back and relax. They tell themselves that now they have gotten the job, it’s okay to settle for less. Especially since they’ve just started. 



Prepare for the negotiations in the contract just as much as you prepared yourself for the interview. Give yourself the upper hand and carry out some research earlier so you know what you are dealing with.


When negotiating your contract, research comes in very essential. For example, you should know the average salary someone of a similar position is making in the current climate. This will enable you to be transparent and upfront with the management. 


It also shows the management that you have a general idea of the work field and that you are a reasonable individual.


What else to do?


If you know of any, feel free to ask for standard benefits that you could be acquiring from the firm too. The individual from the management will probably have a good idea of what you are talking about. If it is a general practice in the sector, they should be more than happy to give you such benefits. 



However, remember not to highball them because these offers might go way above the market average and expectations. This can backfire at you. Highlighting that you have less knowledge of the field compared to other applicants during the negotiation. Thus, it’s important to conduct ample research before both your job interviews and contract negotiations.



In this article, some tips will be shared with you that could come in handy when you are negotiating your employment contract with your future employer.



Hopefully, these tips will give you an upper hand when it comes to negotiating your contract. You could even impress your employer even before you are properly employed!

A word of caution before we delve into the article: this written piece aims to function as a guide. It should not be read as a comprehensive or exhaustive list of advice when it comes to improving recruitment-related processes. The best way to find out what may work best would be by conducting ample research. 

Browsing through this article could function as the first step you take into exploring different ways to negotiate your employment contract. A little effort can go a long way! 

Without further ado, let’s get right into the article!


Be presentable, likeable and identify key personnel in the firm

It may seem like an obvious fact. However amidst all the tension and pressure during the negotiation, people sometimes forget about how they portray themselves in front of others. If you have a nice and likeable personality, it will obviously make a good impression. It will also be different from another candidate who is rude and arrogant towards the management.  


During such negotiations, there will always be some form of tension. Staying nice, pleasant and calm also shows the management representative that you can manage intense situations diplomatically. It gives them a sort of trust that in the future during work issues, you can stay diplomatic too. 


Another tip is to recognise who you are talking to. Whether it is a position manager or HR manager, you can tailor your needs and negotiations to them differently to get the best benefits for yourself. Just be cautious of how your wishes and requests will sound to whoever is hearing you from the other side of the room. Will it be mature and reasonable or redundant and inefficient?

Do not overplay the fact that another firm wants you


If you are talented, there is a chance that other companies outside are also trying to take your talents to their organisation.  

One tactic that is frequently used by new employees? Stating that another company is willing to give you a better deal for working with them. Some also say that their old employer has given them a better counter-offer to consider. 

They then proceed to use this as a bargaining tool with the new employer and try to bring their salary to the roof. Well, this leverage has worked before for some people. The employer can take you as in-demand and be willing to take you for your talents. 

However, this can backfire and cause hiring organisations to feel that you are just playing them off against their competitors. To be honest, nobody likes to be told what to do. So, imagine sitting on the other side of the table and hearing a fresh employee telling you to pay him more. And that otherwise, it will make him choose another company over yours. 

Practice humility.

You could damage your upcoming opportunities as a jobseeker. If you are trying to be reasonable, inform the management respectfully why other offers sound better. See how they are willing to compensate you. 


Blindly following a better offer will also show the firm that you are not really loyal to any organisation and that you are just chasing money. This could be a big factor that affects their first impression of you. 


Thus, remember to always be reasonable and respectful when comparing other offers and benefits you have received prior to the negotiation.

Look at matters in the big picture & long term


One big misconception people usually have is that a job negotiation is just an opportunity to raise their salary as much as they can. This idea is false. Such negotiations are also put in place to discuss other factors. This includes your working hours, job responsibilities, opportunities to progress in your career and even fringe benefits. 


When you take a step back and look at the whole picture, you will realise that the salary alone is such a minor part of your work life. There are many other fringe benefits that you can look at and so much progress you can make in your career. It can be counterproductive to chase the money at the end of the day.


Learn to look at the big picture and the long term. Identify your personal short and long term goals. This will reveal what you are on the hunt for. Afterwards, share these goals with your employer or hiring manager.


When they understand you and your context better, they may be willing to offer you whatever it is that you’re looking for!


What's next?

To conclude, we hope this article gives you a better idea of what entails a negotiation behind an employment contract. It can be a quick and easy process, but a lot of thought should go into it!

We also hope you have garnered some tips to use when negotiating your employment contract. At the end of the day, remember to be mature and respectful to your employers. It is okay to request for certain things but make sure it is reasonable. Remember that as long as you know you are being reasonable, things will turn out fine.

And there you have it – a compiled list of 3 simple tips you can adopt to negotiate a better employment contract. With all that being said, we have to come to the end of this article! We hope this written piece has provided you with some insights as to how you can improve your professional journey ahead.

In the meantime, if you’re on the lookout for job opportunities at organisations within Singapore or simple resources, read on! 😉

Need some career resources?

As was briefly covered above, GrabJobs shares career resources in the form of articles for people at different stages of their work lives. Our resources share details on how freshers can start to look for jobs more effectively, the best job interview practises, how individuals can grow their career and so much more! 


These are just some of the topics we explore, namely.


Feel free to visit GrabJobs here for more information and interesting reads! We hope you find our resources helpful and useful 🙂

If you’re on the lookout for jobs within other industries that are nonetheless located in Singapore, here’s an article that shares with you the top 19 job portals in Singapore.


No matter the industry or the position, remember to visit GrabJobs to find a job opportunity in Singapore easily!

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeberard/