If you’re thinking of negotiating for higher salary or some other form of flexibility in your work schedule, I would suggest that you do so if you can have a conversation prior to an offer letter actually being given to you. If you know an employer is interested in hiring you, you may want to set up a dialogue with them to get an idea of what type of salary range they intend on offering you, especially if you are dealing directly with the company or the hiring manager. Or you could wait till you actually get an offer letter and then try to negotiate. But if you can do it prior to the offer letter, it saves the employer from having to do more than one letter, it shows that you have thought things through to move the process along. Once they have gotten an offer letter to you, it’s very possible they had to get approval to do that and go through many levels of management to get that approval, and that just creates more work, and they may or may not be willing to do so. So I think your best shot is to possibly be able to talk about some of the areas where you are either asking for a higher salary, a sign-on bonus, maybe get reviewed in six months or three months to get that sign-on bonus if the salary cannot be as high. Provide them with options possibly that they didn’t think about also.
It’s very possible they may agree with you and say, “OK if you do come in and do a great job, we will be more than happy to give you a bonus of 10% versus 5%,” or “If you come in and improve some of the processes and policies and procedures or help save us money, we will be more likely to review you sooner than later or give you a bonus.” So I think you should discuss ways of how to get that higher salary or whatever the flexibility you are looking for; you may not get it off the bat, but if you can figure out a way to hopefully get it within the first six months to a year, that would be great. And also understand the employer may or may not put that in writing and then you have to go on the trust factor that they’re really going to do what they say they’re going to do, and, that being the case, if they don’t do what they say they are going to do, should you leave for some reason down the road, they have no one to blame but themselves because then they misled you in terms of not honoring the negotiations that you set up prior to accepting the job.