Sharing the latest article I wrote for BlueSteps.com, on negotiation best practices for executives seeking relocation from their company:
Recently, a colleague of mine who I will call “John” successfully negotiated a highly favorable executive relocation and compensation increase from his Fortune 100 technology and communication company who wanted him and his family to move to Singapore. In a global economy that continues to send mixed signals into the market where heightened expense pressures, elongated recruiting processes, and tighter access to jobs within corporations are juxtaposed with seemingly improved consumer spending and confidence, John secured everything he wanted to maximize his personal reward. I asked him to explain his strategy and I am pleased to share his top four recommendations as best practices.
- Negotiate early. John began the negotiation process to relocate his job and family to Singapore nearly 15 months before his target move date. Through formal and informal conversations with his direct manager (an Executive Vice President) and the head of his group (the President of the company), he planted seeds in their minds of the potential value he could add to the organization by shifting his focus from North America to Asia Pacific. In John’s case, he knew that there was a high likelihood of support for his move, and he made a very conscious decision to influence decision-makers early to solidify the notion that it was their idea, and not his, to move him to Asia.
- Issue the opening salvo. After about 3-4 months of discussions, John presented a formal proposal, a first draft of the terms and conditions that he would find acceptable to uprooting and relocating his family to Asia. In his document, he clearly spelled out specific items and provided the evidence and reasoning for why each term made sense. For example, in order to agree to move, John calculated the minimum cost of living adjustment that he would be willing to accept by demonstrating his firm understanding of the new market he would be entering. Employers know that no executive should ever accept a standard of living below his current state, but that does not stop them from trying to low-ball when they may get away with it. By making the first move, John anchored the negotiation to show that any amount below his minimum threshold to cover new living expenses would be a non-starter.