Are you struggling to set a start date for your new job that doesn't conflict with your personal commitments? Or as an employer, are you finding it hard to come to an agreement on a start date that works for your company?
Negotiating a mutually beneficial start date can be tough, but it's essential for ensuring a smooth transition and setting the tone for a successful working relationship. In this blog post, we'll provide tips and tricks on how employees and employers can work together to find the ideal start date that suits everyone's needs.
Factors to Consider When Negotiating a Start Date
When you're negotiating a start date for a new job, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Here are a few things to consider:
The employee's current situation: If you're an employee, you'll need to give your notice and work out a transition plan with your current employer. Be sure to factor in time off for vacation or any other commitments you may have.
The company's needs: If you're the potential new employer, it's like you also have your own needs and timeline for bringing an employee on board. You may need someone to start yesterday, or you may have some time, especially if other members of your team are able to handle certain projects.
Your availability: On both sides, employers and employees need to examine their availability. If you have upcoming travel plans or other commitments, be sure to let the other party know as soon as possible. This goes both ways - if you're an employee, you'll want to make sure you can keep your previous commitments AND start your new job, and as an employer, you'll want to make sure you're not out of town or unavailable for questions once your new hire starts training.
Once you've considered all of these factors, you can start to negotiate a start date that works for both you and the employer.
Tips on negotiating a start date if you're an Employee
It can be difficult to negotiate a start date that works for both you and your employer. Here are a few tips to get the conversation started:
1. Talk to your potential employer about your availability and try to be flexible. If at all possible, try to give yourself a buffer of a week or two between jobs. This way, if anything comes up at your current job or with the new one, you have some flexibility.
2. If you have a specific start date in mind, be prepared to explain why it is important to you. It's also a good idea to talk to your new boss about start dates before you put in your notice. That way, if they need you to start sooner or later, you can discuss it and come to an agreement that works for both of you.
3. Keep in mind that your start date may be negotiable, so don't be afraid to ask for what you want. The worst that can happen is you and the employer enter into a compromise!
4. Which finally brings us to our last point - be prepared to compromise on other aspects of the job if you are unable to reach an agreement on the start date. If you can't start until much later, can you make up for lost time during other times of the year? Or work more hours during a particularly busy season?
Tips on negotiating a start date if you're an Employer
If you're an employer attempting to negotiate a start date with your #1 hiring choice, it can be tempting to say yes to whichever start date works for your new hire! But here are some considerations to keep in mind as your negotiating what works best for your team to ensure you're not understaffed at any given point.
1. Talk to your employee about upcoming vacations and travel plans, and be flexible if they already have something planned before they knew about your job opening. Remember - travel can take months if not years to plan, and an employee who has to cancel their upcoming vacation in order to accept your job may not be very happy from day 1.
2. If your employee wants to start sooner than you anticipated, is there a compromise you can make? Can they work part time for a few hours a week to get up to speed, or complete any training? If an employee hasn't been working for a while or is eager to get started, if there is any way you can help them hit the ground running, they will appreciate it.
Pros and Cons of Different Start Dates
There are a few key things to keep in mind when negotiating a start date. Employees should be aware of the pros and cons of different start dates, while employers should keep in mind the needs of their business.
Starting sooner than the agreed-upon date may show dedication and a willingness to get started on the job as soon as possible. However, it may also put unnecessary pressure on the employer, who may not be able to accommodate an earlier start date. If starting sooner is not possible, then ask if there is any wiggle room on the end date. A later finish date may give the employer some much-needed flexibility.
Starting later than the agreed-upon date may mean that the employee has other commitments that need to be met before they can begin work. In some cases, it may also indicate that the employee is not particularly excited about the position. If an employer agrees to a later start date, they should make sure that there is still a reasonable amount of time for training before work actually begins.