The offer is less than you have expected
There are few strategies you can try to apply in order to increase the offer.
Re-emphasise your skills and mention again about the range you were expecting:
Scenario: If you were expecting between $50.000 and $60.000 and the offer is $45.000 you might say that:
“I have to admit, I am a bit disappointed with that offer. Given my expertise on this ‘xyz’ area and the contribution I can make to this company, I am expecting a salary of $50.000”.
If the negotiator needs some time to think about it this is ok.
If he will not consider to increase it there might be one of the following reasons:
1: The amount if by far exceeding the budget. If the company really wants you then the budget can be adjusted. This shouldn’t be such a big issue for the company and this barrier can be easily removed. If the company really has problems in finding money to increase the budget then most probably they are close-to-death and you don’t really want to work for it.
2: Within the company there are employees with similar skills which are paid much less. Or that there are other candidates, with similar experience which are fine with the offer. In both cases it shouldn’t matter how much are paid the other employees. Is between the company and those employees. Other employees shouldn’t determine your compensation.
“I was not aware that my compensations should be tied to other employees. I am looking for a package that covers my skills x therefore $y is such a package.”
Afterall, if you’ve done you’re homework you will know how much you worth in the market as well as if one recruiter is trying to lowball you. Stay cool, re-emphasize your skills and explain that after doing your research you know that your desired salary is in the competitive market salary. This is the point where the company might realize that they need to reconsider their budget or… to choose the next available candidate. In both cases, you don’t have anything to lose.
If you are tempted to take the job, but you’re not fully happy with the package, try to negotiate on other parts of the package. Don’t expect in miracles in having an 20-30% salary increase after 6 month.