Top 8 negotiation skills to look for in applicants

top 8 negotiation skills to look for in applicants
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Negotiation involves being capable of having difficult conversations and ensuring that you create a constructive interaction that is rewarding for all relevant parties.

Excellent negotiation skills are essential for your business in informal day-to-day and formal transactions. Hence, it’s paramount for you to employ an applicant who can negotiate well. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the top negotiation skills to look out for in your applicants. We’ll also describe how to evaluate these skills using our negotiation skills test. Keep reading to find out more!

What is negotiation?

Negotiation is a practice of deliberation between two or more parties with different interests, with the goal of finding a mutually acceptable solution. It’s a dialogue that requires a give-and-take approach. 

Such an approach ensures that you foster goodwill regardless of the difference in interests between parties. 

what is negotiation

Globally, about 50% of job applicants in the learning and development industry consider their negotiation skills essential. With this in mind, applicants for your open role may have considered developing their negotiation skills before applying. 

What are negotiation skills?

Negotiation skills boil down to the ability to ensure a successful compromise and desirable solution for relevant parties. These skills involve reaching agreements and striking effective deals that may help improve the outcome of future negotiations. 

You should evaluate an applicant’s ability to strike a deal and examine how their negotiations can positively impact your business.  

What are the benefits of good negotiation skills?

The benefits of good negotiation skills and business judgment in establishing your organization’s strategic growth are enormous.

Below, we mention a few you get to enjoy if you have an employee with excellent negotiation skills:

benefits of good negotiation skills

1. Fosters better relationships

Good negotiation skills will help your organization build better relationships with other parties. The top negotiators achieve this by ensuring mutually acceptable solutions that leave each party happy enough to engage in subsequent interactions.

2. Delivers lasting and quality solutions

Good negotiation skills will help to achieve lasting and quality solutions, which is beneficial over poor short-term solutions unsatisfactory to concerned parties. These solutions ensure that you do not defeat the aim of the negotiation in the long run.

3. Avoids future problems and conflicts

A proper negotiation aims to avoid conflict of interest. Great negotiation skills play a critical role in ensuring conflict resolution and settlement if there are differing interests between the parties involved.

Top 8 negotiation skills to look out for in applicants

You should emphasize the necessity of strong negotiation skills in your job descriptions to draw in capable applicants. For example, in a contract negotiator job description, listing the essential negotiation skills the job requires is a must.

It’s also important to evaluate candidates’ abilities during your recruitment process for roles that require excellent negotiation skills.

Bear in mind that, depending on your workplace culture, necessities, and businesses, the negotiation skills you may need to look out for may vary. 

Nevertheless, here is a list of essential negotiation skills you should assess in your candidates:

top 8 negotiation skills to look out for in applicants

1. Communication

Excellent communication skills are vital in any negotiation process. Applicants with great workplace communication skills can engage in a productive discussion, helping to ensure they walk away from the negotiation satisfied.

The ability of your applicant to clearly express their ideas and the organization’s interests could contribute immensely to the organization’s success at the negotiation table. 

They can also identify non-verbal cues and verbal skills, enabling them to avoid misunderstandings that hinder compromise.

2. Emotional intelligence

Testing applicants’ ability to manage their emotions while recognizing the feelings of others is critical. Their awareness of the emotional dynamics involved in a negotiation will help them steer a negotiation process toward resolving the core issues. 

emotional intelligence definition

Emotions play a key role in the whole negotiation process, and it’s crucial for negotiators to manage emotions effectively so that they do not get in the way of a mutually beneficial agreement. 

3. Planning

One essential skill of a good negotiator is to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve from the negotiation. Inadequate preparation may result in an oversight of important terms of reference that may be harmful to your organization. 

This core skill should be a major criterion when deciding who to hire, and ensuring that your employee possesses the skill will yield rewards for your firm.

4. Value creation

Another core skill to look out for in prospective employees is their ability to solve challenging problems during negotiations. When hiring, you must examine the candidate to see if they bring value in exchange for value. 

The applicant must be able to find unique solutions to given problems. Doing so enables them to realize greater value from the negotiation themselves.

5. Rapport building

A good negotiator must ensure that they can return to the negotiation table on good terms with the other parties. Building rapport is a virtue that facilitates cooperative agreements. 

rapport building definition

Rapport building establishes a relationship between the parties involved making them feel supported and understood. It also helps ease tensions and promotes collaborations, which will benefit your organization.

6. Persuasion 

The ability to influence others is indispensable for successful negotiations. This quality complements and underpins all the other negotiation skills – if an employee can’t convince other parties, they can’t reach an agreement.

Hence, a persuasive negotiator can defend your proposed solution during dialogue while also encouraging the parties involved to acknowledge and support their interests and ideas. 

This will, in turn, mean success for your organization as their persuasion skills will be used to represent your interests.

7. Patience 

Patience is the greatest virtue of all. A professional negotiator must be able to endure long periods of deliberation between parties. However, a good negotiator must also know how to be assertive when necessary. 

Some negotiations may drag on and take longer to finalize. Rather than seeking a quick conclusion that may not be in the organization’s best interest, a good negotiator must practice patience to reach the most desirable conclusion. 

8. Decision making 

Ensure that you hire an applicant who can act decisively when necessary. A top negotiator must be able to make decisions in a limited time frame. They must be able to identify a good compromise and decide if it will be in the best interest of your organization. 

This skill is crucial in negotiation, as each decision will have lasting effects on your organization. As such, you must properly scrutinize applicants for this ability. They must be able to consider their options carefully without dragging out their decisions or overthinking them.

Regardless of the strengths and weaknesses of your applicants, it’s paramount to have an employee who suits the needs and demands of your organization. 

Ensure that you consider the required negotiation skills listed above and evaluate your applicants accordingly, as your organization’s success at the negotiation table depends on them. 

Furthermore, make employing candidates with the right personality a priority too – a recent study shows that there’s likely to be a significant impact of one’s personality on the effectiveness of negotiations. 

Testing for good negotiation skills

Once you have identified the top negotiation skills, it’s vital to know how to assess them to find the perfect candidate for your organization. Consequently, you make use of a pre-employment assessment specifically for the role.

TestGorilla’s Negotiation skills test is an effective assessment tool developed singularly for this purpose. The test helps you evaluate your applicants’ abilities to control, drive, and influence a discussion and to use emotional intelligence to achieve desired results. 

This test is particularly good because it helps to eliminate interviewer bias. As a result, you can ensure that your hiring process is sufficiently objective to enable you to select for your role. 

Sign up today with TestGorilla to experience dynamic recruitment capable of yielding better results.

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