What Does a Contract Negotiator Do?
A contract negotiator manages business deals for companies or individuals by evaluating contract agreements and documents, negotiating terms with clients and customers, and resolving contract disputes. Contract negotiators adhere to company guidelines as well as state and federal regulations, so they must be familiar with all state and federal contract rules and regulations. They must have very good communications skills, excellent organization ability, business acumen, and legal know-how.
Contract negotiators serve as advisors in all matters related to contractual arrangements. They typically handle grievances, investigate complaints, and act as mediators. Excellent people skills are required as they must develop relationships when negotiating with various parties. These professionals should possess good presentation skills and an eye for detail.
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National Average Salary
Contract negotiator salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Contract Negotiator is:
Contract Negotiator Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great contract negotiator is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
We bring together the best and brightest minds in the country, and we want to make sure they reach their full potential! That’s why we’re currently searching for a candidate that strives to make sure that everyone is being treated fairly. We have an opening for a contract negotiator on our team. The ideal candidate will be well-versed in state and federal laws and have an adept understanding of contract terms. This individual will interpret contract requirements, anticipate changes required, and help administrate implementation. We’re looking for amazing negotiators to make sure all parties are meeting legal obligations. If you have a desire to administer fairness and foster trust within our organization, and you’ve got excellent negotiation skills, we’d love to hear from you!
- Typical duties and responsibilities
- Reviewing and interpreting all contract requirements
- Forecasting and anticipating changes from contract terms
- Understand and articulate contract terms to all relevant parties
- Participate in proposal preparation, contract negotiation, administration, and fulfillment in accordance with all company policy, and local, state, and federal laws
- Advise and provide consultation for all parties and collaborative departments
- Provide mediation for discussions and remedial actions
- Ability to develop solutions for a wide variety of problems ranging from mundane to highly complex
Education and experience
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration, business management, or a related field
- 2 years experience in contract development, management, or administration, human resources, or related field
Required skills and qualifications
- Excellent verbal and written communication
- Knowledge of policies, processes, general practices, and laws as they pertain to government contracts
- Demonstrable negotiating skills
- Ability to develop consensus and influence resolution
- Extensive knowledge of negotiations as they regard to contracting and subcontracting
- Work well independently and in a team environment
- Experience with the Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
- Ability to communicate issues to a wide range of audiences
- 5 years experience in a negotiations position
Our clinical operations activities are growing rapidly, and we are currently seeking individuals with paralegal experience to join our Clinical Operations team as a full-time Contract Specialist. This role plays a key role in the study start-up and clinical trial management processes at ABC Company. The Contract Specialist will play a key role in advancing the start-up of our projects. If you want an exciting career where you use your previous expertise and can develop and grow your career even further, then this is the opportunity for you. This position has office-based openings in both Cincinnati, OH and Dallas, TX.
- Is responsible for preparing, negotiating, tracking and finalizing the Confidentiality Agreements (CDA), Clinical Trial Agreements (CTA), Budgets, and Letters of Indemnification (LOI)
- Involved in preparing, negotiating, and tracking any possible amendments to the Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA) and Budget
- Manages all required contractual agreements with investigator sites. This includes distribution, negotiation of budget and language, tracking, and finalization
- Proactively identifies site contract related risks and potential roadblocks
- Prepares contract approval timelines with investigators and leads efforts to obtain contract approval to meet study deliverables
- Maintains consistent communication with project team and sites regarding status of all contractual requirements
- Maintains tracking regarding site contracts and provides regular updates as agreed by the study team to the project team and client regarding status and efforts to ensure timelines are maintained
- Participates in corporate initiatives and actions that ensure the continued success of the company
- Bachelors degree required
- Ability to work with internal and external customers/vendors to meet project-specific goals
- Ability to manage high volume work and meet rigorous deadlines
- Flexibility to strategically manage negotiations with minimal oversight
- Ability to interact with site, clients, and other functional areas as secondary project contact for contracting issues and questions
- Ability to manage time and project requirements based on study deliverables
Responsible for working as liaison between Providers and organization. Identify, select, and monitor providers and draft and negotiate final contracts. Ensures optimal language is inserted into each agreement that will protect ABC Company, its patients and customers. May create processes and procedures to ensure overall quality of provider services. Facilitate development of relationships with providers, maintain relationships for long-term contracts, and mediate performance and scorecard disputes.
General duties & responsibilities
- Draw up short term and long term Contracting Strategy for the development and improvement of ABC Company’s provider network
- Works independently and as part of a team on contract negotiations, renegotiations, contract preparation, provider relations, and recruitment
- Reduce cost of goods sold through contract negotiations and renegotiations of existing vendor contracts
- Ensure quality components of service delivery and patient/carrier satisfaction with services provided
- Initially establishes relationships with providers and prepares handoff to account management team
- Participate in process for continuous credentialing and quality monitoring of assigned accounts
- Monitors state fee schedules by working closely with ABC Company’s Government Affairs Department to ensure vendor compliance
- Works with team to identify margin opportunities by performing analysis on out of network utilization and using data to identify network development opportunities
- Performs ad hoc negotiations with out of network vendors and strategically recruits new vendors based on feedback from Operations and Sales
- Works closely with Internal Audit and Compliance (IAC) department to ensure vendor compliance with contracts as well as ABC Company’s billing and other protocols
- Identifies potential vendors for recruitment into the ABC Company network
- Identifies white space and targets vendors in those areas for inclusion in the ABC Company network
- Negotiates all new and existing contracts
- Performs contract and cost analysis
- Manages contract process including distributing and receiving contracts
- Acquires credentialing applications at initial contracting
- Acquires liability and licensure on each provider at initial contracting
- Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent combination of education, training, or work experience
General knowledge, skills & abilities
- Good understanding of ABC Company’s products and services
- General knowledge of the workers’ compensation industry
- Requires expert negotiation and communication skills, both written and verbal
- Knowledge of Provider Relations
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills to technical and non-technical audiences of various levels in the organization (e.g. executive, management, individual contributors)
- Excellent problem solving, team and time management skills managing multiple deadlines for self and others
- Proficiency in making projections of future expenses based on analysis of cost effectiveness of past expenditures
- Proficiency to operate independently on work that is often confidential in nature
- Recruit and develop network for a region and set of providers
- Lead assigned recruitments (i.e., physician, hospital and ancillary) and ensure they result in complete and accurate standard contracts that meet objectives
- Facilitate and oversee to the provider set-up and contract configuration to ensure accurate claims adjudication
- Initiate contact and identify potential providers by geographic and specialty needs and update database
- Coordinate with internal departments and contracted providers to implement and maintain contract compliance
- Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration, Business Administration, Finance, related field or equivalent experience
- 0-2 years of contracting, contract analysis, provider relations, or provider experience in a hospital, physician’s office, or group setting
- Familiarity with State and/or Federal health care programs preferred (Medicaid, Medicare)
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Negotiation Experts. This online and classroom training offers training ranging from foundational to advanced negotiation skills. Be it sales, procurement, project management, or advanced negotiations, this certification comes with assessments, videos, simulations, and more. Candidates will walk away with the key values they need to better understand the negotiation landscape.
- Kellogg’s High-Performance Negotiation Skills. Northwestern University offers this interactive program based on the science of negotiation. Candidates will develop and implement effective strategies and better identify strengths and weaknesses and receive personalized feedback to better improve their skills. They’ll have the opportunity to learn solo or as a team, and work in a variety of environments with dynamic situations and problems. After obtaining this certification they’ll be better suited to efficient preparation and application regardless of their circumstances.
- Harvard Negotiation Workshop. The Harvard Negotiation Institute offers negotiation and mediation courses that focus on training negotiators in a business setting. This is designed for trainees to find value in joint gain and create lasting, positive relationships. Candidates walk away with a thorough understanding of mutual gain, and the structural components that make a deal. They’ll analyze their strengths and weaknesses and coordinate behind-the-scenes negotiation prep.
How to Hire a Contract Negotiator
There are a number of initial considerations when hiring a contract negotiator:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to successfully source and recruit for this role?
- Complexity: Does your project require a senior professional, or is a mid- or junior-level inspector sufficient?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project or a permanent requirement?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effort effectively?
- Urgency: How time-sensitive is this need? What happens if it remains unfilled?
- Headcount: Do you have room on your team for a new W2 employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. We recommend the following options when hiring an aircraft inspector:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend using CareerBuilder when hiring a contract negotiator:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- What is your experience in negotiating contracts and resolving disputes?
- When negotiations become difficult or confrontational, how do you handle the situation?
- How did you resolve a complex negotiation situation you faced?
- What is the best way to prepare for a negotiation?
- How do you draft and review contracts?
- With clients and other parties, how do you effectively communicate and negotiate contract terms?
- Could you describe a time when you had to balance conflicting interests in a negotiation?
- If there are conflicting provisions in contracts, what steps should you take to ensure that both parties are treated fairly and equally?
- How do you stay current with changes in contract law and related regulations?
- What steps do you take to ensure that contracts comply with relevant laws and regulations?