The Job Offer: It feels great when you make a job offer and the candidate is happy to accept it. After all, you've done all of your research and have put together an offer that
you're proud to present. You don't have the attitude "let's see what I can get her for." Your attitude is "this is the right job offer for the right person at this time." Negotiation is not necessary because you're not low balling the candidate. Why would you low ball an offer? You want this person to be excited about the job, even thrilled, so that on the first day, s/he walks in and you know you've made the right decision. It's taken you a while to identify the right candidate and you've screened and interviewed a number of applicants. Now for the job offer; you can't wait to present it!
And then. . .he says, "You know, I was hoping for a higher salary. Could you go to X?" And then your heart kind of sinks a little. You put the right offer on the table. You were ready to present it. And he wants more? Maybe you should have low balled so you'd have room to negotiate.
What now? Well, you've given the right offer so just as we won't throw more money at people who offer their resignation in order to get them to stay, we also won't throw more money at a candidate just to get him or her to accept the job.
Hold firm. Your offer was the right offer. You did your research and you were confident in your decision. If you go back to the table and "sharpen your pencil" you're showing that you didn't really do your research after all. Nothing else has changed. The person isn't a better fit than before, doesn't have a better skill set,
or more years of relevant experience and/or education. When an offer isn't accepted, it simply isn't accepted. Move on. There's another candidate who will likely be thrilled with your offer, thrilled to work for your company, and the right fit after all.