The negotiation process may involve offers and counter offers, that is, a package of wages and benefits made by one institution that will be matched or at least responded to in some way by another. This can happen in the hiring process, though in the present climate it is unusual. It is more likely to occur when one is already in a position, for example in the academic world in a tenure-track position but not yet promoted, or for other reasons is not entirely satisfied with the situation. Looking elsewhere is tricky business as it can send a mixed signal to your current employer. However, if you are given an offer, your current employer may decide to match or better it as a way to keep you on board.