When it comes to securing a benefits package before signing an employment contract, or re-negotiating the benefits of your current position, it’s easy to settle for less than you would ideally like in order to secure work. But your skills, qualifications, and achievements should be the deciding factors for appropriate compensation. A flexible attitude and a savvy approach to benefits negotiations can help you to nail down a satisfying deal.
Know your worth
Research the industry standard for your profession. Factor in your experience and achievements, and use this information to negotiate a contract that adequately rewards you for what you can achieve for your employer. Your skills and experience should stand out from the very beginning of the recruitment process. Make sure your cover letter and resume effectively highlight these areas, and the recruiter will have a clear idea of the value you’ll bring to their company, facilitating a smoother negotiation process.
Make a good first impression
Your career achievements should play a big role in helping you to secure a good benefits package, but if you don’t convey them in an effective manner, employers will fail to see your worth. Your career profile must make you stand out from the crowd. Do you use a LinkedIn account? Present it in a way that puts your skills and achievements at the forefront. Your resume and cover letter should do the same, and our profile and resume writers can help to get you on your way.
Suggest a pay range
When you’re discussing numbers, don’t restrict yourself to a single figure. Suggest an amount within a set range. The lowest end of the range is what you would ideally like to earn, and the higher end of the range can be a more ambitious figure. Chances are that if the employer is open to negotiating salary, they’ll offer you something in the lower range, which is what you’re after in any case, or they’ll offer something better.
Be wary of mentioning other offers
There are two schools of thought on whether you should mention other job offers you have received, or if you should adopt a ‘’take it or I’ll leave’’ attitude. While the tactic has worked for some, it can also backfire, especially if in reality there aren’t any other offers on the table. Whatever you do, remember that reputation is one of your strongest assets. Don’t do anything that will tarnish it, or that will ruin relationships with those who could open doors to career success.
Negotiate all benefits
Some companies have very rigid salary budgets, and negotiating a higher amount can be nearly impossible. Look at other options to discuss, such as hiring bonuses, annual leave and flexible work hours. Performance bonuses, incentives, and even stock options can also help you to walk away with a better deal.
Don’t discuss compensation too soon
If you are on the shortlist for a position, try not to finalize your salary and benefits package until the hirer offers you the job. This gives you stronger bargaining power. And raising the issues early on in the recruitment process could give the impression that your primary focus is money.
Use chemistry as leverage
Over the course of the hiring process, you would have established some form of a relationship with the employer. From the initial stages, remember that you are dealing with a potential boss. By the time the recruitment process is coming to a conclusion and the job is yours, you should have built up a good report with each other. Use this to obtain a better deal. Current employees should also maintain a good relationship with their bosses and with the decision makers on salary and benefits.
Be aware of employer tricks
The hirer’s objective is to sign the best person for the job, but they would probably like to do this at the lowest possible cost. Look out for tactics that they may use to finalize a lower compensation package than you are happy with. Promises of future negotiation possibilities, flattering compliments, hinting at other candidates who could fill the position, and making you commit to a number early on in the hiring process are some of the avenues they may use.
Make a counteroffer
If you are unable to agree on an initial amount, return with a counteroffer that you have also prepared beforehand. Show that you can be flexible, and the employer may reconsider their stance.