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How to Negotiate Salary and Benefits After a Job Offer

When receiving a job offer from a company, it is important to consider whether the salary and benefits meet your expectations before you accept it. There are multiple aspects of salary that you should think about, including getting paid your worth and ensuring you explore all of the offered benefits that may matter more to you than your actual pay grade.

Every time you receive a job offer, there comes a time for salary and benefits package negotiation with your potential new employer. While this process can be intimidating, it is helpful to remain confident and make sure you have a good understanding of the average salary for your position.

The following salary negotiation advice can help you achieve your goal of securing great benefits and being paid what you deserve.

Understanding the Importance of Negotiating Your Salary and Benefits

Negotiating your salary is important as it can help you to secure a higher compensation rate. While it might seem like a frightening prospect, data shows that negotiating for a higher salary can pay off. Notably, a recent survey found that barely one-third of professionals actually negotiate their salary; however, the people that did enjoyed over a seven percent increase on average.

Of course, many modern workers value a strong benefits package in addition to their salary. This is especially the case with certain perks like flexible schedules and the ability to work partially remotely. These perks provide the means for employees to better balance their personal and professional lives while still maintaining or even exceeding in-office productivity levels.

If you find that salary is inflexible during negotiations, you may be able to ask the company to add more to your benefits package instead. An extra week or two of paid time off provides an option for additional downtime to reduce stress, which is something worth considering during negotiations.

Ultimately, the negotiation process is an important part of being compensated for your true worth as a professional.

Top Benefits to Negotiate Besides Salary

Knowing the most important benefits to today’s professionals makes it easier to ask for them when negotiating. Remember, the vast majority of businesses also understand what perks remain popular to both candidates and their current employees. As one example, they likely know that providing meaningful professional development opportunities helps improve their retention rate.

Next, we will explore some of the top benefits to consider during your negotiation process. You can use this information to craft a negotiating strategy that includes the following benefits as part of your compensation package. Having this knowledge can help you enter the negotiation process well-informed and more confident in what you ask for when it comes to a total compensation package.

Schedule Flexibility

Flexible schedules continue to be one of the most popular benefits among modern professionals. They allow workers to achieve a better balance between their personal and professional lives, boosting morale as a result. It provides a great way to reduce stress levels and prevent the adverse effects of burnout from being overworked.

As highlighted earlier, employers understand the importance of their staff balancing their home and work lives. Companies that foster a nurturing culture tend to be willing to offer schedule flexibility, depending on their operational approach. Be sure to ask about this perk if it is not already included in your compensation package.

Career Development Opportunities

Companies that want to retain their employees offer meaningful professional development opportunities. This may include a strong training program focused on earning relevant professional certifications. Additionally, many businesses offer tuition reimbursement to employees hoping to further their education. Note that you might be required to stay with a company after receiving tuition assistance.

You probably found out some information about a company’s career development offerings during your research or when interviewing. When negotiating, it can be helpful to ask for more details about these valuable opportunities to build your career. You may ask about the company’s benefits regarding tuition assistance if you plan on additional education or are currently in school. If interested in moving into a leadership role, it could be useful to inquire about a manager development program.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

Of course, vacation days or PTO continues to be one of the most desired benefits among professionals. Businesses understand the importance of keeping their employees happy, inspired, and focused on their work. Offering a meaningful amount of vacation time definitely helps achieve this goal.

As noted earlier, if the company won’t budge on salary, an option is to ask for an extra week or two of PTO. If a company pays out any unused PTO at the end of the year, this provides an easy increase to your annual salary.

Professional Job Recruiters Share 5 Tips for Salary Negotiation

A professional job placement agency employs recruiters who deeply understand the process of salary negotiation. Notably, an important benefit provided by a recruiter involves their help in negotiating the salary and benefits for candidates. This gives them the broad experience to offer meaningful advice to professionals looking to be paid their true worth. Here are some tips from professional job recruiters that can help your next salary negotiation go smoothly and result in generous pay and benefits.

#1 Perform Industry Research

Researching the average salary for your job should be one of your first tasks before any salary negotiation. This information provides you with an understanding of what to expect from a job offer. In addition to your job role, also take into account your experience level during the negotiation process.

Remember that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for your region influences the amount of your job offer. For example, you would expect to be paid more for jobs in Boston or Silicon Valley compared to Minnesota. However, remote working opportunities typically don’t vary as much based on location. Be sure to consider the COLA when analyzing the competitiveness of any job offer.

#2 Determine a Minimum Salary Range

You’ll want to avoid feeling “lowballed” when receiving a job offer less than your expectations, which is why before starting your job search, it is important to spend some time determining your minimum salary range. Conducting industry research also provides insights into the lower range of salaries for the positions to which you are applying. If any job offer is lower than your minimum amount, you can always respectfully decline the offer while providing your reasoning.

Note that some startup businesses offer lower salaries in tandem with stock options or other financial considerations. Other factors that are important to you might also contribute to accepting a lower salary – such as better health benefits or coverages, a great location, or an outstanding company culture. Keep these and other considerations in mind when determining your minimum salary range.

#3 Highlight Your Credentials and Experience

It is a good idea to use the salary negotiation process to emphasize your relevant skills and experience to your potential new employer. Highlighting the strong matches between your credentials and the company’s job requirements serves as an addendum to your final interview. This also helps to remind potential employers of your overall talents and showcases potential long-term benefits of hiring you.

Having a one-sheet providing a list of your relevant skills and professional accomplishments greatly helps during negotiating. Mentioning your accomplishments, awards, and even testimonials from previous managers and coworkers also adds weight. In essence, you are selling your worth to the company when negotiating.

#4 Make Sure Everything is in Writing

Once the negotiation process concludes, be sure to get everything discussed in writing before your final acceptance. This includes your final salary, benefits package, and any other special considerations, like stock options or a signing bonus. For example, if the company promised to cover your moving expenses when relocating, it is best practice to get the agreement in writing.

In addition to a clear delineation of your compensation package, your official written offer needs to include other information. This may include a job description that provides a list of all your responsibilities, flexible scheduling, and other benefits that you discussed. Make sure you and a company representative sign the written offer.

#5 Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away

If negotiating ultimately fails to generate an offer worthy of your interest, simply move on to the next opportunity. In other words, don’t be afraid to walk away if the offer remains too low! Being confident in yourself as a professional provides the inspiration to find other opportunities commensurate with your skills.

Need Help with Salary Negotiation? Partner with a Professional Job Recruiter!

If you prefer to have some help with salary negotiation, connect with the team at Dahl Consulting. We employ experienced recruiters with significant experience negotiating salary and benefits for our candidates. A partnership with our team can help you take your career to the next level!