Congratulations – You have the job offer in hand and you are ready to start to negotiate your offer! You have already decided that you want to ask for a little more in base salary, but what else can you negotiate? There are many elements of your total compensation package aside from salary, and you can add thousands of dollars to it by just asking! Take a look at the list below and decide which are most important to you. When you are negotiating salary, be sure to ask for some of these as well. You may be surprised that some employers won’t even blink before they tack them on!
1. Paid Time Off
Vacation time or paid time off (PTO) is usually the first non-salary item you think of when it comes to accepting a new job. Most companies will say that their policy is to start you out with the standard two weeks. The fact is that they usually have an exception to that rule. It definitely doesn’t hurt to ask for an additional week, or even a couple of days. If you currently have more vacation than what they are offering, use it to your advantage.
An example of how to state it would be “Smith Incorporated currently gives me 4 weeks of vacation, but 3 weeks would be acceptable to start, as I feel this role is a great opportunity for me.”
2. Sign-on Bonus
Another method that employers use to get candidates over the hump is the sign-on bonus. You typically will see this when they do not have a lot of flexibility on base salary. You do have to be careful, as they will typically have stipulations you must adhere to if you accept any up-front compensation. You may need to be employed for a certain length of time before it is paid out, and you may be responsible for reimbursing the money if you leave before an allotted period of time. Again, you can leverage your current situation to your advantage.
Use a scenario like this: “Smith Incorporated currently pays me 100K, and I was really looking for 115K in order to make a move. I realize that you do not have much flexibility in base salary. I am comfortable accepting 110k, but would it be possible to get me to the 115K with a sign-on bonus?” Please see our Friday Forum article on negotiating your salary for more information.
Flexibility has quickly moved up the list of “perks” when it comes to looking for a new job. Some companies have introduced a “core hours” structure which provides employees the flexibility to come in early or later, as they choose. It is good to ask because this policy may already be in place and it is available to all employees! You may also want to inquire about options for working from home. In today’s world, many jobs can be done remotely, and if you worked from home a few days a week, it could be a nice savings in terms of both time and money!
4. Equity or Stock Options
Equity or stock options are a great option to request for a couple of reasons. First, it adds to your total compensation package even if the value is not significant at the date of hire. You have the ability to be part of the growth that will reflect in your future net worth. Second, it shows the employer that you believe in the company and their mission. Finally, it shows that you have confidence that your personal performance is going to impact the business’s success, so it ultimately pays dividends for all parties in the long run.
5. Educational Expenses
If you are continuing your education, or plan to do so in the near future, you should definitely inquire about the company’s educational reimbursement policy. Some companies may already have a policy in place, and they can provide you some additional information. If you are pursuing a specific certification or degree that applies to your new role, there is always a chance that the company may completely cover the cost. Similar to the sign-on bonus, there will be certain stipulations that you will need to remember, or you may have to pay them back.
6. Equipment Reimbursement
It is always a wise idea to ask what equipment is provided, and what you will need for your position. If you are using your own equipment, chances are that you may be able to get some sort of reimbursement. Even if it is just $50 a month for your cell phone, it still adds up to an extra $600! If a company doesn’t tell you about this in your offer, be sure to ask. This is usually easy to obtain!
7. Reimbursement of Moving Expenses
Finally, if your new position requires you to move or relocate, be sure to ask your employer to cover at least a portion of the expenses. This can include a number of items, including travel expenses, physical transport of furniture/goods, lease termination penalties, storage fees, closing costs, or other associated costs. In some cases, they may cover everything! Others may only cover certain items. Either way, be sure to ask before you accept the job and get it in writing.
Have you negotiated other items when you have accepted a new position? Please leave a comment, or email me with unique suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Natalie Lemons
Natalie Lemons is the Founder and President of Resilience Group, LLC, and The Resilient Recruiter and C0-Founder of Need a New Gig. She specializes in the area of Executive Search and services a diverse group of national and international companies, focusing on mid to upper-level management searches in a variety of industries. For more articles like this, follow her blog. Resilient Recruiter is an Amazon Associate.
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