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5 strategies to negotiate your salary benefits

5 ways to negotiate benefits

After months and months on the hunt, you’ve finally snagged the job of your dreams, and while the offer itself is satisfactory – the benefits are non-existent.

Typically, money is the most frequently negotiated part of the contract, but increasingly other parts of the package are taking precedence over salary. Vacation time, health insurance, bonuses, flexitime, relocation expenses, travel allowance etc. can all fall under this.

While it’s an uncomfortable process to negotiate, it’s important not to settle for anything less than you deserve, especially if you’re accustomed to some of these in your previous job.

Before sitting down on the negotiation table, you should take a look at these 5 negotiation no-nos. Here’s a guide to smartly negotiating salary benefits with your future employer:

“I need a few days to think about it” – While you’re probably shocked by the lack of benefits, consider taking a few days to digest all the information. This also gives you the time to think about and assess the benefits that matter to you. For example, it may not be the company’s policy to offer medical insurance, but are they willing to re-negotiate your overall salary to compensate?

Use this time to think about the mandatory benefits versus the ones you’re willing to compromise on.

“I’ve done my research” – Talk to friends and acquaintances who can tell you what the employer typically offers other employees at similar levels. Once you know for sure that you’ve got a raw deal or are more certain about what you need, approach your future employer and make that the basis of your negotiation. Be straightforward in your approach, but try to keep emotions out of it.

“In my previous role” There’s no need to be shy about stating your previous benefits, it is after all a commonly used benchmark for new employers. In fact, it’s perfectly fine to even suggest what benefits you think you should get. If you’re angling for a higher bonus, for example, it is perfectly fine to say, “Based on my previous role, I propose a 20% increase in my annual bonus”.

“I’d like to re-examine my benefits in six months” – If you’ve tried and failed to work out a new deal, but are still willing to take what’s on the table – then go ahead and sign the contract but clearly state that you’d like to revisit the discussion in six months. This is enough time for you to prove yourself and for your employer to know your true worth.

“Unfortunately I’m unable to accept this current offer” – If you’re unwilling to compromise, then it’s best to bow out rather than accepting a job that will only make you bitter and disappointed. Be sure to let the hiring manager know that you are happy to be contacted if they change their mind on the offer.

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