What to Negotiate For Besides Your Pay
When you are in the process of deciding if the salary a company is offering you is acceptable, you need to also decide what to negotiate for besides your pay. Since these benefits can amount to as much as 30% of your salary, they are an important component to any job negotiation discussions. The following are a list of benefits you should consider.
Find out what types of insurance packages the company offers. Do they include health, dental and vision coverage? Determine if you have any special needs that the company doesn't currently have a provision to handle. Ask if they have any leeway to negotiate in this area before you spend your valuable time and energy trying to get additional insurance benefits.
Vacation and Sick Days
Ask about how much vacation and sick time you would be eligible to receive. Make sure you understand exactly how the company's policies work on things like personal days. See if there is a schedule for increasing the number of these days you will receive based on the amount of time you work for the company. See what happens to your sick days and vacation days if you don't use them. Do you get some sort of monetary compensation, or do you lose these unused days? Knowing exactly what the company's policies are will help you determine if this is an area you would like to try to negotiate. You can either ask for more of these days initially, or see if you can get them to accrue more quickly.
Pension and Severance Pay
Find out if the company will be offering you a retirement pension or has some sort of 401K matching plan. Discussing what type of severance package you will receive if you're laid off is a good idea. Many times you will find that this area is one that your potential employer is very willing to negotiate, especially since they don't foresee this happening and think they'll never have to pay you this money. Just make sure you get any agreement you make in writing.
Perks and Bonuses
Depending on your job, you may find that perks and bonuses are great areas to negotiate. You might find yourself with an expense account to cover such things as travel, business lunches and other work related matters. You might be able to get your employer to pay for furthering your education. You can also get a boost to your salary by seeing if you can work out a bonus that is tied to how well you perform your job and help to improve the company's bottom line numbers by increasing sales and cutting expenses.
If your potential employer normally does yearly reviews in order to be able to consider you for raises, see if he is willing to do your review every six months instead. Doing so can give you valuable information about your job performance and can also benefit your pocketbook if your boss determines that you deserve a raise based on how well you're doing your job.
Other things you might be able to negotiate are your job title and responsibilities, your days and hours, your office or cubicle, your lunch or break times, gym membership, child or elder care, as well as company investment and stock options.
Many of these benefits represent thousands of dollars worth of compensation, so make sure to take the time to address them while you negotiate with a potential employer about your prospective job with his company.