Very few things in this life are set in stone. While businesses do operate under budgets and have set amounts that they are able to pay per position, there is often quite a bit of wiggle room in the salary negotiation process. Here is a quick three-item list of things you can negotiate with a potential new employer.
Don’t just think of salary as base pay. It could also mean bonus structure, sign-on bonus or salary increase after a set amount of time. Many employers do have set compensation bands or ranges that they keep everyone in, but other components of salary are often very negotiable.
Typically you can not negotiate the timing of benefits. Meaning, if an employer says their benefits start after 90 days, they are not allowed to make exceptions to that without jeopardizing the plan. However, they may be willing to pay for your COBRA payments or payments to your independent provider until that time. In my role as a recruiter, this and vacation are the the things I negotiate the most.
I just mentioned vacation and throwing in an extra few days or week is something that employers are fairly willing to do. There could be other perks as well that they may be willing to negotiate. Things like working from home, expense accounts and relocation assistance are all examples of things that could be added at the time of offer.
If an employer knows that the base salary is not where you want to be, but it is the highest they are able to offer then the more likely they are to negotiate something else with you. The trick for the job seeker is to make yourself so wanted that they are willing to do everything they can to get you on board.
Easy peasy right?!?
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