10 things to negotiate besides salary
Date posted: 20th Feb 2014
When you get a job offer from a potential employer, a popular misconception is that salary is the only thing that is negotiable. Of course, there are some things you probably won’t be able to negotiate – a nicer boss or a less crumbly building, for example – but there are plenty that you can, and often should, try to discuss.
If you are working with a recruiter it can be best to discuss your expectations with them, as they will be able to use their close relationships with the client to convince then on your behalf and negotiate a package that suits you. If you are dealing with the company direct you will need to have clear ideas about what you will say and what you would be happy to accept before you begin negotiating.
Here are some common examples that may apply to you…
This may be more obvious than some of the other things on this list, but it’s still worth mentioning. Your bonus, if you are eligible for one, is a critical part of your remuneration and negotiating this will come as no surprise to most employers. Whether the actual amount is open to discussion or not, you may also want to ask about the conditions for receiving it, as you will want to make sure these are realistic.
Similar to above in that this can form a significant part of your earnings and therefore something that you will want to be happy with before signing a contract. This is particularly prevalent for roles that offer a low basic salary, with commission making up the bulk of your income, where small changes in rates can have a huge impact on your life.
3. An earlier salary review
Even if your salary and your bonus are set in stone, you may still be able to get your employer to agree to reconsider them at an earlier date than planned. They may well be more likely to agree to this since they are not guaranteeing an increase, and hence there is less risk involved for the employer. But it will give you a chance to earn the right to a higher salary sooner than expected should you impress sufficiently.
It can be difficult to change your title if it forms part of a strict hierarchy of positions, and changes in seniority are unlikely, but there will be times when you might be able to adjust it slightly to better fit either the role you see yourself performing or the way you want to be perceived. And if you can provide a business case for making this change you will help your cause enormously.
5. Better resources
If you know that specific software packages or equipment will help you perform better then now is a good time to mention them. As much as companies may try to limit their expenditure, this would actually be a positive for the business and, as above, if you can present a sound reason for wanting them they will be more likely to consider.
Many organisations preach the benefits of learning and development, but once an employee settles into a role the business may feel less need to offer training. If you believe it would be useful for your personal development, or (even better) would help you perform your role better, you can make this clear before you sign so in order to guarantee the company will pay for or provide it.
If you are looking to enter into a pension scheme you might be able to negotiate what your employer’s contribution will be towards this. There are new regulations being introduced which will ensure all businesses must contribute in future, but even before these come into play many companies will still help you out and even match whatever you’re putting in.
These can come in any number of forms – gym membership or health insurance being two common examples – and you should find out what’s being offered before you begin negotiating. This can be useful in two ways: you may of course be able to acquire more or better benefits but also if these benefits don’t match those you had in a previous role, you might be able to use this to negotiate an improved deal in another area.
9. Car allowance
Instead of a company car, many businesses will offer a car allowance, which you will likely receive monthly in addition to your regular salary. Don’t be fooled though, this is as much up for negotiation as your salary itself, especially if you have specific needs in this area.
10. Working hours
Your hours are not something you should discuss without reason, as this can show a lack of commitment, but people travelling long distances or with children in particular can have a good case for beginning work later or finishing earlier.