According to Bloomberg View, while companies have increased efforts to fill key positions, employers are also being extremely picky and candidates may be up against some tough competition for the most desirable positions.
If you are lucky enough to land the job offer, no doubt you used your unique personal branding to help you get the nod. Unfortunately, even when you land a great job, negotiating for a higher salary may not be an option. However, negotiation for perks can be almost as valuable as additional salary.
Top New Job Perks
Some of the perks you can expect to be offered or which you might want to negotiate into your contract include:
- Stocks: Gain a little piece of the company you work for with stocks. The best scenario involves the ability to buy company stock as an option. Otherwise, you may get into some tax concerns later on.
- Telecommuting: If a company offers you a pay that is a bit lower than you were expecting, you might be able to accept that offer if you could reduce commuting costs. If your commute is more than 20-30 miles each way, talk to them about the possibility of making part of your work week a telecommuting situation. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 36% of employees would choose the ability to telecommute over a pay raise.
- Education/Training: A company may also pay for additional training or education in your area of specialty. This benefits the company because you are better trained and more valuable, and it benefits you because you increase your value without any additional out-of-pocket costs.
- Extra Vacation: Another area you may be able to negotiate more easily is vacation or personal days. If you have young children at home, these can be extremely beneficial for attending class field trips or for those times when everyone comes down with the latest stomach bug. Even four or five days of extra vacation time can come in handy. Ritika Trikha over at US News and World Report suggests asking for more vacation days than you’d like, so you’ll have some room to negotiate if the employer doesn’t want to give you as many as you’d like.
- Health and Wellness Plans: The cost of staying healthy can put a serious dent in your paycheck. Beyond health insurance and out of pocket costs, you have to consider wellness: eating right and staying active. If you’re not lucky enough to work at Google or Institute for Integrative Nutrition, chances are you don’t have on-site health services or a professional chef. You may be able to negotiate for gym memberships or wellness programs to help, though.
- Company Vehicle: The use of a company vehicle can save you a bundle, especially if you are just getting started on your own. You can avoid high monthly car payments and likely insurance costs as most companies insure the vehicles they own. Some companies even cover fuel costs for work-related trips.
- Family Care: Leaving your children to go to work all day is hard enough, you shouldn’t have to worry about them on top of it. Many employers understand this situation and are willing to be flexible with taking off for important events or when your child is ill, but it’s still worth negotiating for additional family benefits like back up childcare services or extended parental leave. And, if they say no, try Facebook – they not only give four months of paid parental leave, but also reimbursement for day care and adoption fees and $4,000 in baby cash.
- Flex Time: The ability to set your own hours works better with some companies than others. If your industry isn’t as strict as the financial market, you may be able to set up a deal where you work the hours you want as long as they are consistent number each week and you’re getting your work done. This can be invaluable for families or those with secondary interests, such as musicians.
How to Ask for the Perks
If you have the offer in hand and already understand the current job benefits, it’s probably time for negotiating the job offer:
- First, look at the different areas above and see if any appeal to you. If there are other areas that are important, include them too.
- Consider the company making the job offer. Will the benefit you desire work for their company? Is flex time even a possibility? Is it a small office where additional sick days will be a hardship? Look at the request from their point of view before asking for it.
- Put your counter offer in writing, and at least ask for a revised offer letter if they agree.
Setting the Right Tone
Remain polite, ask for what you want, but do so with reason. Show the company how it benefits them as well as you, and they are more likely to go along with your counteroffer.
When deciding whether to take a job offer or not, look at all the aspects of the company. Consider health benefits, possibility for raises, and even take a look at small perks, such as an on-premises gym or free annual tickets to local sporting events. Looking at the big picture will help you make an educated decision about whether or not the job is a good fit for you.