Negotiating Benefits & Salary Made Simple
- Prior to the benefits and salary negotiation process, take the time to research what the position you are being offered typically pays, both at this company and at others. Consider your level of experience, education and training, and whether it is comparable to your predecessor. Also take into account the cost of living in the area if you are relocating for the job. Be prepared to discuss your current and previous salaries and benefits packages with the employer during the negotiation, and do not exaggerate or lie about what you’ve earned.
- When an employer makes an initial salary and benefits offer, the U.S. Department of State recommends that you hesitate before responding and think it over, even if you are sure you are going to accept. If the employer only quotes a salary figure, ask for more information on the entire compensation package, including vacation time and sick leave, health insurance and other company benefits and perks. It is perfectly acceptable, and in some cases, desirable, to ask the employer to give you a day or two to consider his offer.
- Regardless of whether you feel the salary offer is outstanding or awful, it is important to demonstrate positive, enthusiastic behavior when negotiating benefits and salary. If you want the job but require a better compensation package, acting disdainful or unhappy will reflect poorly on you as a prospective employee. Make it clear throughout the process that you are excited about joining the company, and stay focused on explaining what you can do for the company, not why you need a higher salary or better benefits.
- When it comes time to offer a counterproposal to the salary and benefits the employer has offered, be prepared to justify your request with proof that you will be a valued part of the company. This may include emphasizing your experience, special training or awards and achievements. Stay positive and avoid acting aggressive during negotiations. When you and the employer have settled on an acceptable salary and benefits package, get that offer in writing.