Your Guide to
Negotiating a Job Offer

When planning on negotiating a job offer it is important to consider the full compensation package and not only the base salary.

Compute the dollar value of the benefits such as health care and retirement plans. Add this figure to the salary for a more accurate picture of the job offer. You also need to consider hidden benefits such as salary progression and training to properly assess the value of the offer.

Once you have an accurate evaluation of the whole job offer you can plan your negotiations around this. This guide to how to negotiate salary will help you get the job offer you want.

Compare the complete dollar value of the offer to your competitive market value in order to enter into successful salary negotiations.

Key to developing your negotiation strategy is to look at all the elements of the job offer. Decide what it will take to turn an unacceptable offer into an acceptable offer and which items you can negotiate.

1. Evaluate the benefits

Negotiating a job offer includes discussing the benefits.

work benefits

Benefits can add up to 35 percent of the total compensation. At December 2013, average total benefit costs as a percentage of total compensation costs were 30.9% (US Department of Labor) in private industry. In government jobs benefits accounted for 35.6% of total compensation.

Assess the value of these commonly offered benefits to you personally when evaluating your job offer. Put a direct $ value on each benefit.

  • Health Insurance 
  • Dental Insurance and Optical Insurance - often not part of a medical plan, so if this coverage is offered it is a bonus.
  • Life Insurance  - many companies provide a basic coverage which can be added to.
  • Disability Insurance
  • Retirement Plans - assess the value of the employer contributions and the plan as a whole.
  • Profit sharing/bonuses - find out the amount of the last three or so payouts relevant to your percentage/position to put a $ value to this benefit.
  • Stock options - consider how the stock has performed and how it is likely to perform in the future.
  • Tuition reimbursement - what further education and training will be of real value to you and what will any reimbursement offer be worth.
  • Child care - Consider both the $ value and intangibles such as convenience, peace-of mind and time-saving.
  • Employee Assistance Programs and Wellness Programs - counseling can be of great value to employees depending on their circumstances. Consider other aspects of these programs like health club membership and free medicals.
  • Overtime - while salaried employees are usually not paid overtime, some companies do compensate for time above an expected standard number of hours. This can take the form of overtime pay or bonus pay.
  • Parking - this often overlooked benefit can amount to a large amount over time, especially if you will be working in one of the high-cost parking cities.
  • Expense reimbursement - factor in business related costs that you will be reimbursed for including phone, laptop/tablet, car, entertainment.

2. Evaluate indirect benefits

Also consider benefits that provide personal satisfaction such as the number of leave days provided.

Apart from compensation what else does this job offer include? Consider these aspects before you begin negotiating a job offer.

  • Promotional opportunities that can be expected over the next 5 years.
  • Salary progression that can be anticipated during this time. How often do salary reviews take place?
  • Training that you receive on the job. What will this training translate into in terms of the value of your skills and experience, your goals and your overall job satisfaction.

After considering the entire compensation package and all its aspects you are in a position to decide what is most important to you. You will now know which benefits you want to negotiate in addition to the salary itself.

Negotiating a job offer requires two major steps. The planning which involves information gathering to develop an effective strategy for your job offer negotiation and communicating effectively with the employer to get the offer you want.

Prepare by knowing your competitive market value and company-value. Go to the steps discussed in salary negotiations to determine this.

Use the salary negotiation tips to get the job offer you want.

Job Offer Negotiation Letter

Negotiating a Job Offer Techniques

Accepting a Job Offer

Job Interviews > Negotiating Salary > Evaluate the Job Offer



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