It’s natural to focus on money when we talk about salary negotiation. But benefits are part of compensation, too — and often pretty valuable ones. The right health insurance plan can save you cash both in terms of paycheck deductions and costs at the doctor’s office, for example, while employer-matching 401(k) can boost your savings for retirement.
As important as those benefits are, you probably don’t have much leverage when it comes to negotiating them. Most employers standardize their offerings when it comes to health insurance and retirement benefits. But that doesn’t mean you can’t up your earnings by asking for other, less well-known perks. This year’s Salary Negotiation Guide offers tips on negotiating benefits that will pay off in the long run:
You won’t always get the salary increase you ask for, but scoring one or more of these benefits could help make up the shortfall. If you can finagle more time off, better educational benefits, or free phone service/gym memberships, you might be able to trim expenses and enjoy better work-life balance.
You probably don’t think of your job title as a benefit, but it could have a big impact on where you go after this job. Negotiate a better one, and you could ascend the ladder more quickly. (Wind up with a weird one that doesn’t translate to a standard role, and you could have a lot of explaining to do.) Find out about other benefits you might be overlooking, in this piece.
Whether you’re negotiating benefits or salary, it helps to know what your bargaining partner is thinking. (Or, in the absence of mind-reading technology, at least their general perspective.)
In the end, both employer and employee are on the same side. The employee wants to be paid fairly for their labor, and the employer wants to pay them a wage that enable them to do their best work … while not blowing up the company’s budget, of course. Understand where HR is coming from, and your conversation will be a lot easier and more productive for all involved.
Tell Us What You Think
What’s the best benefit you’ve ever negotiated? We want to hear from you. Give us your tips in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.