Everything But Pay: How to Negotiate for All Other Aspects of Your Compensation Package

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A man sitting on a chair handing over a paycheck.

Most people would think of monetary payment when it comes to compensation and benefits packages. It’s true that salary usually takes center stage when discussing compensation and negotiation, but it’s not the only factor you should focus on.

Aside from your pay, you should also think of other aspects of the compensation package to effectively negotiate for the most ideal offer. In this blog, we’ll ensure that you’re equipped to ask for equal compensation through effective negotiation.

 

Non-Financial Aspects of a Compensation Package

This refers to the various benefits, perks, or work arrangements beyond an employee’s base salary. While monetary payment is often regarded as the most essential, non-financial benefits can add immense value to an employee’s needs and satisfaction. These additional packages demonstrate the company’s commitment to valuing their employees and supporting their professional growth and experience within the organization.

While finding employers with attractive financial benefits would often be someone’s first choice, make sure to check out the whole package that can still set you up for a more fulfilling and rewarding career.

Here are a few examples of common non-monetary benefits companies offer:

  • Paid Time Off and Vacation Days
  • Healthcare Benefits
  • Flexible Hours and Work Arrangements
  • Childcare and Parental Leaves
  • Relocation Expenses
  • Equity or Stock Options
  • Performance Bonus
  • Annual Bonus
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Retirement Plans

Read More: In-Demand: 18 Highest-Paying Tech Skills for 2023 and Beyond

 

What If the Salary Is Too Low? Here’s What You Need to Do

Whether during the interview process or after receiving a job offer, negotiating salary and your total compensation is necessary to ensure the best offer. It can also improve your career trajectory and unlock greater growth potential compared to what’s initially offered.

Becoming active in deciding your compensation package is a vital step but can be overwhelming for some. To help you get a step closer to choosing the best job offer, here are some of the best negotiation tips for your overall package:

 

1. Identify Your Priorities

Before entering negotiations, it’s crucial to first reflect on your priorities. Identify which non-financial aspects of the compensation package are the most important to you. Don’t rush; you can always ask about salary in the second interview.

This introspective process should involve careful consideration of personal circumstances, career goals, and your overall lifestyle preferences. Some individuals may prioritize work-life balance and flexible work arrangements, while others may emphasize professional development opportunities or a supportive company culture.

Having clear priorities enables you to make informed decisions and negotiate well. This increases your chances of receiving the benefits you’re aiming for.

 

2. Conduct Thorough Research

Effective negotiation hinges on being well-informed and armed with relevant data. To make sure you’re ready for the discussion, dedicate ample time to conduct thorough research on industry standards and benchmarks related to the non-financial aspects you want.

This research should include what other companies within the industry offer their employees and any relevant regional or sector-specific trends. Gathering comprehensive information can help you better understand the market and prepare for the negotiation.

 

3. Build a Strong Case

With clear wants and thorough research, you would be able to build a compelling case to support your requests. To successfully do this, you need to create reasonable arguments strengthened by logic and data.

For example, you want to negotiate to work from home instead of coming into the office. Aside from stating reasons like long commutes and complicated work schedules, you can also back up your argument with data. You can mention that a pulse survey by Slack found that remote workers were 29 percent more productive than those without any work flexibility.1 Also, your case would significantly improve if you could prove this in your previous job.

When building a strong case, remember not to focus entirely on what you want and why. You also need to highlight the potential benefits for your employers. This improves the chances of them accepting your requests.

 

4. Prepare Negotiation Strategies

Effective negotiation requires a well-thought-out strategy using various techniques and approaches. By preparing negotiation strategies in advance, you can increase your chances of success and ensure a smooth and productive negotiation process.

 

Framing Technique

This strategy requires you to frame your requests in a positive light. This can help you highlight the benefits both you and your employer can receive.

For example, imagine you’re asking them to repay your tuition. Instead of focusing on improving your skills to land the next job title, you can explain how new knowledge can contribute to the improvement of the company.

 

OTW Approach

Another effective negotiation strategy is the OTW approach, which clearly defines three key elements: the open position, the target outcome, and the walkaway point.

 

Open Position is your initial request or proposal presented to the employer. This should be reasonable and well-supported but leave room for negotiation.

Target Outcome represents your ideal or desired outcome from the negotiation. Try to balance being ambitious but still realistic and justifiable based on prepared research and arguments.

Walkaway Point is the minimum acceptable outcome you’re unwilling to compromise. It serves as a predetermined boundary that ensures you don’t settle terms that fail to meet your core needs.

 

Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers (MESO)

This strategy involves presenting multiple equivalent offers or options simultaneously rather than negotiating one aspect at a time.2

For example, you could propose three different compensation package scenarios, each with a different combination of non-financial aspects. By presenting multiple equivalent options, you demonstrate flexibility and increase the chances of getting a better compensation package.

 

5. Build Rapport Before Negotiations

Before discussing non-financial aspects of the compensation package, you need to prioritize building rapport and establishing a foundation of mutual understanding with your potential employer.

One way to achieve this is by actively listening to the employer’s perspectives, concerns, and priorities during the interview process. By demonstrating genuine interest in the company’s values, culture, and goals, you can position yourself as a potential partner invested in the organization’s success.

This approach can help create an atmosphere of open communication. Hence, employers may feel less apprehensive to listen to you.

 

6. Anticipate Objections and Concerns

Remember that employers won’t easily agree to your requests, even if they’re reasonable or backed by research. As a candidate, you need to accept this fact.

But, instead of easily giving up, it’s best to offer possible solutions and be prepared to address potential objections and concerns that the employer may raise regarding your requested compensation package.

For example, if your job search led you to a company that can’t financially fund comprehensive healthcare benefits, you can propose options with lower premiums but adequate coverage.

 

7. Remain Flexible and Open-Minded

Not all negotiations are successful. You can’t always receive all the benefits you hoped to get. In scenarios like these, being flexible and open-minded is vital.

Successful negotiations often involve compromises and creative solutions that may not have been initially considered. Make sure to listen to your employer’s perspective. Communicate possible alternatives and explore other combinations of benefits for your total compensation package.

By remaining flexible, you demonstrate your willingness to collaborate and find mutually agreeable solutions rather than engaging in a rigid negotiation style. This fosters a positive relationship between you and your employer while laying the foundations for your potential career.

 

ALLOW STRATEGIC SYSTEMS TO BE YOUR CAREER ADVOCATE

Advocating for yourself in front of potential employers can be a challenge. Lucky for you, Strategic Systems is here to help you advance your career.

With nearly two decades of being a trusted personnel provider, we have built a strong network of clients that you can utilize in your job search. We have the experience and strategies to champion your needs and priorities.

Contact us today to start a conversation!

 

References

  1. Thier, Jane. “Bosses, You’re Wrong: Remote Workers Are More Productive than Your In-office Employees.” Fortune, 21 Oct. 2022, fortune.com/2022/10/20/remote-hybrid-workers-are-more-productive-slack-future-forum/.
  2. “MESO Negotiation: The Benefits of Making Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers in Business Negotiations.” Harvard Law School, 18 Jan. 2024, www.pon.harvard.edu/daily/dealmaking-daily/the-benefits-of-multiple-offers/.

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