The Negotiator Magazine

Back to Index

prev 1 2 3 4 5 next
download printable version (MS Word .doc)

Candidates must not only focus on salary information, but also realize the degree to which fringe benefits may be negotiable. Hiring officials usually provide candidates with brochures describing the fringe benefits available to firm employees. These should be carefully reviewed. They usually include health coverage, a retirement plan, and other options most workers need. Candidates should not hesitate to ask whether there are other fringe benefits the firm might cover completely or with supplemental premiums they may have to pay. If they are already covered under their spouse's health plan, they may be able to trade such coverage for a higher salary or other fringe benefits such as child care or dental coverage.

Candidates who hope to obtain additional perks, such as flexible work hours, reimbursement for professional dues, travel to professional conferences, reimbursement for external training courses, or free or subsidized parking, should raise these issues. Even if they are unable to obtain the terms they specifically request, the employer may agree to enhance their base salary or offer to substitute other fringe benefits for the ones they don't provide.

Candidates should ask about the specific requirements of the job being offered. What are the job responsibilities involved? Is travel required and how much? Does the company provide employees with professional development courses? What advancement opportunities are available to qualified personnel? Can they anticipate continued employment if their performance remains exemplary? Although most private company employees are retained on an employment-at-will basis, meaning that they can be terminated at any time for almost any reason, firms that promise continued employment for good performance are less likely to exercise this option without a valid reason.

Once candidates have obtained all of the relevant information with respect to the offered position, they must decide whether to accept the offer. Are they being offered an opportunity commensurate with their professional goals? They must be aware of the impact of psychological entrapment and be certain they are not seeking this position solely because they have recently been denied other opportunities they really wished to obtain. People who are rejected for good positions are often depressed and looking for a "victory," They may have even told their colleagues they plan to leave their current employer, and feel pressure to do so quickly. They then locate a position they would not normally seek, but go after it merely because it is available. Individuals who have been looking for employment for a number of months should be especially careful not to apply for positions they know would not advance their careers or personal objectives. When they are finally offered employment, they should review their long-term objectives and be sure they are not accepting this position to make up for better opportunities they have recently lost. If they fail to consider this possibility, they may experience "winner's curse" and accept positions they never really wanted to obtain.

prev 1 2 3 4 5 next
Back to Index


September 2005