Things have changed since early 2020. A lot!

The pandemic changed many things about the world of work, including how best to negotiate your salary/benefits when accepting a new position. We quit our jobs at unprecedented rates in 2021 and 2022 due to the how the pandemic changed employee and employer needs (a ton more remote work opportunities, for example), as well as rising inflation. Such circumstances meant a really tight job market, which forced businesses to raise pay, doing so more quickly than had in years.

Those days are over and while inflation is cooling and there are more jobs available than workers to fill them, the proverbial tide has turned: This is NOT the go-go days when candidates could ask for the moon, stars and sun (and have a rather good chance of getting it). Yet, if you have the type of skills a company wants you should be able to find work quickly.

Yet benefits are a big expense to employers: according to one study, “it’s estimated that U.S. employers spend around $41.03 per hour worked for private industry workers. That includes an average of $28.97 per hour for wages and salary and $12.06 per hour for benefits, which is 29.4% of total compensation costs.”

As the job market has cooled a bit for job seekers, so also has employer benefits tended to become less robust.

You could get a better benefits package with a bit of negotiation.

Don’t worry this isn’t hard. Here are some tips to help you negotiate your employee benefits:

  • Once you receive the offer, thank the hiring manager. Do so with true enthusiasm.
  • You should do some research before interviewing for the position: what are the standard benefits for the business sector and role. See if there are some of these “standards” could be improved.
  • Once you decide to start negotiate, be specific and clear regarding what you’re looking for, whether that’s a better employer retirement account contribution or better health insurance. Decide beforehand what’s a “must have” to you and what you’re willing to “give up.” Doing so means you can show you’re willing to negotiate and even “let go of” something you want.
  • As you ask for them, make sure to tell the hiring manager how these benefits will enhance your engagement and productivity on the job.

Finally, remember that the art of negotiation means you probably will have to “give something up,” or at least decide that you’ll accept something less than what you truly want.

The main thing to remember is to know absolutely what your bottom line/”I can’t go lower than this” limit truly is. (Only you can decide that.)

Also, make sure you are open to negotiation as it truly is a two-way street.

Very important note:

If you’re working with a staffing company while looking for work, understand that the pay you will receive in a temporary position/temp-to-hire position is already set. (You’ll probably receive a raise once you go on the client’s payroll if in a temp-to-hire assignment.)

If you’re working with a recruiter on a direct-hire position, the recruiter will negotiate salary and benefits on your behalf. You should never negotiate on your own: you may find that the employer rescinds its offer if you do.

Learn more about how Debbie’s Staffing can help you find temporary and even direct-hire positions.