5 things to consider when negotiating a job offer. HINT: It’s not just about money.

Its true money is important but it’s not the only thing to consider when negotiating an offer. It’s also true that there’s a right time to negotiate and that is only AFTER there is an offer on the table. Always let the employer or recruiter take the lead. Never ask about salary or compensation too early in the hiring process.

  1. Total Compensation takes into account the base salary and any other monetary benefits. There are cases where the employer offers a sign-on bonus. This is most common for positions where the person is leaving the job with “money on the table”. There may be commissions that won’t be realized or a bonus with a trigger date or some type of vesting. Other compensation in the form of a short-term, long-term or annual bonus, profit sharing and or commission.
  2. Commuting Costs Depending on where you live, the commute can cost hundreds of dollars. There are firms and companies who offer a subsidy or a free shuttle. These perks should be factored in.
  3. Flexible Work Schedule Most firms don’t offer work-from-home on day one. It’s just not the norm. Typically, it’s something that’s offered after a period of time, once a person has been able to learn the ropes and establish themselves. The other option is a flexible work schedule, either part-time or early or late shift. This is typical for the non-legal positions.
  4. Benefits Paid time off, health insurance, retirement plans and other benefits will be shared with you as part of your job offer. If you already, have 4 weeks vacation and the new firm is offering you 3, it’s ok to ask them to match it. Also check out the details regarding out-of-pocket costs for things like healthcare and employer match on retirement plans. These are items that are often overlooked but can make a big difference in your bank account.
  5. Training Attending Conferences, Obtaining Certifications, and Tuition Reimbursement are important for your professional development and career trajectory. Again, it’s smart to get as much information as possible regarding these items. Just make sure to bring it up at the right time and make it part of the conversation. “Last year, when I attended the Association of Corporate Counsel conference….”

One of the best things that a good recruiter will do for their client and candidate is facilitating the job offer. When handled properly, it takes away the awkwardness of negotiating directly and they have a lot of experience in this role. The ultimate goal is a positive result where everyone feels that the negotiations were handled fairly and both parties can start the business relationship on solid footing.