Receiving an offer of employment can be very exciting. You’ve worked hard, interviewed well, and jumped through several hiring hoops to beat out the competition. But what if the salary offer seems too low?
The first thing to remember is that there is much more to compensation than salary. Some companies pride themselves on a robust benefits package, with things like health insurance, 401(k) matching funds, paid time off, holidays, etc., all of which add up to extra (and sometimes hidden) compensation beyond just the rate of pay. Make sure you take the value of the entire compensation package into consideration when evaluating your job offer, and know that some companies may be more willing or able to negotiate benefits than salary. This could be especially true in organizations with limited financial resources. Something as simple as a flexible work schedule may be tremendously valuable to you – perhaps more so than extra money – and might cost the company nothing.
Second, if you receive an offer that you feel is low, and you wish to make a counter offer, make sure you do your homework first. What do you know about the job duties and responsibilities? What do you know about the company and its financial position? What do you know about the market value for your skill set? What do you know about the company’s benefits package? Be well prepared, and have a good sense for what a similar position pays at other companies in the area. Know what you want, and if you think it’s fair, ask for it. By doing your research, your counter offer will be based on data, rather than a gut feeling, which can often yield better results.
So do your research, look at the whole compensation picture and don’t be afraid to have the conversation.
Tom Parent, ‘89
Director of Human Resources and Information Technology
Hayward Tyler, Inc.