Negotiating is part of the process of finding your perfect job and there are many things to consider when accepting a job offer.
Many people simply accept a company's first job offer without considering a counteroffer. Sometimes candidates don’t realize there’s room to negotiate.
Trust, there almost always is, especially if you want to negotiate non-salary perks! Other times the decision not to negotiate and just accept the position is based on fear.
Candidates worry the job offer might disappear if they appear too pushy.
The truth is once you receive an offer, you're in a position with a lot of power! The company extended an offer to you because they want to hire you.
It’s a lot of work for a recruiter to find a qualified, hire-worthy candidate, so employers are incentivized to work with you to get you to sign on the dotted line.
So take the opportunity to negotiate your terms and decide what perks really matter to you before accepting the position.
Evaluating a job offer, including the entire compensation package when negotiating a job offer, is important. Often, job seekers focus on salary. But there's so much more you can negotiate.
Even if an employer isn’t willing to budge on your annual salary, you can negotiate other terms of your employment.
Here is your evaluating a job offer checklist with 12 other things to consider negotiating a job offer that isn’t your base salary:
1. vacation days.
We could all use some extra vacation days and work if balance is important. So, see what the company offers and negotiate for more from your employer.
In Canada, workers are entitled to 2 weeks of vacation by default. Some companies offer more to entice workers—3 or 4 weeks isn’t uncommon in many industries.
Some even have ‘unlimited’ vacation—though this is tougher to ask for. Ensure your request is reasonable and aligned with someone with your experience and seniority.
Vacation time is something to consider when accepting a job offer. Unwilling to use your entire vacation allowance? Learn why it's crucial to make the most of all your vacation days.
2. flexible hours.
Companies are more willing than ever to provide employees with flexible work hours.
If you have family commitments or strongly value a good work-life balance, ask your employer to provide you with greater hourly flexibility in your job offer.
The ability to set your own schedule while maintaining a certain number of work hours is a common option.
Maybe you want to be able to leave earlier some days to pick up your kids or attend a fitness class.
Or you like sleeping in and would rather start later and stay at work a bit later as well. Flexible work can take many forms and can be an important factor when evaluating a job offer.
3. signing bonus.
Talent is in high demand, and companies want you to accept the position.
In Canada, we’re in a period of sustained low unemployment. That means the competition to score great talent is high.
It’s common in some industries, and for in-demand roles, for hiring companies to offer a signing bonus. Before accepting an offer, check to see if this is common in your industry.
If so, request one instead of a higher salary if the hiring company is unwilling to increase your annual salary.
4. a higher commission rate.
Do you work in sales or a performance-based industry? When evaluating a job offer, consider asking for a higher commission percentage.
This allows you to profit off of your skills and is attractive to employers because you only get paid if you’re successful.
If you’re confident in your sales ability and don’t mind that your salary may fluctuate monthly, negotiating a higher commission can increase your salary long-term and offset a lower-than-desired base salary.
Asking for a higher commission is an important factor before accepting the position because the better you perform, the more money you can make in the role.
5. retirement savings matching
A job offer can benefit you now and in the future. It’s important to think about your future and how to build long-term security, such as retirement plans.
Ask about pensions and retirement savings matching programs.
Though pensions are uncommon these days, many companies offer matching RRSPs based on your contributions; between 50% and 100% matches are common.
Something to consider when accepting a job offer is a retirement plan.
6. working from home.
Hate commuting, wishing for a better work-life balance? Think you can get more accomplished in the quiet, peacefulness of your home?
Something to consider when accepting a job offer would be to have the flexibility to work from home.
Depending on your role, it could be full-time, part-time, or a hybrid, depending on your needs.
If you’re new to working from home, consider asking for one day to work from home per week, and go from there.
If it’s successful, after accepting the position, you may be able to make a case for even more work-from-home days going forward.
7. stock options.
Another key important factor before accepting the position and a great way to get financially compensated for your work is through stock options.
If your employer is a publicly traded company, they may offer you company stocks or a stock matching plan.
This potential company offering can give you bonus stocks based on how much you invest in company stocks as part of your compensation.
8. relocation expenses.
Are you moving to take a new job in a different city? This is something very important to consider when accepting a job offer.
It’s important to ask about relocation expenses when negotiating your job offer.
Many companies will offer one-time moving expenses to help you find a new home and transfer all your belongings to a new location.
9. ongoing professional development.
Continuing your professional development and constantly updating your skills are key to progressing in your career.
When evaluating a job offer, inquire about professional development allowances and programs when you get your job offer.
Ask about a budget for furthering your education and internal training & development opportunities.
If you’re a new grad, tuition reimbursement may also be worth asking for, depending on the company offering.
10. a better job title.
If you’ve been offered a job but don’t feel the title reflects your level of experience or responsibilities, ask about changing it to a better title.
Job titles are things to consider when accepting a job offer, and they can be somewhat subjective and open to interpretation.
Before accepting the position, it never hurts to ask your employer for a more senior or other preferred title if you feel strongly about it.
This tends to be something employers are open to negotiating on as it costs them absolutely nothing.
11. childcare expenses.
When accepting a job offer, companies may be willing to pay a portion or all of your childcare and daycare expenses.
Some companies also have onsite childcare facilities, which you can access for free or at a highly subsidized rate.
If you have young children, before accepting an offer, ask if the company offers these types of programs as part of your compensation package.
12. expense reimbursements.
Something to consider when accepting a job offer is your pocket expenses or use of personal devices.
You can often negotiate reimbursements for daily transportation, travel to other cities, mobile phones, laptops, meals, client entertainment, and many other expenses required for you to do your job.
Some companies may also provide company resources (such as a car or phone) for you to use for free as long as you’re with the company.
Make sure you double-check with the employer before accepting a job offer.
Job offers are negotiable, and we hope that evaluating a job offer checklist helps to guide you in the right direction.
Be ready and willing to negotiate the terms of your job offer, or you could miss out on additional financial compensation, health insurance, flexibility, retirement plans, etc.