How to negotiate for more benefits in this labour scarce environment

CareerMay 19, 2022 09:44

2022 is the year of tight labour crunch and this situation is expected to persist for some time according to the latest statistics. This also means that now is the best time to negotiate a generous compensation package for that job offer. According to Straits Times, here are some tips that could help you at the bargaining table.


Reading the fine print carefully
If the company offers equity (restricted stock units or stock options) as an incentive for new hires, try asking for more than the starting offer. Companies are usually more willing to bump up your equity offer than increase your base salary. If you are leaving equity at your current employer, there is a good chance of having your new firm cover the cost of the shares you are forfeiting.

Ask as many questions about how equity incentives work during your interviews if the company does offer them. It is not uncommon to have companies offering you sign-on bonuses and equity, but they do come with strings attached. Pay attention to clauses that expect a minimum employment period (or else you need to return the cash). Restricted stock units are usually vested in batches over the years and employees can only cash them out during specific periods during the year. Therefore, you cannot exercise them until you reach your vesting date.


Be reasonable in your request for a sign-on bonus
Sometimes, firms are more willing to offer bonuses to candidates than to increase their base salary as this is only a one-time cost. Consider unvested equity grants, stock options or even tuition reimbursement funds you would have to repay to your current employer upon leaving for a start. Simply ask whether a sign-on bonus is available and have the employer name a number first. If pressed for your numbers, ask for 10 to 15 per cent of your base salary.


Request for paid time off before starting your work
You could also try to ask the company to allow you to start on the job but a request for an immediately paid vacation. This could benefit those who have been having burnout from working continuously during the pandemic and is looking to take a breather before starting a new job.


Have more than 1 interview 
Having competing offers from different companies would give you more bargaining power as it demonstrates to prospective employers that you are highly in demand. Even if you have received an attractive offer from your top choice, ask for a week to consider so you can assess competing offers from other companies. Ask for additional perks such as equity or flexible work conditions as additional benefits.

Are there other benefits that you would like to bring to the bargaining table? How would you go about negotiating?

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