It’s finally happened: After months of applying at many different companies, you’ve received a job offer. However, upon reading the offer, you find that the salary is lower than expected. Before you accept or reject the offer based on salary alone, remember that the company could adjust your benefits to make your whole compensation more attractive.
While the company may not be willing to negotiate a higher salary, they may be open to the idea of amending your benefits. To help you navigate this process with more confidence, I provide some tips below on how to ask for better benefits after a job offer.
What Are Benefits?
Compensation packages consist of more than just a salary. Companies also offer benefits to make their job offers more attractive to prospective employees.
Before you can negotiate better benefits, you must first understand the scope of possible benefits available to you. This will allow you to negotiate more strategically. Here are a few examples of common benefits that employers offer:
- Working remotely: If your job description allows for it, you could ask if there’s a possibility for you to work remotely, even if just for a part of the week.
- Annual leave: Having a few extra days of paid leave per year could compensate for a lower-than-expected salary.
- Gym stipend: If the company agrees to pay a portion or all of your monthly gym fees, you get to save that amount of money each month.
- Flexible hours: Flexible work hours can greatly enhance your quality of life. It basically means that you are able to take a longer lunch break when needed, or come in later, as long as you make up for the lost time, either by finishing your work on time or putting in extra hours at another time.
- Health insurance: Another benefit that directly translates into more money in your pocket is health insurance. If the company doesn’t want to push up your salary, ask them to cover a larger portion or all of your health insurance.
- Stock options: Instead of upping your salary, the company could also offer you shares in the business.
- Performance-based bonus: The company may be more open to offering you a performance-based bonus than a higher salary. You could negotiate a monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, or annual bonus with the company.
- Professional development: If you’re somebody who is passionate about growing as a professional, you can request financial assistance in this regard from the company.
Questions to Ask About Benefits Before Accepting a Job Offer
Asking about benefits after receiving a job offer is completely normal. The company will expect questions. You want to fully understand the value of what’s being offered before accepting.
Questions to Ask About Health Insurance
Health insurance can be the most costly and confusing benefit. When reviewing a health plan, here are some questions to ask:
- Are there different plan options to choose from? What are the differences in monthly premiums, copays, and deductibles for each option?
- Does the plan cover pre-existing conditions? Are there exclusions?
- Is prescription drug coverage included? What’s the copay for generic and brand name drugs?
- What medical providers and facilities are in-network? Is my current doctor in-network?
- Does the plan offer telehealth options to see doctors online?
- What is the annual out-of-pocket maximum I would pay?
Questions About Retirement Plans
Retirement plans like 401(k)s help you invest and save for the future. When reviewing retirement benefits, you want to know:
- Does the company offer matching contributions? How much of your contribution do they match?
- When do you become eligible for the match? Is there a waiting period?
- What are the investment options? Does the plan offer low-fee index funds?
- Can you take out a loan against your balance if needed?
- When do you become fully vested in the employer contributions?
- Can you roll over funds from a previous 401(k) plan?
Make Sure You Understand PTO Policies
Paid time off allows you to recharge. Be sure to understand the details by asking:
- How many vacation and sick days do you earn per year? Can unused days rollover or be cashed out?
- When can you start taking paid vacation? Is there a waiting period?
- Does the company offer personal days or floating holidays in addition to vacation time?
- Is there a company shutdown during December or summer when employees must use PTO?
- What’s the policy for requesting and having PTO approved? How far in advance must requests be made?
- Can you take PTO in hourly increments, or is a certain minimum required?
How To Ask for Better Benefits After a Job Offer
Asking a potential employer for added benefits can seem daunting, especially if it’s the only job offer you’ve received in a while, or it’s a position you really want. If you tackle this process in a professional way, however, you may find that the employer is quite happy to reconsider your benefits. Here are a few tips that you may find helpful.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
If you’re not entirely happy with the package that the company is offering you, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for a higher salary or more benefits.
If you’re not sure how to ask for more information about a job offer, the first step is to realize that it’s quite normal for prospective employees to request more information, or to ask for amendments after receiving an offer.
As a matter of fact, most employers expect that potential employees will try to negotiate a better offer. As such, they may initially offer you less than they’re actually willing to give. Settling for an offer that you’re not completely OK with is not advisable.
First, as I have mentioned, the company may actually be expecting you to negotiate a better deal. Second, you may start your new position with less motivation and positivity than you would have had you received a better offer, and this is not ideal.
Ask for Benefits That Will Make Your Life Better
As I have mentioned before, you should inform yourself about the possible benefits a company could offer. Doing so will provide you with a comprehensive scope of ideas and possibilities and will allow you to think more creatively.
It may be helpful to write down a list of possible benefits and to then consider which benefits would make the offer more appealing to you. In short, benefits may translate into more money in your pocket or improved quality of life.
Being able to work remotely, for instance, will save you money and time since you will not have to commute to and from work. More paid annual leave, again, will improve your work/life balance and your overall well-being.
Get Everything in Writing
It is important that you keep any emails that involve your negotiations with the company. One never knows what will transpire in the future and keeping a paper trail will avoid any misunderstandings that may pop up during and after the negotiations.
If the negotiations are mostly taking place in face-to-face meetings or phone calls, you should request that what has been said be sent to you in writing, either in email or in an official document.
In any event, you should receive an amended version of the offer letter, in which the additional benefits that the employer has promised are included before you sign it.
Be Prepared To Compromise
One of the most crucial aspects of successful negotiation is the willingness to compromise. In the end, employers aren’t perfect and neither are you. Guard against being too insistent on having all your requirements met.
If the employer compromises by agreeing to some of your requests, you should also be willing to compromise from your side by accepting that you may not receive all the benefits you’ve asked for.
While it’s great to receive the exact salary and benefits you want, even a job with a less-than-perfect compensation package can be hugely beneficial to your career. You will learn new hard and soft skills, which will equip you for a better job in the future.
However, if the employer is completely unwilling to amend your compensation package and the offer is well below the average offer for the position, you may do well to move on and keep applying.
Keep the Relationship Intact
It’s vital that you focus on honing a good relationship with your prospective employer throughout your communication and negotiations. Remember, in the end, employers are far more likely to consider your requests and make compromises if they like you.
You need to remain professional and polite throughout the process. In addition, maintaining a good relationship requires that you keep a balance between being self-confident and asking for what you deserve and coming across as arrogant and greedy.
How To Ask About Benefits After a Job Offer Email Sample
How to ask for more information about a job offer and also requiring additional benefits can be tricky. Here’s an example on how to ask about benefits in an email. It may be helpful to you when you’re drafting your own request.
Dear Mr. Harris,
As I have mentioned before, I am very excited about the prospect of becoming part of the team at DataConnect. As per our previous conversations, the company is not able to offer me a higher salary. I understand that the company is under budget constraints and that my salary will be reviewed in a year.
While I accept the company’s position and really want to work for DataConnect, I do feel that the compensation package that you’re offering me is below the average for a professional with my level of experience.
I want to ask whether the company would consider adjusting my benefits. I would be very grateful if the company could perhaps offer me:
- A gym allowance
- Increased health benefits
- The ability to work remotely on some days of the week
If the company could add these benefits to my compensation package, I would be very happy to wait a year for my salary review.
I hope I don’t come across as too forward in making these requests. I have financial obligations and responsibilities, as you no doubt understand, and I would ideally like to start this new chapter of my professional life without having to worry too much about meeting these.
How To Ask About Salary And Benefits In An Email
Here is another email example on how to ask about salary and benefits in a job offer:
Dear Ms. Lee,
I wanted to thank you again for the job offer to join ACME Company as a Marketing Manager. I’m thrilled by the opportunity and am inclined to accept the offer. Before finalizing my decision, I had a few follow up questions about the compensation package. I want to fully understand the complete value being offered, including both salary and benefits.
In terms of salary, the offer was for $60,000 annually. Does ACME have any flexibility in the starting salary for this role? I was hoping for something closer to the $65,000 – $70,000 range based on my research of industry averages. Do you think there could be room to negotiate on base pay?
Regarding the benefits, I had a few questions:
- For the health insurance plan, what is the monthly premium I would pay? Are dental and vision included? What is the annual deductible and out-of-pocket maximum?
- For the 401(k) plan, does ACME provide any matching contributions? If so, when do I become eligible for the match?
- How many vacation and sick days will I earn each year? Is there a waiting period before I can use them?
- Are there any other perks like gym reimbursement, tuition assistance, or commuter benefits?
I want to make sure I fully understand the compensation and benefits package before accepting. This will allow me to make the best decision for my financial situation. Please let me know if you need any clarification on my questions. I’m excited at the prospect of joining the ACME Company team! If we can align on salary and benefits, I am ready to accept.
Thank you, [Your name]