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Should You Use benefits To Calculate Your Salary?

Negotiating salaries is by far the most complicated part of the job search. It never fails when I ask a candidate what they are looking for in terms of compensation and I get at least one person that starts in on their salary requirements by listing all of their benefits as part of their salary. I get why they think it's a good idea, but I'm here to tell you that it NEVER goes over well with the hiring manager. It is seen as a way to inflate their salary instead of focusing on the value they bring to the table. The hiring manager is instantly suspicious and I have to tap dance for the candidate. It makes the negotiations ten times more difficult and doesn't help you start off on the right foot.

Here is the best advice I have for negotiating your salary. You will be asked either what are you looking for in terms of compensation OR What are you currently earning. The laws are slowly but surely changing to where at some point in the near future companies aren't allowed to ask that so we can help with wage disparities. You have to remember that the hiring manager is trying to do their job by coming in under budget or may even be hampered by a low budget and the candidate is always wanting to make improvements to their compensation. Both can be honored if done right.

Do your market research. Look on, and other career sites that list salaries in your geographical area.

  1. Have your current benefits listed out for your own knowledge and what they are worth to your bottom line.

  2. Ask in your pre-screen if there is a range they can share for the role.

  3. Determine what the range you are comfortable with is.

When asked what you are looking for in terms of compensation your answer is always this:

"Based on my expertise, current compensation package, and market research I am seeking compensation in the range of ____."

If the benefits package being offered is significantly worse then you can simply say, "My current benefits package is much stronger, I understand some of those things are not in your control. I would accept the role if you can increase my base salary to ___."

Hope this helps when negotiating your next career move!

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