In it for the long haul
Ask yourself, where do I hope to be in five years’ time? For employers, retaining talent within a business is just as important as securing it. So if you are not offered the starting salary you were expecting, take into account the attractiveness of the overall benefits package. A potential hirer may also offer perks such as pensions, health care, childcare vouchers or flexible working arrangements so ensure you research what you may be entitled to before you rule out opportunities.
For in-house lawyers, company secretaries and senior finance staff , we’ve seen an increase in Long Term Incentive Plans (LTI) being offered as a way to not only draw talent in, but also retain it. LTI schemes - which are increasingly non-performance related and often come in the form of company shares - are well worth considering if you perhaps don’t receive what you perceive to be an appropriate base salary. Also take in to account when your salary is contracted to be reviewed. For example, if you are joining a company around review time, it may be possible to work out a slightly higher wage where as if you are scheduled a pay review six months into your contract it may be better to wait until then. When the time comes, make a list of the reasons you think you warrant an increase and come prepared with examples of your achievements.
Remember that career progression opportunities are just as important as the size of the pay packet. Employers should attempt to offer fair and competitive wages, even in austere times, but working environment, location and added benefits should also be crucial factors when you are considering your options. As the economy recovers, salaries will once again begin to rise. But for the moment it is wise to concentrate on the whole package when deciding which career path to follow.