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Déjà Leonard is a copywriter and freelance journalist based in Calgary.

According to global staffing firm Robert Half, in 2020, 36 per cent of Canadians tried to negotiate a higher salary.

With rising inflation and a current worker shortage, experts say now is the time to negotiate job offers or ask for a raise.

Darcy Clark, a principal with Montreal-based HR consultancy Normandin Beaudry, says he thinks more Canadians are taking the opportunity.

The current environment “gives us as employees that firepower or the ammo to be less afraid to negotiate on behalf of ourselves to get the best deal,” he says.

However, when it comes to negotiating job offers, it’s easy to focus on one thing: salary.

Mr. Clark says that right now, many companies are looking at their whole rewards packages – salary, benefits and other perks – in an attempt to keep up with other organizations in their industry, and that means there is potentially more to negotiate and be aware of.

Five things you should consider negotiating
  1. Flexibility. “Workplace flexibility is at the top of everyone’s mind now,” Mr. Clark says. Be aware of the policies in place for working from home or anywhere else in the world. If what’s proposed doesn’t suit your needs or expectations, consider negotiating a scenario that works better for you.
  2. Signing bonus. “You shouldn’t be afraid to try to negotiate a signing bonus,” he advises. Many people don’t consider this, and it’s a great way to offset any loss of funds you may have from leaving your current position
  3. Vacation in lieu. If time would be more valuable to you than a signing bonus, consider negotiating time off while on the payroll before you start your new position. Mr. Clark says it’s a win for both the employee and the employer. “You come back refocused without your baggage from your old employer and ready to go for your new challenges at the organization.”
  4. Vacation time. “You’d be surprised how often you’ll see people at the same job and level of experience with different vacation time because one negotiated,” he says. If the company you’re interviewing with has a policy, make sure you understand it and if there is room for negotiation.
  5. Start date. “Most people don’t think about negotiating when they start their new job,” says Mr. Clark. It can be nice to have a mental reset, and most companies won’t have an issue with a later start date if you’re a qualified candidate.

Mr. Clark says to keep in mind that most aspects of total rewards are now also being reviewed under an equity lens. That means that negotiating things like extra vacation time or a higher salary can create inequities that companies are trying to minimize.

“It’s an employee-centric world right now…but don’t overextend yourself on the negotiation table and recognize that some things aren’t going to change just for you,” he says

What I’m reading around the web

  • Did you use a third-party app to get food delivered this weekend? While convenient for consumers, food delivery apps can mean diminishing returns for both restaurants and delivery drivers. See how community-based food delivery services can change the narrative, creating an ethical system where everyone wins.
  • Being vulnerable at work isn’t easy, and 20 per cent of managers admit they’re uncomfortable with it. Here’s how being vulnerable at work, even with your direct reports, can lead to increased trust, psychological safety and engagement.
  • According to this article, working in your sweatpants is your superpower. See the stories and data behind the idea that dressing for your environment – which often means comfy clothes and little-to-no makeup if you’re working from home – can lead to heightened feelings of authenticity and engagement.
  • Research shows the average individual neuron sends signals at around 180 kilometres per hour. Additionally, some people think faster than others and your own speed of thought changes throughout your lifetime. Watch this short TED-Ed video, or read the transcription, to learn more about the speed of thought.

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