If you are faced with certain limitations that concern you, whether a salary that does not meet your target or a non-negotiable item, there could be ways to fill those gaps. Employers will often jump in to fill an identified gap, such as a signing bonus to fill a salary gap. But it’s perfectly fine to suggest your own solutions.
For example, perhaps you are between jobs and currently paying for your own health insurance. And perhaps there is a 30-day waiting period before you are eligible for the employer’s plan. You might inquire whether the employer would be willing to cover your health-insurance premium for those 30 days so that your first month’s salary is not eroded by that expense.
Similarly, if you just missed the enrollment period for their 401K plan and you have to wait months to participate, you might ask if they would provide what would have been the company match, so that you could put those funds into an IRA to keep up with your retirement savings.
If salary falls short, there are several strategies you might employ. One is to suggest a sign-on bonus. This will only last a year or two, and it does not figure into calculations for future raises. But it can help sweeten the deal in the short term.
Another option is to ask for a salary review sooner than normal. In most organizations, salary reviews are conducted annually. But you could ask that your performance be reviewed ahead of schedule, perhaps after six or nine months, and that you would be eligible for an increase based on your performance. Often, employers are more flexible on performance-based comp as they only need to pay more if you are delivering value. In this case, you may want to discuss exactly what goals will serve as criteria for a raise.