Negotiating an Offer: (Part 4 of 4) What Are the Key Questions About Specific Terms and Benefits?

Judith Cushman Compensation, Latest Topics 0 Comments

judith cushman associates blog career advice negotiating an offer compensationAnswer: For several months a finalist has been in discussions about taking a new job. One of the last steps is negotiating the offer. Getting that right and taking the opportunity to cement a good relationship should be the goal. One of my key points is that laying the groundwork for the offer early in the process is essential. Here is part 4 of a 4-part series that finalists think ends at part 3 with the offer letter. Here is the final key step.

The Severance Agreement: This is where, if due to company related issues that the incumbent has no control over, and assuming the incumbent is performing in a satisfactory manner—that the company will offer compensation for damages.

Again, putting your severance request in writing is essential as well as providing factors that come into play when you look for a new position. Here is where you need to look at all the issues involved.

  • How long will you need to search for another comparable position?
  • How long will all the benefits be available to you and your family, e.g. medical, vesting all the stock options, salary continuance, company contributions to retirement programs, relocation allowance/benefit (if you moved for the job, for example, and it was eliminated within 2 years.)
  • If you are taking advantage of educational benefits, how many semesters will be paid by the company?

While the hiring organization will want to discuss the offer to join, the company will rarely want to be tied to a promise of offering you all the benefits you may find necessary if you are to assume the risk of making a change. Instead they may offer a combination of cash settlement and continuation of benefits. In any case, knowing there is a plan in place if you do leave, through no fault of your own, should give you a sense of security. If there is a need to negotiate the severance terms, if for example, your job is eliminated, retaining a lawyer may be the most effective approach. Having a record of the discussion about the job and a copy of the description will almost certainly strengthen and increase the amount of the settlement.

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