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The employment world has changed. It certainly appears that candidates are in the driving seat with headlines about salary negotiations and staff shortages. As reported by FSB, wage growth is on the rise with 47% of firms increasing salaries. 
Covid-19 has given job seekers a little boost when it comes to negotiation. With many now looking for new ways of working and seeking roles that suit their lifestyle better, it can be difficult to find the ideal person for your vacancy. 
What does this mean for employers? 
In truth, it may mean that you need to do your research into similar roles and find out if the salary you are offering is in line with national averages but if increasing the salary is not an option for your business, there are other ways to negotiate. 
So how can you negotiate with a candidate who is being offered more than you can afford? 
The good news is that Covid-19 has changed the way people want to work. That means that it is not always necessarily about the monetary value of the role. Sometimes, there are other ways to tempt the right candidate. 

Offer employee benefits 

Offering employee benefits can be more valuable than a salary. It shows a candidate that you value loyalty, and they will feel valued, driven and motivated. 

Look at flexible working 

By offering flexible working, you could reach a larger talent pool. Many candidates do not want to or cannot work full time so by offering this solution, you could be attracting candidates that you would normally have missed. Even better, you could get two candidates working together for one role which the business could really benefit from. 

Consider hybrid or remote working 

We have all adapted over the last 18 months to working from home. Some may feel that they need that office environment, others have enjoyed working from home and some would like to be able to do both. If your business is able to offer this as an option, it could be just what the role needs to attract the right candidate. 

Show your culture 

An interview is not just for you to assess the candidate. It is also an opportunity for them to learn more about your organisation. Promote your company culture and give them a reason to want to work for you. 

Are there future prospects? 

Discuss where the candidate sees themselves in one year, two years or five years. Can you offer an opportunity for them to develop and grow within the company? Offering good career prospects can be extremely valuable to a potential candidate. 

Offer a company pension 

This is now a legal requirement but are you in a position to offer more than the average pension scheme? 
Not forgetting healthcare 
This is particularly interesting for families. A parent will likely be tempted to join an organisation who offers healthcare for them and their family. 

Cover travel expenses 

If an employee will be working in the office, it can help them and the environment to offer subsidised travel. It could be an annual bus pass or discounted rail ticket. The cost to you could be much lower than an increased salary but could make a big difference to the candidate. 

More holidays 

With more employees wanting to have a work life balance, extra holidays could be a huge plus. It does not need to be excessive. One or two more days than an employer who has counter-offered could make a big difference. 

Encourage learning and development 

This could be an in-house training programme or even the opportunity to gain qualifications paid for by you. 

Offer retail discount scheme 

For less than £2 per employee per month, you could make your employees money go further with not only discounts on retain shopping but also health and fitness, days outs, home and garden, hotels, insurances, holidays, motoring insurance and the list goes on. 


There is a vast array of different benefits you can offer a candidate instead of salary but what is important is the way you sell it. 
Before you attempt any negotiation you should find out what their current salary is and what their expectations are. Do not over negotiate to your detriment. It may not take as much as you think. 
Be confident in your pitch and positive about your organisation. We all know that there is more to life than money and actually, the culture you offer could be enough to entice the right person into the role. 
Offer the benefits across the board and become the employer of choice. 
Please do not hesitate to contact if you would like to discuss the plan you would like to put in place. Taking HR from 'TO DO' to 'DONE'. 
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