Get the most out of your employment contract

When it comes to negotiating an employment contract, nobody should sell themselves short. The desire to secure that dream job should be carefully balanced with a desire for long-term satisfaction, and that means putting all your cards on the table from the outset. Although an employer will certainly outline the potential employee’s duties and obligations with clarity, it’s up to them to ensure that their needs are fully met.

Key points in an employment contract

There is a host of points that need to be considered when negotiating an employment agreement, such as pay, benefits, and probation time. A good starting point is researching the standard salary within the given industry and region, then ensuring that the salary offered matches this. All candidates should be prepared to negotiate their salary, and it is important to be prepared and minimum and maximum figure they are willing to accept. Some employers may insist on an extensive trial period without benefits, in these circumstances clarify the period in question and what would happen after the probation time ends. It is also worth considering asking for a reduced probationary period with benefits at the outset or within 30 days. If some kind of compromise needs to be met, asking for additional benefits such as extra vacation days or home office opportunities if a good avenue to pursue. If an employee has been given benefits such as a 401K plan or stock options n the past, these should also be brought up in negotiations. A job offer is not a favor; both parties are expected to benefit equally.

Read the fine print

It is advisable to have a legal expert look over any employment contract before signing it. This is not necessarily because of distrust, rather ensuring that everyone is informed and all expectations between an employee and employer are crystal clear. Be careful to note whether can modify an employee’s duties and responsibilities without notice and to what extent as this could have serious implications in the long-run. Other clauses worth reviewing are quarterly/annual reviews, benefit conditions, travel compensation, sickness procedure, and compensation for unused vacation days. By reviewing these details with an expert, an employee can be confident in what they are signing and that their short and long-term expectations will be met.

Confidence and preparation are key when negotiating an employment contract. Most employers expect a level of negotiation, therefore candidates should not be afraid to discuss various points in their proposed contract, but it is crucial that they know what their limits are and when to compromise. If either party has any doubts, or simply wish to reaffirm their expectations, a legal professional should be consulted.