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If More Money Is Not An Option, What Else Can You Negotiate?

Many companies will have a firm budget in place for a particular role that they are hiring and as much as you try, they will not budge on the monthly package. This is not because they don’t want to pay… often they are restricted so it’s time to get creative! Many hiring managers and HR professionals are open to pushing through what they can and will welcome other areas they can amend that will facilitate your successful onboarding There are other ways to negotiate when you take on a new role that isn’t all about the money and sometimes these non – monetary add-ons can benefit you more in the long run.

The Split –Basic vs. Housing vs. Transport

It is completely up to the discretion of the employer of how they split the basic salary vs. the allowances but this will affect you when it comes to end of service benefits and holiday pay so it’s worth seeing if there is a push for a higher % as basic. Especially if it seems a bit mismatched in terms of allocation. Sometimes it’s company policy of a certain structure but often this is something that can be amended.

Job Title

Often changeable and can give you that boost if you are developing your skills, experience, and responsibilities when taking the leap. If you have a job title in mind it could be worth saying if there was a chance the role could be changed to XYZ. As long as it’s not something completely unrealistic its worth throwing out there you may be pleasantly surprised!

Potential To Increase Salary After Probation.

Perhaps budgets have been put in place for hires or there are strict salary ranges in place. If there is some movement in the future, it does not harm to ask if there could be an increase stipulated in the offer letter should you deliver or show strong promise during your probation. Often this is something we manage to negotiate on behalf of our candidates… if we can especially if a client has lowballed on an offer. Ensure that a figure is stated and the duration of notice period to be completed before an increase is mentioned. If there is no chance of this the next point needs to be asked about….

Annual /Bi-Annual Salary Review

How often do businesses look at salary increases, annually, every two years… never? Worth the question as then you can manage your own expectations or at least ensure you ask around the right time. If an appraisal is regular or during a specific month you can prepare your case as to why you deserve that extra % or at least have goal points to aim for and be reassured that the company does review based on performance!

Laptop / Phone Allowance

It is not always the standard so always check your contract for this, if it’s not a given it could be worth the ask. Whether a physical phone or a phone allowance it all adds up!

Flight Allowance

Also, this is not standard with all companies so if its not there in black and white it may not be a benefit you get as standard. If you are an expat, it is worth trying to negotiate an annual flight, if you are a senior member of staff multiple flights or even a business flight could be negotiated.

Family Visa, Flights, Medical

Are there family benefits, are all costs covered for your spouse, children, and any future additions to the family? The bigger the family the more costly it is to cover the basics of residing in the UAE. You could be saving yourself a lot just ensuring this is stated from the get-go.

Make Sure Your Holidays Are Stated Before You Join

Prior to signing that offer letter, make sure all holidays that you are aware of in advance are stated. Most companies do not allow holidays to be taken in the first 6 months so it’s important to ensure you tell the hiring company of any planned vacations otherwise you may get a shock when your request gets rejected!


Perhaps you like working from home, or you must leave early to pick up the kids, perhaps you are gong through treatment or even have young children so need that ease of mind. Whatever it might be you must all be aligned. Asking questions around this area will help you figure out what kind of policy (or level of tolerance) this company might have. They may be super flexible, or they may be predominantly office based, it is very important to be clear about what you need in this area and find a level playing field or negotiate what you need from day one.


What support is offered? From hotel stays upon landing, the flight costs, to relocation allowances, a paid for container to move your things, support in relocating your pets (yes really, we managed to negotiate the cost of relocating two dogs moving from Australia with their owner once!), there are many costs to factor in when making a move across the ocean. Worth a bit pf planning and stating all the costs to see where your employer may be able to assist.

Share Options (if available)

Something we are seeing more of is share options. Often an area that can be negotiated is the level of shares depicted in the offer. Whether as a whole or on an increasing scale.


Bit of a rarity but not completely unheard of, does the employer offer any schooling, what level, could this be factored in for your school aged children and any future offspring?

Signing Bonus / Annual Bonus

Sometimes the monthly salary can not be changed but a company could offer a signing bonus especially if you might be taking a hit leaving a company i.e., loss of bonus, loans owed to previous company etc. OR even jut that little golden handshake to say welcome onboard! Also, worth asking about any other bonuses the company may have in place and if your level qualifies… if not as standard again it could be worth the ask to be included!

Whatever the salary and package the most important thing when taking a new role in a new company is that you are happy, motivated and feel you fit the culture. Ask yourself why you are looking around if it is purely monetary and you are happy in your current role its time to put some of the above in practice to try and negotiate in your current role as the grass may not always be greener after all!

// Nicki Wilson, Genie Recruitment


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