Securing a fair yet favorable employment contract is vital to both employers and employees alike. Getting to this point can be somewhat challenging, requiring skilled and effective negotiation, flexibility, and understanding. A thorough grasp of the overall process and the many legal considerations in employment contracts that you may be unaware of are critical to successfully managing a negotiation of this importance. With so much on the line, you should aim to have nothing less.
In this article, the employment attorneys of Hall Jackson and Associates P.C. in Chicago, Illinois, have one goal: to serve as your guide along the path of demystifying employment contracts. In doing so, we hope to empower you to manage your next employment contract negotiation experience well, positioning yourself not only for immediate benefits but long-term ones as well.
Before we really dive into the complex aspects of employment contract negotiations, we need to cover some of the basics. When many people think of employment contracts and related negotiations, they tend to immediately think of salary negotiations, but there’s a lot more involved.
Employment contracts are legally binding agreements between employers and employees that outline the terms and conditions of the employment relationship. These agreements define roles, responsibilities, and expectations in detail so that there is less of a likelihood of ambiguity or confusion between the parties. Some common things outlined in these contracts include:
But how can you successfully negotiate an employment contract? It might seem overwhelming when you first think about it, but take a step back, take a deep breath, and consider applying the following to your situation.
In some ways, this is the most important step of the employment contract negotiation process. Why? Because it is where you lay the groundwork on which you can build an incredibly strong position later on in your experience.
Dig deep into industry standards and market trends. Doing so will help you know your worth relative to the greater market and can significantly bolster your leverage. It also serves as a quick point of reference you can easily share with your employer. Also, bear in mind relevant local, state, and federal laws.
When reading ‘key terms,’ most people will probably immediately zero in on compensation. There is absolutely a time and a place for that when considering key terms, but don’t think that’s all this step is concerned with. It isn’t. There is a lot more to an employment contract than the salary alone.
Nevertheless, besides your base salary, identify other terms to your contract, such as bonuses you may be able to receive, profit-sharing policies, stock options, or other perks. If you have the leverage, it may even be worthwhile to propose adding these perks to your contract if they aren’t initially available. Once you demonstrate irreplaceable value, your employer may be very inclined to keep you as happy as they can so you continue to deliver that value for them.
Don’t forget about other benefits like health insurance, retirement, and vacation time. Ensure your work hours are also clearly defined.
After you’ve done your research and identified key terms to your contract, it’s time to communicate with your employer. Don’t be afraid to honestly express your needs. If your employer truly values you as an employee, they will listen and try to meet them. Don’t hesitate to communicate any other questions or concerns you have with them going into or coming out of a negotiation either.
Bear in mind that negotiations aren’t necessarily just about terms and conditions; they’re just as much about having rapport and a working relationship with the company. Focus on building this unspoken medium of communication, especially going into a negotiation. It can go far to facilitate a smoother and more favorable negotiation experience.
Negotiation requires some level of skill. You have to know when you keep your hand and when to show it. This takes a decent amount of forethought and even practice to do well. An employment attorney can help you with this and can be especially helpful if you don’t have much experience in these situations. Here are a few pointers to consider as you prepare for a negotiation:
For more help with your specific employment contract negotiation, reach out to the employment attorneys at Hall Jackson and Associates P.C. We are here to help you attain the job of your dreams and are prepared to empower you to leverage your negotiation to that end.
We serve as a diverse group of trusted advisors for employees and have been dedicated and committed to finding solutions for our client’s legal issues and serving as their fierce advocate in and out of courts. There are strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit of which you must be mindful. Do not miss out on the opportunity to hold your employer accountable for its unlawful actions. Unsure of the next steps to take? Call us for a consultation.
Do not wait, Contact our office today
— MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
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