What to Offer in Addition to Salary

After returning from one of the dinners in Brussels at Belgium Testing Days, Mieke Gievers, one of the organizers said, “I don't think people have the same passion about their jobs. They just want more money.”

I, of course, disagreed. The reasons people want money is that organizations have broken the implicit social contract to be fair with their employees that was in place for many years. Now, employees know that the organizations have no loyalty to them, so employees have no loyalty to the company. That means there is strictly a financial contract between the employee and the organization.

But that doesn't mean you should reinforce money as the only piece of the salary negotiation to a candidate. You should offer other perqs:

  • extra vacation, with or without pay
  • book allowance
  • conference budget
  • workshop budget
  • tuition reimbursement, especially if your organization does not have a history of rapid payment
  • stock
  • earlier review
  • a chance to work collaboratively
  • hours bound on each side of the day for parents of young children

There are many more options than just straight money, although money is certainly a part of these. I'm sure you are more creative than I am, so let your imagination soar! What's important to your candidate or you? Candidates, remember that your education is what really moves with you from job to job. Invest in your education and the money will follow.

The other perqs, in addition to the money, help recreate the social contract the organization has with each person. And that's a great thing.

6 thoughts on “What to Offer in Addition to Salary”

  1. Pingback: antonymarcano.com » Financial Rewards & Poorer Performance

  2. Nice post. I started to write a comment but it got kinda long so turned wrote a blog post instead… tying some of what you’ve said into Dan Pink’s ideas on Mastery and Autonomy being 2 of the 3 elements of motivation and relating it to Netflix Freedom & Responsibility culture.


  3. And, of course, meaningful, interesting work.
    – Obvious connection of efforts to results and recognition
    – Accountability of staff, weeding out non-performers
    – Low-bullshit quotient workplace (no siloing, free employee interaction, lack of office politics)
    – Shared mission, clear understanding of the goals
    – Good work environment (I won’t get into offices vs. cubes, etc., but any type of env can be better or worse than “normal”)

    I would also include “opportunity for technical skills advancement” with the caveat that a place where the engineers are greatly concerned with building specific technical skills for their resumes is often not a great place to work.

  4. Companies want to people to work more time – required overtime in the office, fire-fighting in the middle of the night, or even simply being available for questions and support to their team member when on vacations. Therefore offering extra vacation or limited hours is counter-productive.

    Same with tuition reimbursement – someone who is taking classes towards a degree is not going be available to work 70+ hours a week.

    Stock used to have a great ring to it, but enough people have been burnt by the stock offerings of the dot-com era. And the link between the stock doing well, and an individual contributor in IT or development doing a great job is not visible in any but the tiniest and most transparent companies.

    I agree that “learning” budget can make a lot of sense – it’s little money, it sends the right message and attracts the right kind of people.

    But loyalty isn’t created out of the incentives scheme – it is built in the day-to-day interactions…

  5. If only my company could relieve me of the burden of buying fruit ;), and a nice selection of green tea. A small ask, but one that would go a long way with many people these days who are a little health conscious in the office.

    A friend of mine joined a company with those perks and the staff are thrilled by it.

  6. I’d add to your list, “Ongoing skills development through formal and informal training opportunities…” Workshops and conferences are part of the same ambit; all serve also as opportunities to network with colleagues at other companies and trade war-stories, which form some of the most useful learning.

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