10 Things To Offer ‘The One’ When You Can’t Move On Salary

So, you’ve found the one. That person you have been searching long and hard for. You have gone through rounds of interviews, they tick every last box on your list and the team loves them. But then, they increase their salary requirements and you have no room to stretch in that line of your budget. You have already maxed out every last dollar, and getting more is just not an option…

Don’t give up and wave a white flag. There are several ‘value adds’ that can complement the salary on offer and make it a package that your candidate is delighted to accept. To be effective, ensure that you know what truly motivates the individual so you can tailor the additions to suit their personal needs and wants.

‘Value adds’ to make your offer more attractive:

1. More vacation time – For some people, especially those that see work-life balance as a high priority, extra vacation time can be incredibly valuable. It could be provided as several days to be used at the employee’s discretion over the year or offered on a periodic basis. For example, a client of ours offers their employees an additional personal day every 3 months to spend as they choose.

2. A formalized growth strategy –  One of the most common motivators for employees is career development. If you can’t provide the dollars a candidate is seeking today, sit down with them and work out a formal growth plan. This may include a commitment to providing training or a promise for promotion based on performance.

3. Six month salary review – If you are unable to offer the larger salary now, perhaps you will be able to secure the money in the next round of budgets. We have a client that starts some new hires on a lower salary with the promise of a salary review in 6 months. Not only does it give the business time to allocate additional funds, it also acts as an extra motivator for the employee.

4. Flexible work arrangements – This may include work from home days or early/late start times. Technology is making flexible schedules easier to arrange and can be desirable, especially for job seekers with long commutes or parental responsibilities. We know of a company that allows their employees’ work days to start from the time they open their laptop on their hour long train commute to the office.

5. Medical benefits – You can really set yourself apart from other employers by providing a fully funded and comprehensive benefits program. Any savvy job seeker will know the cost of medical and appreciate that this is truly adding dollars to their deal.

6. Gym membership or ‘wellness’ allowance – For people that love to be active and take care of their wellbeing, this can be a really enticing incentive for them. Additionally, you get the benefit of a happy & healthier employee – a win-win.

7. Transit, car or phone allowance – Expenses, such as transit passes, parking/gas and phone bills can really add-up and put a dent in person’s disposable income. By offering to take care of these additional costs, the candidate may determine that they’ll be further ahead than initially predicted.

8. RSP matching & share purchase plans – Helping an employee build their financial portfolio and security is a great way to deliver more value. Additionally, it often leads to longer term commitment to your organization.

9. Maternity leave top-ups – Sometimes a job seeker is planning for a family in the coming years and as such, maternity leave programs are important to them. We recently helped a client land a candidate by pledging to top-up their EI benefits when they go on maternity leave so they maintain their current salary. Needless to say, the candidate was thrilled and signed immediately.

10. Signing bonus – For some companies, their budgets are structured so that they are able to offer a bonus to make up for the short-fall in salary. Recently, one of our clients offered a $10k signing bonus to a candidate they just had to have. In the end, everyone was happy with the outcome.


As consultants, we work with our clients and candidates throughout the negotiation process. It is our job to help you secure the candidate you need and ensure that your new hire is excited about their final offer.

Want to know more about our process & how we can help you find the one? Contact Us to talk to our Recruitment Consultants >>