According to an article published last week in Ecoaula, the education Web site of the Spanish financial newspaper El Economista, today's university graduates are in a privileged position when negotiating a job with a company. At least in Spain, "university graduates know that their specialised training is worth more than money compensation, and for this reason they feel in the position to demand from companies a bonus in personal benefits," writes Chus Muñoz, the article's author.
Among the perks Spanish graduates want are opportunities for life-long training and long-term prospects for professional development. Also important to them are flexible working hours and what has come to be known in Spain as "emotional salary" -- a series of company policies that help employees achieve a good work-life balance.
Why the change in the balance of power between employees and employers? According to a study recently released by consulting firm PeopleMatters, it's the aging of the Spanish population and a greater demand for well-trained employees. "The shortage of talent guarantees ... a good salary, but [well-trained workers can] also demand, in addition, other things," Muñoz continues in the article.
That may not be possible in all countries, sectors, disciplines, or companies -- but it is a good reminder that, when negotiating for a job, there's more than just salary to contemplate. So before closing the deal, take some time to think about what you would need to be a fulfilled, well-rounded employee. Provided it's reasonable, ask for it courteously and be willing to compromise. It won't hurt to ask.
You may read the article in full here (in Spanish).