Many organizations are poised for expansion in 2024 – and beyond – and it’s crucial to have the right professionals leading the way to ensure success for your company and your clients alike. When hiring for mission-critical roles, you can expect the conversation about compensation to be one that could make or break the hire. While every negotiation will be a little different, there are a few things to keep in mind to help you effectively negotiate while navigating salary budget concerns and attracting top talent in a competitive marketplace.


Breaking Down Benefits Beyond Pay

The trend of higher salary budgets overall looks to be continuing into 2024. According to research from Payscale, pay increases in 2024 are predicted to reach an average 3.8%, up from the long-established “standard” of 3%. The same survey in 2023 also predicted a 3.8% increase, while actual gains over the course of the year wound up reaching 4%. Inflation is one of the major forces driving this shift, as well as increased demand for skilled workers in all healthcare-related fields.

When navigating compensation conversations, hiring managers should start from a strong baseline and reliable data, to include, but not limited to the specific out-of-pocket expenses a prospective employee will pay for health benefits. Start with a base salary that is competitive enough to attract (and retain) top candidates but sustainable enough to fit into the overall budget for years to come. Remember: salary negotiations – and overall salary budget considerations – should also take future growth and potential raises into account.

It’s not just about the salaries, though. Today’s senior care professionals are increasingly interested in well-rounded benefits that address their needs beyond paychecks alone. Be prepared for compensation conversations and negotiations to touch on topics such as:

  • Flexible scheduling: Research has found that overscheduling and work overload can triple the risk of burnout in healthcare workers. Offering flexible scheduling and plenty of coverage can help you attract top talent and reduce turnover.
  • Career development: According to MIT Sloan research, 67% of surveyed employees want to advance their careers, but 49% say they lack good advice to do so.
  • Expanded health benefits: Robust health insurance is a must-have, and adding expanded benefits like mental health support and family leave can attract even more top talent.


Positioning the Employee Value Proposition

 Ultimately, a successful negotiation (and a successful hire) is about positioning the employee value proposition in a way that highlights its strengths and connects to what candidates truly want. Working with an experienced executive recruiter like Aspen Associates can help in this stage of the process, since recruiters are experts at “selling” your opportunity to candidates in exactly the right way that speaks to them.

Here are a few tips for focusing on what’s most likely to lead to negotiation success stories:

  • Highlight positive and inclusive aspects of the company’s culture and overall work environment.
  • Emphasize opportunities for career development, mentorship, promotions, and professional advancement.
  • Identify benefits that some competitors may not be offering such as: pet health insurance, group purchasing discounts for mobile phone or appliances, dry cleaning or light housekeeping services for department management-level roles.
  • Focus on the ways in which the role you’re hiring for plays a part in providing client care and supporting the overall mission.
  • Discuss recognition programs and other incentives, such as performance-based bonuses, public recognition, and other rewards. These can enhance the “base” package and highlight how your company rewards motivated and productive employees.
  • Maintain an open, responsive dialogue that takes into account each candidate’s unique needs and preferences and personalizes the offer to them.

Aspen Associates is here to help you identify and recruit top senior care talent! From locating exceptional candidates to pre-screening, interviewing, and assisting with onboarding, our expert recruiters provide support every step of the way to ensure the best possible outcome for you, the candidates, and your clients. Contact Aspen today to learn more about what we can do.


By Tom Zeleny, NHA