Hiring negotiations: important information and contract terms

What does your future employer have to tell you about before hiring?

First of all, the employer has to inform you in general about your area of responsibility as well as about the type of activity and your position in the work flow of the company. Additional information includes: the duration and location of working hours, your vacation entitlement, the amount of the salary (possibly also additional salaries), bonuses, special benefits (e.g. company car) and social facilities in the company (e.g. canteen, Kindergarten).
During the negotiation, you should make a note of the verbal promises of your future boss at least in short notes so that you can later compare when concluding the employment contract whether all the important points have been included there. If not, you should definitely ask for an addition before signing.

Of course, you can also address certain services during the hiring negotiations that were offered to you by your previous employer, for example (such as a long-term ticket for public transport). Your future employer must provide you with sufficient information about the requirements of the position and any special qualifications that you must have.

If it turns out after starting work that you are unable to provide the service you expected because you have not been adequately informed beforehand and therefore have to leave the company, then you have a claim for compensation for breach of the notification obligation. The employer must then reimburse you for the damage you suffered as a result of you giving up your previous job or turning down another offer. However, this claim is not unlimited and, of course, it must be possible to prove it in the event of a dispute.

What you absolutely need to point out to your new boss

You as an employee are obliged to notify us if you already know before starting your new job that you will not be able to start work on the agreed date due to an existing illness or an upcoming cure. There is also an »obligation to disclose« to the future employer if you are severely disabled or have the same status (in other ways only limitedly able to work) and are unable to perform certain work as a result.

If you have to reveal such a "weak point", you should at the same time emphasize that you are willing and able to compensate for this deficiency with other positive skills or qualities. These can be special qualifications in the IT field or the indication that you will go to work with particular motivation and fresh energy after your cure. In this way, you can convey to your new boss that you are committed and enthusiastic and that you will not let yourself get downed by small handicaps or personal crises.

How secure is an oral commitment?

In principle, both parties are free to terminate the negotiations without giving reasons before the contract is concluded. However, if the hiring negotiations went in a way that convinced you that an employment contract could be concluded, you are entitled to compensation if this is not the case. For example, by making statements such as: "The written employment contract is only a purely formal matter", the supposed future boss can prompt you to quit your previous position.

You must pay compensation as if you were still employed by your old company. The hiring negotiations that were conducted do not play a role - so you would be entitled to your previous salary.

In the event of a dispute, it is of course always problematic whether you can also prove the permanent employment commitment. Therefore, you should always get such a commitment in writing before quitting a secure job.

How can optimal contract terms be negotiated?

Contract negotiations must always be conducted with a sure instinct. In any case, you have a favorable negotiating position if you apply from a position that has not been terminated in order to move up the career ladder. In this case, you should emphasize that you want to meet new, higher demands in order to achieve a demanding and responsible position, and that you will be particularly committed in view of this goal.

At the same time, you can show that for your higher personal commitment you of course also expect appropriate remuneration, which should be a certain percentage higher than your previous salary. Depending on the type of position to be filled, your expected salary can be around 10 to 20 percent higher than what you have earned so far. A regulation according to which a higher salary is paid after a successful probationary period would also be acceptable. However, the amount of the later remuneration should then be specified in the employment contract.

In addition to the salary, special benefits from the employer are also negotiable. This includes, for example, the provision of a company vehicle (both for business and private purposes), a subsidy for the home office (especially if you cannot deduct it from tax yourself), additional salaries (13th or 14th, in addition to the usual Bonuses such as vacation or Christmas bonus), success bonuses or profit shares. Point out which benefits your previous employer has offered or promised you so far. Of course, you should also know what is customary in the industry. It is therefore essential to obtain detailed information before such a negotiation (e.g. from colleagues or about job advertisements).

Be confident when negotiating. In doing so, you make it clear that you know your market value and are not prepared to "sell yourself below price". Employers appreciate such an attitude - especially if you convey convincingly that you will use your skills for the good of the company. In this way, one or the other bonus will be easy to negotiate.

What other points should definitely be addressed?

In addition to the basic financial agreements on salary, capital formation benefits and bonuses, you should above all discuss your specific working conditions. For example, will you be working alone or with other colleagues in a room? Who will be your immediate manager? What will your field of work look like and when will you start your new job?

Of course, it is also important to know whether and which career opportunities there are for you in the company. You should also inquire about any further training opportunities (advanced training).

Vergessen Sie nicht, die Urlaubsfrage zu klären: Wie viel Urlaub bekommen Sie? Gibt es in der Firma company holidays? Ebenso sind die Arbeitszeitregelungen (z. B. gleitende Arbeits­zeit) von Bedeutung.

Of course, the subject of notice periods should also be addressed. Finally, you can also inquire whether and under what conditions (in particular length of service) there is a pension in the company and whether you will be reimbursed for your fare or a meal allowance.

Hiring negotiation - important judgments

Employer's duty to provide information
If an employer does not fully inform a job applicant about his future work in the company, he can make himself liable to pay compensation to the employee if he is terminated again during the probationary period because he cannot meet the requirements of the job.
LAG Frankfurt / Main, in: »Handelsblatt« of 29 p. 2000

Confirmations in the job advertisement
If an employer promises applicants special financial benefits in a published job advertisement, they are generally not bound by them when the employment contract is concluded. Only the content of the employment contract and any applicable collective bargaining agreements are decisive for such benefits.
BAG, January 25, 2000 - AZ: 9 AZR 140/99

Diseases overcome
An applicant is not obliged to mention a previous illness that he has completely overcome during the job interview. He only has to disclose if an inability to work (e.g. due to an upcoming operation) is to be expected before the start of the employment relationship.
BAG - AZ: 12 AZR 270/84

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