Shift Work: Is It Negotiable?

You just received an offer for a 3rd shift job, but unfortunately, you are NOT interested in working nights. So, should you pass? Not necessarily. Sometimes shift work is negotiable.

What About Shift Work IS Negotiable?

  • The Shift Itself
    Keep in mind most businesses find it easier to cover daytime versus nighttime hours. Therefore, if you’ve been offered a later shift, you probably won’t be able to simply demand and receive 1st. Nevertheless, many organizations will swap 3rd for 2nd. Thus, if you’d prefer to work afternoons and evenings instead of overnights, this may be an option.
  • Rotating Schedules
    Sometimes companies have employees cover a combination of shifts. For example, you could ask if it would be possible to work three nights and two days each week. However, this isn’t ideal for everyone. Some people find rotating schedules are more disruptive to their sleep cycles than a regular nighttime shift.
  • Pay Rates
    Because 2nd and 3rd shifts are less desirable, many businesses pay higher rates to encourage employees to work those hours. These shift differentials range anywhere between 5% to 20%. If this isn’t automatically included in your job offer, consider asking for more money based on your shift. The extra income could make up for the later hours.
  • Long-Term Placements
    Will you be working the night shift for your entire career? It’s unlikely. Often, organizations hire for 2nd or 3rd shift and offer 1st shift openings to current employees. Although there are no guarantees, you could ask how long this process usually takes. If most workers have an opportunity to move within a year, this may be a short-term inconvenience that allows you to get your foot in the door.

How to Negotiate

  • Look at All the Facts
    Rather than declaring, “I’ll ONLY work 1st shift!” be open to different possibilities. Even though overnights most likely aren’t your first choice, there are advantages to working 3rd shift. Examine the pros and cons of each shift before making your final decision.
  • Clarify What You Want
    Is the night shift 100% off the table? Or would you consider 2nd? Knowing the answers to these types of questions will help you strike a better deal. Pull out a piece of paper and create three columns labeled Yes, No, and Maybe. Then, fill in different scenarios. For instance, if you have a family, 2nd shift may be a definitive No. Yet 3rd shift with a 10%+ differential could be a Maybe.
  • Work Toward Your Ideal Arrangement
    Once you’ve clearly defined what you would accept, reject or consider, present your case. Use strategies like those you would employ to negotiate your pay. If your potential employer thinks you’re valuable enough, they could be willing to comprise. On the other hand, if the company won’t budge and you know you’ll be unhappy, you might decide to move on.

Are You Looking for a Better Shift?

FirstStaff is hiring for all shifts! We place forklift drivers, production workers, warehouse associates, and laborers with top companies in Little Rock, Arkansas, and beyond. Browse all our available openings and discover your next better-fit, better-shift job today!

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