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Negotiating salary - weird situation

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Finance' started by LearnMS, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. LearnMS

    LearnMS Level 2 Member

    Hello all -

    So I am in the market to switch jobs. Last year, I did well to get the on-site interview for a midlevel experience technical job position. After the interview, HR recruiter was gauging how much I wanted. I deflected the question many times, but she pestered me to pick a number and gave me a range. I picked a number on the higher side plus 10%. She outright rejected it and later low-balled me that internal candidates with decades of experience won't get that salary. She also questioned me about the title of job and if lower band is best suitable for me. I told her to get back to me with the offer first. Next call never happened.

    Fast forward to today, I interviewed for the similar position with the same company, at a different location. This time, I am going to get interviewed tomorrow and have HR recruiter call the following day. What is weird is that it's the same HR who low-balled me few months ago!

    I don't know if she'll recognize me, but if she does, I imagine it's the same play again and may know my range already. Any tips on how I can be smart this time. I know I won't suggest or commit to a salary figure this time. Let them make an offer...anything else?

  2. Andrew Beall

    Andrew Beall Level 2 Member

    Just stand firm and politely decline to give a figure. If they want you they'll make an offer. Then you can negotiate from there.
  3. volker

    volker Level 2 Member

    I always try to decline the number which most times doesn't work with recruiters, but more so if you talk directly with a company. I guess 75% of the times I declined I learned about their payment band which was in my benefit since I knew then what their upper limit was -- and you can always get a bit more as their limit. Then it was often sufficient to say that its in your expectation or not. When their band was too low I could also walk right away which saved myself time.

    I usually try to push the question back down the road which works most times as soon as their upper limit is "close" to my acceptable range. I got the impression that down the road they get a better impression and won't reject you right away if your expected number is a little bit higher.

    Something else that worked to not commit to the exact number is to talk about the whole picture (health insurance, 401k match, other benefits, bonus, ESPP, vacation & sick leave policy, ...) which companies don't disclose right away either. The sum of these benefits can change my expected base salary number drastically, too.
  4. thepaul500

    thepaul500 Level 2 Member

    I had a very very similar situation (same recruiter for same company twice.) I ended up turning down the 2nd offer (never got an offer from 1st interview)....but what I told them was the number I knew I wanted plus 10%, with the caveat that number could move once I learned more about the total benefits package. Check glassdoor and such, make sure to know how the cost of living could impact you, etc. The recruiter outright told me I could not get an offer unless they were given a salary request.
  5. ct22025

    ct22025 New Member

    I'd say the standard advice. Do your research on salaries for this position and give your own range. Be prepared to defend your number as reasonable based on other contacts in the industry, industry salary surveys, cost of living in your area, etc.

    Also keep in mind that everything is negotiable. Perhaps you value an extra two weeks of vacation time more than the extra money. Or ability to work from home, or a company car, etc. Work that into your negotiations if they can't budge on money and you can live with other stuff.
  6. LearnMS

    LearnMS Level 2 Member

    Thanks. Following some advice here, I did check on Glassdoor but not much info for this particular location.

    And COL is a HUGE deal here. Its an expensive location (MA) and all these COL calculator tools show 35-50% increase. Will companies ever go that high in salary is a question....
  7. CruisingFlying4life

    CruisingFlying4life Level 2 Member

    I am following and will also present the scenario to a couple of friends in HR mgt positions and share their ideas on this.
  8. seespotjump

    seespotjump Level 2 Member

    My suggestion is stick to your guns. Check Glassdoor and other similar sites to figure out average salary for your city/area, and be realistic. If this company doesn't offer you what you're looking for, it's not the end of the world!
  9. kurt9769

    kurt9769 Level 2 Member

    I actually always play this the other way in that I tell the recruiter exactly what I want to make, plus $5-10k. I'll tell them my range, even if they don't ask me. The IT market is hot, so there's no reason to hide your comp as it saves you time and the recruiter time. If the company you're interviewing at won't pay what you're looking for, I'd just bounce them and send out a ton more applications. I've seen ranges that differ about $60k in the languages I focus on, which is huge, and the hilarious thing is the jobs at the bottom of the range are the ones that generally have the longest hours and most responsibility.

    Remember, the best tool in a negotiation is leverage. Some ways to get that are to 1/ pick up a hot tech or language (i.e. you're in a seller's market), 2/ find a company with time pressure (i.e. they need to staff this by the end of the quarter etc) and 3/ obtain multiple offers.
  10. volker

    volker Level 2 Member

    1/ is more tasted based. I can pick something I don't like and won't be happy with. But why doing it?

    Regarding 2/, how to you figure out companies with time pressure? Especially if its rare market positions can be open for months.

    I ended up once with 3 offers at the same time. But timing here is difficult especially since time to sign is often limited and the entire interview process has different times. I have talked with companies where the entire interview process was over 2 month. In another case it was one week till I had the offer. I am curious how you managed to get multiple offers at the same time without applying to 10-20 companies at a time.
  11. kurt9769

    kurt9769 Level 2 Member

    Yeah, I can definitely understand the timing issues. In general, I cast a wide net and apple to many, many jobs in that I see each conversation with a recruiter as a chance to harvest market information, and to qualify them. Basically, I think of it as the same thing as a data point here on Saverocity. This is also a good time to inquire about their time line and see if they're under time pressure. In terms of multiple offers, I've had quite a bit of luck in talking recruiters into keeping offers open. YMMV, but it's definitely worth a try and will give you more of an opportunity to shop around an offer.
  12. LearnMS

    LearnMS Level 2 Member

    Hello all - I am the OP and presenting a different scenario related to salary negotiation.

    I was looking for jobs and one of them worked out where they were extending me the offer. But before that they want my current compensation. I didn't give them a number. So I got the response below:

    "my compensation team, will not take vague responses to generate the recommendation for your offer. We use excel spreadsheet models that ask specific numbers, i.e. $100,000 to be inserted to determine %age of increase from your current to the proposed offer.

    Please provide me specifics as soon as possible, HM asked me yesterday if I had the offer ready, and I told him that you provided vague numbers during your original call with G, and again with me, and that I have requested this again. We crafting the offer, I craft the absolute best offer the first time. At our company we have no intentions to low ball candidates, but craft a very fair offer based on internal equity (your peers in the same role, education and experience)."

    I succumbed to this reply and provided a broad range, which is 15-30% higher than my current salary range.

    Today, I received a verbal offer which is just 10% higher, but NOT in the range I provided. There was a mention of performance based bonus for a 9% target, but again, I may lose it for this year.

    My current company does NOT have concept of year end bonus etc., so I am new to this. Below is what will happen next:

    I say: Thanks for your offer. Is there any flexibility in base salary?

    HR: No, this is the best. Plus you have bonus incentive that is great....blah blah..

    I say: OK, but I am good at this and that. Very excited about this offer etc. My expectation is: your offer + 10%.

    HR: Good to hear, but our equity and other factors doesn't allow and your lack of exp in our culture etc. played a role...also you are getting the bonus, if you perform.

    So where does this end and when should I give up? How can I steer them to make them agree to my requests?

    Thank you

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