Salary Negotiation

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by souldawg, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. souldawg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #1
    I am interviewing for a new job. I really want it- les stress, more creative, great environment. However, we just haven't broached the salary issue. I currently make a decent salary with overtime. When I calculated what my earnings would be for one year with average overtime, I'm not certain the new position will pay an equivalent amount. Apparently I work a lot of overtime!

    How do I bring up the issue of my base salary vs. what I really earn? If they can't match is there any way to negotiate some other agreement? Does it look bad if I say I make more than they offer? *note I don't really know what they can offer, but they are a start-up so I'm assuming, in this economy, probably will be less*
     
  2. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Canada, eh?
    #2
    I know this sounds silly, but have you given thought to the value of the new job in terms of what you say -- less stress, more creative, a better environment? Is this maybe worth being paid equal to, or even a little less than, your current job?

    I would ask about overtime policies, but I wouldn't go much beyond that in a job interview. If and when they make you a formal offer, consider the compensation package carefully while making your decision.
     
  3. souldawg thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 13, 2008
    #3
    The reduction of stress is what drew me to the position. However, my rent, bills and debt have me needing a certain salary. I've worked up to 2 part-time jobs on top of a full time job before, and I just can't do that again. I need the money more than the reduction of stress. If the pay was equal, I would take it in a heartbeat.
     
  4. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
    in my case they made a formal offer and told me the salary. i said i would have to think about it. then they brought up the salary issue again and asked if that is ok. so i said i'll consider it because the job is great and the team is great but my current job pays the same. so they asked me what i want. i said it's not only about money but they certainly have salary ranges. they insisted i give them a number so i said my research shows that other companies pay this (20% more than they offered) plus benefits plus stock optoins. they said they can't make that but they will try. i said it's not about money only and i really like the job and the team there. next day they gave me 5% more salary and i said i consider it and i like the job and they people there and i would really like to be on the team. next day they gave me a 15% sign up bonus cash plus a guaranteed 15% bonus at the end of my first year. if i leave before the first year i have to pay back the sign up bonus. so for two years i get roughly about what i wanted, after that who knows anyway. actually their first offer was already 10% above my last salary what i forort to point out to them;-) so i end up with ~15% more plus the bonuses.

    but in the end i would have taken the job without the raise as well because it's a good job. make always clear that you will like the job and you're looking for a way to be part of their team.

    sign up bonuses, moving costs, stock options, health club memberships, business paid telephone, a notebook for you at home, they pay your internet = $480/y. there are always some ways to give you something that doesn't come out of the regular structured and limited salary budget.

    note that i made only a very small increase in salary (5%) they were much more generous on the bonuses.
    hope that helps.
     
  5. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2007
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    Leeds, UK
    #5
    I've had 2 occasions in the past where I rejected job offers. My reasons weren't to do with salary, but on each occasion the employer came back with a better offer.

    In your situation, I'd say wait until you have a formal offer. If you want more, just tell them that you want more. Since you've received an offer, you're obviously their chosen candidate, and I'm sure that they'll make some effort so that they at least don't have to start interviewing people again (which is both costly and time consuming).
     
  6. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    #6
    Don't forget to consider the value of all other compensation beside salary. I'm continually amazed when I interview someone and they don't ask about cost of health care, 401(k) plan, re-imbursement plans for out-of-pocket health and child care expenses, vacation time, personal leave, holiday policy, STD/LTD benefits, life insurance, etc.

    A great healthcare plan alone can equate to thousands of dollars per year in salary.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. operator207 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #7
    At my current job, they wanted to pay me $1 less per hour than I was making at the job I had been laid off from. I flat out told them no. They kept upping the hourly pay. I kept telling them no. I liked the position, but I did not want to go lower as the previous job was under paying me by ~$3/hr. They finally got to the mid mark between what I wanted, and my prev. job was giving. I told them I would consider it, and told them I would need a day to think about it.

    Came home, and less than a day later the hiring manager is calling me asking if I could take $2 more than the mid mark. I knew what was happening. They were low balling me. Trying to get me the cheapest they could. Its cool, I would do the same. (its like buying a TV on sale instead of full price) I told them it was more appealing, but it would still not be enough. She asked if she could call me back in 30 minutes, with a potentially better offer. I said sure. She called me back in 29 minutes (when people give me a # of minutes they are going to call back, I will sometimes time them. It shows me how driven they are to keep their word. Even something trivial as a callback.) and offers me another $2/hr. I took it.


    And +1 to what zelmo says, if the salary is less, but the benefits are more, its STILL more.

    You need to weigh everything they have to offer. Salary is a good portion, but if you have medical needs, you need a good healthcare. If your looking to start saving money, a good 401k with a good matching is going to be beneficial. If your 20 years old, and drink lots of beer, then a good hospital copay is something to look at. ;)
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #8
    Salary negotiations? You must live outside the US. There's no such thing here. :rolleyes:
     
  9. benmrii macrumors 65816

    benmrii

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #9
    Nah, I've been on both sides of it, being hired and hiring. True, it isn't common, but more often than not that is because the person going through the application/hiring process doesn't bring it up.

    It might sound like an oversimplified answer, but I think all you need to do is tell them the truth. Explain to them that you are excited about the position and, that you know you are perfect for it. Because it fits you so well you'll be a great part of their team. However, you've figured your finances and you can't afford to work for less than $X.

    More than likely they will appreciate your frankness and confidence... and then hopefully, at the very least, they will make you an offer close to that amount. Worst case scenario: they say they can't do it and stick to their original offer. Tell them you need to think about it longer and then do that... then make the decision if the lack of change (or possible negative change) in salary is worth it.

    Don't sell yourself short. If you deserve and need to make a certain amount, get it.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    I can't imagine that to be true. :eek:

    You are telling me how much you should be paid? Uh uh, gurlfrend.....*snap snap snap*
     
  11. benmrii macrumors 65816

    benmrii

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    Nov 14, 2007
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    NC
    #11
    Well, first of all, if I were to call someone I was interviewing "gurlfrend" they could probably sue the company for more than they were going to make anyways. :D

    But honestly, from that perspective, it is refreshing for someone to be organized, up front and confident enough to tell you what they need to make it work. Obviously if it is someone you are already a little wary of, or the number they are suggesting is ridiculous, the answer is no. But if the company/hiring folks were already interested in bringing you on they will at least bear the number in mind.
     
  12. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #12
    I think that is mainly because we have become use to being a no haggle, set price culture. Even car dealerships are becoming fixed price.

    As to the OP a low stress job you enjoy can make a huge change in happiness. Now you say you have x amount for bills and rent. But how about expenses for entertainment; drinking, restaurants and other frivolties are included in that expense. Remember with a low stress and enjoyable job you will find that those expensive stress reducers are not as necessary.

    And just to rant a little:rolleyes:
    If any of those bills are from credit payments. Pay them off as soon as possible and never use them again. The only thing credit should be used for is a house purchase. Everything else has very high interest rates and if you look at total spending over a lifetime you could have bought much much more stuff if you had just saved money.
     
  13. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #13
    During an interview, I generally don't bring up the issue of salary unless the interviewer(s) bring it up. If they don't, then it's a question of waiting for the offer and then accepting or rejecting it.

    If a potential employer takes umbrage with a request for greater remuneration, then that wouldn't be an employer that I'd like to work for. Depends on how much you want the job.
     
  14. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #14
    Exactly. They almost always low ball it (I know my company does). If you need a certain amount to survive with your current situation they need to know that. Either they'll accept it and re-offer or they won't. Either way you won't insult them because they would most likely do the same thing if in your situation. Also, don't make the mistake of getting to attached to the idea of a potential job.
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #15
    That's how I'd approach it. I'd bring it up when they make an offer. If it's high, or where I expect it to be, then great. If it's low, then I bring it up. I wouldn't ask for more money before they've even made me the offer.

    I doubt I'd just get a really low offer, because too many potentially good employees would just walk away to an employer who wouldn't even bother trying these low-balling tactics.
     
  16. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    #16
    When we interview for a position we always have a salary range in mind, and what we offer depends on a person's experience and personality. I don't care how impressive an interview is, I would never never never offer someone a top end salary right off the bat. If you do that you've left no room to haggle at all. Plus, it is often the case that a person makes for a great interviewee but once you've hired them the foibles and flaws start to appear. For example, someone who seems like a real high energy go-getter in an interview may actually be a needy person who always has 'ideas' about how to improve things that are really bad ideas. If I'm really high on a candidate and they ask for a lot, I tell them I'll put the paperwork through for X but will start them at X- $5,000 or something and we will review their performance after 90 days. If they are as good as they say they are, they usually take the job and prove themselves, and we really will give them the salary bump at review time. If they're not quite as confident, they probably won't take the job and I consider that no loss.
     
  17. souldawg thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #17
    Thank you for all your tips. I have thought of benefits and I definitely want health care, need health care and won't take a job without health care. They asked me flat out for a range. This is why it's hard for me, I really want the job, but from the interviews feel as if they still don't think I know what to do and am a junior person they are willing to train. I know, I know a self confidence issue.

    To be blunt (and I hate sharing this info, just looking for advice) my base pay right now is $55k *in NYC* and with overtime I make or could make around $78-84k. That seems like a lot to ask for. I'm not afraid of a lateral move, so I'm willing to be honest with the figures, but should I tell them in the range of $85 k or something like $75-85. That just seems like a lot to ask for - however it's what I need for rent, bills *I have lots of debt* and just the basics of living.
     
  18. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #18
    I would suggest that in the interview situation you ask about health benefits etc which can be easily and legitimately raised at that point without you or them being put in a bad situation. You should also be able to ask about reimbursements for say internet bills if you are expected to work from home say when doing over time, ask if they offer any kind of reimbursements or other types of things say for using public transport (we have an ecopass here in Denver which companies can buy for employees).

    Salary discussion really shouldn't occur in an interview unless they raise the topic, if raised, ask for the details and then politely reply that you would like till the next business day to evaluate the offer (salary + extras + benefits), so you can sit down at home to do the math. Even if they lowball you, don't laugh etc, just ask for time to review.

    As you are currently working, no matter how stressed, you at least have something in your favor, you don't "need" the job as you already have one, so they need to tempt you away. Don't be stupid in over asking, but you can be a little more pushy. If they know you aren't working then you would appear to be more desparate to get the job no matter the $$$.

    Away from the pure $$ perspective, a better lifestyle (less stress etc) can be worth a lot short term, but if your situation really does demand you make $x per year then accepting too much less will see you move the stress from too much work to too little $$$ and you end up in the same situation just a different boat. If the offer no matter what is too low, politely decline and thank them for their time.
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    You're making this move because you're not completely satisfied with your current job. It would be great if you could earn the same amount of money at this new place, but it doesn't appear likely. Personally, I'd give up a bit of money for a job I liked more. Besides, if you only got paid $65k, the perks of the job, which mentioned in your first post, would be a non-financial perk.
     
  20. operator207 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #20
    Unless Texas is outside the US. Seriously, if your not negotiating your pay/benefits, your losing out. If the company your interviewing for is going to be so strict you cannot negotiate, how do you think they are going to treat you later on? Poorly.

    You can't just walk in and tell them how its going to be. You can ask questions, and be firm in your answers to theirs. If you do not like the benefit or salary etc, you tell them, and attempt to negotiate a better deal. This may not happen on the first interview, these things can happen over many interviews with the same company.

    BTW, this is coming from my own experiences, and my wife's 8 years of working for a recruiting firm in one capacity or another, mostly as a recruiter. I am not "talking out of my butt." ;)


    I agree with jbernie:
    Salary should not be discussed in the first interview, but if the person interviewing says they like you, lets talk about salary and benefits, its good to sound interested (if you are interested). Listen to what they have to say, and comment accordingly. If you do not like the salary/benefits, say so. Definitely do not laugh at them, if you do your out of there. Some interviews I have been on, are a slow process, others are quick fire. They want to get the interview over and get you in, or move on. Don't take a quick interview as a bad sign. But do not take a long interview as a good sign. I have been offered jobs on a 5 minute interview, and declined on a 2 hour interview.

    Abstract: I have seen companies really low ball, I worked for one for 9 years. Even though I was underpaid, at least $3 an hour, I received quite a bit of experience on things I would have never gotten at any other company. Tons of Cisco experience, Wifi (as in 25 mile shots for backbones between cities: tower - 25 miles - tower - 25 miles - repeat until you get to the next city - mesh network of APs to covering the entire city), Server experience, as in BSDi servers, DEC Alphas, Auspex, DS3, OC192 experience, business mailserver environment buildup and administrate. This experience landed me my current job. Which is a much higher paying job, better hours, better benefits. It was worth the lowballed pay, to get all that experience. I was ok with the lowballed pay, because I asked questions in the interview and found that I would get all the above training. Well not the wifi, as that really was not a product 9 years ago. ;)
     
  21. psychotropic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #21
    public information

    I am currently taking a career development class and yesterday my teacher made the comment that salary is public information. She said that you have the right to know what the person was making before you. After saying that she made mention that one must be very careful about how you attempt to obtain that information, but either way she said its public info and you have the right to know if you have the balls to ask haha...
     

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