DaftInvestor wrote:I work really hard to give everyone I hire the best salary I can - at my company it is easier to get someone a salary they will be excited about when they are hired - it is much harder to give really good raises after first year as budgets are limited.
This is exactly why negotiating that starting salary is so important. What you just wrote is true at many companies. For some reason, it's far easier to give a new hire a good salary than to bump up an existing employee to the same salary. In my experience, people have to leave to get good raises.
Note you said this earlier.
If I am hiring and have a range for a position between $150K-$200K I am likely to give the guy that says he is currently making $205K the $200K salary and then discuss giving them additional equity in the company to help bridge the gap. If he didn't want to tell me and simply demanded $200K I am less likely to offer him $200K - I might shoot for $190K and say that's the best I can do. However, if someone tells me they make $150K currently I might consider what it will take for the person to move from their current position - a 15% uplift might do it versus the 25% uplift they are asking for. This person might be better off not letting me know how much they make.
Giving away your current salary (if it's low for your experience and skill) is very likely to cost a candidate money.
But like I said before, one can just move multiple times until you are making what you worth. It's unfortunate that most hiring managers will seek to lowball employees based on their old salary, but that's the game. You can either try to avoid giving your current salary, and get that one big jump you think you deserve, or you can just switch companies a couple of times until you're making what you worth.
Additionally - salary certainly isn't everything - you should always look at total compensation. Differences in 401K matching, equity offers, Health-Care contribution percentages, etc. can mean several thousand dollars difference. I generally know which companies have better or worse benefit programs compared to my own and always take this into account as well.
Lastly - company strength and individual happiness and career progression should be considered. We bogleheads oftentimes forget that money isn't everything.
This is very true.
A personal story:
At my current job, I actually offered to take a small pay-cut when it came time to talk about salary, because I wanted the job badly. The company has great benefits, excellent work-life balance, and is 5 minutes from my house (instead of the 40 minute commute I had before). So I was actually willing to take a pay-cut because I'd still come out ahead.
The director offered me the same salary I was already making, even though he didn't have to (I am very fairly paid, maybe even a little high). He pointed out that he didn't want to short-change me; he felt I would be worth the money, and wanted to make sure I was happy about the decision to join his team.
This company has my loyalty for life now. I intend to stay here until I retire.