How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
nimo956
Posts: 720
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:07 pm

How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by nimo956 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:28 pm

I'm currently first-time manager who, as a result of a hiring freeze, doesn't have any direct reports. I've finally gotten approval to fill a position, and have been approached by an internal candidate I think would be a good fit. I need advice on how to discuss salary during the job interview process and set expectations appropriately.

Here are some made-up numbers as an illustration:

1. Current candidate recently got a promotion from $54k to $65k a few months ago (20% raise).
2. HR would be happy to call the new position a lateral move and give him $1k extra.
3. Internal candidate thinks this is a big step up, and is expecting to make $88k (35% raise on current salary).
4. I anticipated this situation, so I made sure to set the job at a higher pay grade. Still, the budget only allows me to offer $75k (15% raise on current salary).

How do I frame the discussion so as to avoid disappointment? I want the working relationship to get started on the right foot without any kind of resentment. The internal candidate probably has Glassdoor data, which shows the higher salary level. I would have to pay more for an external candidate, but I was lucky to get anything approved given the hiring freeze.
50% VTI / 50% VXUS

KlangFool
Posts: 9179
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:32 pm

nimo956 wrote:I'm currently first-time manager who, as a result of a hiring freeze, doesn't have any direct reports. I've finally gotten approval to fill a position, and have been approached by an internal candidate I think would be a good fit. I need advice on how to discuss salary during the job interview process and set expectations appropriately.

Here are some made-up numbers as an illustration:

1. Current candidate recently got a promotion from $54k to $65k a few months ago (20% raise).
2. HR would be happy to call the new position a lateral move and give him $1k extra.
3. Internal candidate thinks this is a big step up, and is expecting to make $88k (35% raise on current salary).
4. I anticipated this situation, so I made sure to set the job at a higher pay grade. Still, the budget only allows me to offer $75k (15% raise on current salary).

How do I frame the discussion so as to avoid disappointment? I want the working relationship to get started on the right foot without any kind of resentment. The internal candidate probably has Glassdoor data, which shows the higher salary level. I would have to pay more for an external candidate, but I was lucky to get anything approved given the hiring freeze.
nimo956,

1) Can the candidate do the job?

2) Is it a good fit?

3) Can you offer much more that 75K or that is all that you can offer?

4) What is the problem with being honest and upfront with what you can offer?

KlangFool

Wellfleet
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:18 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by Wellfleet » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:35 pm

I've been fortunate to have managers who have been open and honest in general with the numbers they can work with. I've been able to avoid disappointment that way.

stoptothink
Posts: 4193
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:39 pm

KlangFool wrote: What is the problem with being honest and upfront with what you can offer?
This. I am a director in a VERY conservative company. They are very open about not paying as much as competitors, but offering a better overall work environment (according to Forbes, one of the top-10 medium-sized companies to work for in the country). I have very strict guidelines as far as what salary I can offer potential employees, and I tell them upfront what we can offer and that there is no room for negotiation. Hasn't seemed to be a problem yet.

User avatar
rob
Posts: 2951
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by rob » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:41 pm

I'd also be honest and do the 75 since your saying external would be higher again but what's your plan over the next few years? Is 75 your real ceiling going forward giving you no room for small bumps or inflation raises? What is your retention plan (assuming you want a longer term employee)?
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

nimo956
Posts: 720
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:07 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by nimo956 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:41 pm

KlangFool wrote: nimo956,

1) Can the candidate do the job?

2) Is it a good fit?

3) Can you offer much more that 75K or that is all that you can offer?

4) What is the problem with being honest and upfront with what you can offer?

KlangFool
1. Yes, I know he can do the job, as he's proven himself quite capable on projects in the past.

2. It is a good fit for him and aligns with his desired career progression.

3. There's no real wiggle room on salary, though it's unlikely I'd be able to hire an external candidate at this level, so we need to make this work.

4. I have no problem being honest, but don't want to appear ineffectual, like my hands are tied due to corporate bureaucracy. I want to be able to convincingly make the case that the job is worth $75k, even if Glassdoor data says it's worth $88k. To be candid, I made $75k as well when I was in this role many years ago, though that's not something I'd share with him.
50% VTI / 50% VXUS

KlangFool
Posts: 9179
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:47 pm

nimo956 wrote:
4. I have no problem being honest, but don't want to appear ineffectual, like my hands are tied due to corporate bureaucracy. I want to be able to convincingly make the case that the job is worth $75k, even if Glassdoor data says it's worth $88k. To be candid, I made $75k as well when I was in this role many years ago, though that's not something I'd share with him.
nimo956,

Is HONESTY more important or your EGO? Where does INTEGRITY stands in your priority as a person?

I know my answer. I would rather give an honest answer even if that makes me looks like a fool. After many years of this, people know and trust me for an honest answer.

The TRUTH is you have no wiggle room. Your only choice is, to tell THE TRUTH or A LIE. In the long run, which one will help you more in your career and life?

KlangFool

User avatar
onthecusp
Posts: 410
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:25 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by onthecusp » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:54 pm

You don't KNOW you would have to pay more for an external candidate. Maybe you would for one who already has this experience. There is no need to go there in the conversation.

Many organizations have overlapping salary ranges for position levels. If this is the case you could point out that the new position is at the lower end of the higher range and therefore not so limited in potential as the candidate's current position.

Not clear how you have come to the conclusion of what the candidate expects. Maybe they are just a good negotiator and are putting a number out there based on glassdoor or whatever. I've done similar to my bosses in the past. Tell them you appreciate the effort but this is the best you can do for now. They should be quite happy with a total of 25% in 6 months with room to grow as the economy improves! :sharebeer
Last edited by onthecusp on Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Hub
Posts: 394
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:56 am

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by Hub » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:54 pm

I think the $75k figure is something you can work with and be honest about. BUT you better be certain HR will support that for an internal candidate that already got a big raise recently. I've seen managers incorrectly assume they can get HR to not classify an internal move as lateral.

nimo956
Posts: 720
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:07 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by nimo956 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:03 pm

Hub wrote:I think the $75k figure is something you can work with and be honest about. BUT you better be certain HR will support that for an internal candidate that already got a big raise recently. I've seen managers incorrectly assume they can get HR to not classify an internal move as lateral.
This is a good point about incorrectly assuming what HR will do. $75k is the low end of the pay scale for this grade. I got approval for this grade so I'd be able to offer a pay bump to this candidate, based on the minimum. I still might get pushback from HR to lower the grade when I try to move forward with presenting an offer.

Also, thanks to all the posters for the advice to just be honest. I've certainly always valued honesty from my managers, so it should be effective in framing the conversation.
50% VTI / 50% VXUS

VoiceOfReason
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:54 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by VoiceOfReason » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:55 pm

nimo956 wrote:
4. I have no problem being honest, but don't want to appear ineffectual, like my hands are tied due to corporate bureaucracy. I want to be able to convincingly make the case that the job is worth $75k, even if Glassdoor data says it's worth $88k. To be candid, I made $75k as well when I was in this role many years ago, though that's not something I'd share with him.

I think you can have it both ways but you need to consider WHY people change jobs or pursue new positions. Salary is just part of it.

I'd explain how rewarding the new work he will be doing is, the improved visibility he will get because of it.

I'd explain how this position opens up even more promotion opportunities for him compared to current position.

I'd also explain that one of the top factors for why people are happy with their job is their boss. In a self aware way, id explain how you're pretty hands off / understanding (if u are). I'd also say that you are new to management and would be your first hire and report. I'd say that one of the primary responsibilities of a manager is to facilitate improved skills and enable the career growth and advancement of your reports.

If you sell the value of all these other aspects of the position, it will change the entire view of the offer.

I will also add that you are assuming his thoughts on salary even though he's never expressed that expectation. He got a 10k raise last time so a nearly 10k raise would be awesome again. I would go into it with a real upbeat outlook on everything with no assumptions about his expectations until he explicitly reveals them and then be prepared to have the convo.

123
Posts: 3393
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by 123 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:15 pm

Just be honest about the situation.

An offer of $75K would be a boost for the internal candidate.

He would likely take the $75K position, assuming he wants the job. Hopefully it advances his career and over time make him more attractive to other employers. If the company doesn't compete on salary for the position over the longer term it will eventually lose the employee to another company that pays more. Such is life.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

freebeer
Posts: 1979
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:30 am
Location: Seattle area USA

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by freebeer » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:25 pm

nimo956 wrote:... it's unlikely I'd be able to hire an external candidate at this level, so we need to make this work...
it sounds like you did not really get full "approval to fill a position" because you are admitting that the budget does not permit hiring someone at market rate (aka external candidate) for the job level. That you had the same salary in this position "many years ago" is further evidence that your budget does not match the current market. It is not really fair to expect to be able to promote people internally but have them working at below-market salaries. That being said it's not such an unusual situation either. So I would recommend you be up front with this person and tell them that you are stuck in a difficult position but that if you don't make it work with him you will have to hire a more junior external candidate or whatever is your Plan B. And in the future I recommend that you make sure that salary level aligns with market rate for the position - don't accept responsibility for filling a req if you don't have the budget to make it happen. Glassdoor makes unfair compensation practices harder for corporations to pull off so hopefully your company will see fit to align salary with market.

NoGambleNoFuture
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:19 pm

Lol at an internal candidate EXPECTING to go from $54,000 to $65,000 to $88,000 in just a few months. Do they get a merit increase in January as well? :).

A 10-15% increase in base is very common for a promotion. He/She should be thrilled to be receiving the opportunity to get another raise just a few months beyond his last. Anyone in here that wouldn't be thrilled with another 15% raise?

In all likelihood this person is getting some sort of exceptions made for the new role, which likely justifies why $75k is max and is slightly below market. If he can do the job and there are no exceptions being made, why hasn't he been out applying for the same role at other companies 2 months ago when he was being paid only 60% of what he's worth? Surely he could have gotten a similar gig elsewhere and been paid fairly...

Lastly, all Glassdoor salary info should be taken with a grain of salt - if you want real comps look into Radford with your HR department who can slice and dice down to the exact same role at your competitors/industry and give you a real picture of what the level looks like for this persons experience.

harrychan
Posts: 1396
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by harrychan » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:53 pm

You've left out a very important figure. What is the range of the position. $75k for a $70 - $100k range is very different from $50 - 75k.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

NoGambleNoFuture
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:02 am

Also not mentioned is the option of getting an HRBP involved to help with the discussion. Not certain if you have those available but if so leverage them in your talking/selling points.

dcabler
Posts: 533
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:30 am

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by dcabler » Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:58 am

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:Also not mentioned is the option of getting an HRBP involved to help with the discussion. Not certain if you have those available but if so leverage them in your talking/selling points.
+1 I've been a director or manager for over 15 years. In all the companies I've worked for, compensation was strictly in the hands of the HR department. I can definitely make recommendations to them, let them know what I think consequences might be, but they are the ones who do the compensation negotiations, not the managers.

Traveler
Posts: 607
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:07 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by Traveler » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:34 am

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:Lol at an internal candidate EXPECTING to go from $54,000 to $65,000 to $88,000 in just a few months. Do they get a merit increase in January as well? :).

A 10-15% increase in base is very common for a promotion. He/She should be thrilled to be receiving the opportunity to get another raise just a few months beyond his last. Anyone in here that wouldn't be thrilled with another 15% raise?

In all likelihood this person is getting some sort of exceptions made for the new role, which likely justifies why $75k is max and is slightly below market. If he can do the job and there are no exceptions being made, why hasn't he been out applying for the same role at other companies 2 months ago when he was being paid only 60% of what he's worth? Surely he could have gotten a similar gig elsewhere and been paid fairly...

Lastly, all Glassdoor salary info should be taken with a grain of salt - if you want real comps look into Radford with your HR department who can slice and dice down to the exact same role at your competitors/industry and give you a real picture of what the level looks like for this persons experience.
+1

If he has the skills to make $88K, he'd be making it at another company. And I question why he was working for only $54K just a few months ago when he's apparently "worth" $88K.

msk
Posts: 813
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:40 am

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by msk » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:38 am

Indeed. I find it absurd that you wish to talk salary to the employee before the figures are first cleared by HR. You'll look extremely silly, and the employee will be totally pissed off if you talk 75k and HR then says no way.

stan1
Posts: 5628
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by stan1 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:06 am

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:Lol at an internal candidate EXPECTING to go from $54,000 to $65,000 to $88,000 in just a few months. Do they get a merit increase in January as well? :).
Right, this salary progression over a few months would be a no-go in many companies (big and small) unless the individual was clearly in a pay inequity situation (e.g. making much less than peers with similar duties and experience or very high viz such as frequent engagement with C-level management). Many companies won't play this game even with specialized tech workers who are in high demand.

You should not be talking to the person you want to hire until you've talked to your supervisor and HR about the process.

My guess is the company will want to lateral the person into the new job at about the same pay given the recent promotion. Also if the person really is this good you might burn bridges with the supervisor/managers he currently works for. Most companies support lateral reassignments for growth but do not support "poaching" or competition among departments/teams for people. If the person also works for your boss (e.g. same department) they may just laugh and say try again. Talk to your boss candidly. Build a relationship with your boss so you can have discussions like this.

The other thing is: is this guy really the rock star you think he is? If your company has an internal vacancy announcement process there are definitely benefits of using that. You'll get a broader pool of applicants and including some you may not be aware of or some who you might not have thought would have been interested.

User avatar
tractorguy
Posts: 624
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 6:32 pm
Location: Chicago Suburb

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by tractorguy » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:14 am

msk wrote:Indeed. I find it absurd that you wish to talk salary to the employee before the figures are first cleared by HR. You'll look extremely silly, and the employee will be totally pissed off if you talk 75k and HR then says no way.
+1 on this and not just the money. You need to confirm the salary grade in writing. I was a high mid level manager at a megacorp when I retired. There were hard and fast rules set by HR on what we could offer for a lateral move or a promotion, based on a percentage of the person's current salary and where it was in the range for the position. You need to talk to HR or your manager to find out what the calculation is.

Also you need to get clarification in writing from HR on what they will allow the Salary Grade to be for the position if he fills it before you have any discussions with him. They may not allow another promotion unless you can prove the position is a higher grade irrespective of who fills it by defining the scope of responsiblity etc. Getting permission to post the job as a range of positions is not the same as getting permission to promote someone when you bring him in to it.

You are looking at this as a manager who has a good candidate and needs to entice him to come. They are looking at it company wide and know that if they give him special treatment then there will be 100's of other employees who will want equivalent raises and who will be angry when they don't get them. In my experience, HR departments require a lot of documentation before giving people promotions.
Lorne

livesoft
Posts: 61414
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by livesoft » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:20 am

Yes, get help from your mentors IN YOUR company on this.

Also be sure to check with the supervisors of this prospect. If they can't recommend them for a promotion and/or internal transfer, they will hate you for the rest of your career if not life.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

stan1
Posts: 5628
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by stan1 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:35 am


Also be sure to check with the supervisors of this prospect. If they can't recommend them for a promotion and/or internal transfer, they will hate you for the rest of your career if not life.
This can backfire also. "Oh sure he's a great guy -- when do you want him to start? He's available tomorrow."

Lindrobe
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:35 am
Location: Mishawaka, IN

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by Lindrobe » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:04 am

This is a very interesting thread. I think that the candidate's current pay should be irrelevant when considering how much he would be paid in the new position. He/she would likely be taking on additional responsibilities and/or may be required to work additional hours. If I was him/her, I would not consider taking on additional responsibilities or more hours for $1k.

why3not
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:07 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by why3not » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:41 am

nimo956 wrote: I need advice on how to discuss salary during the job interview process and set expectations appropriately.
Don't.
If HR is setting the salary, you should tell the candidate that salary will be set by HR. Keep the interview about the job & let HR discuss the salary with an internal transfer.

nimo956
Posts: 720
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:07 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by nimo956 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:06 pm

tractorguy wrote:
msk wrote:Indeed. I find it absurd that you wish to talk salary to the employee before the figures are first cleared by HR. You'll look extremely silly, and the employee will be totally pissed off if you talk 75k and HR then says no way.
+1 on this and not just the money. You need to confirm the salary grade in writing. I was a high mid level manager at a megacorp when I retired. There were hard and fast rules set by HR on what we could offer for a lateral move or a promotion, based on a percentage of the person's current salary and where it was in the range for the position. You need to talk to HR or your manager to find out what the calculation is.

Also you need to get clarification in writing from HR on what they will allow the Salary Grade to be for the position if he fills it before you have any discussions with him. They may not allow another promotion unless you can prove the position is a higher grade irrespective of who fills it by defining the scope of responsiblity etc. Getting permission to post the job as a range of positions is not the same as getting permission to promote someone when you bring him in to it.

You are looking at this as a manager who has a good candidate and needs to entice him to come. They are looking at it company wide and know that if they give him special treatment then there will be 100's of other employees who will want equivalent raises and who will be angry when they don't get them. In my experience, HR departments require a lot of documentation before giving people promotions.
Thanks for the advice. I'll be sure not to mention any specifics until it is confirmed by HR. I'm not going to proactively bring it up, but just want to be prepared in case he asks.
harrychan wrote:You've left out a very important figure. What is the range of the position. $75k for a $70 - $100k range is very different from $50 - 75k.
As an example, let's say he is currently getting $65k at grade 5, which has a range of something like $65k - $85k. The new position is grade 6, which has a range of $75k - $95k. My idea was to get approval for a grade 6 position so he gets the $75k at a minimum. HR would probably like to call this grade 5 and only give a slight increase. I'm preparing for some pushback, but do have evidence to state my case for why this should be grade 6.
50% VTI / 50% VXUS

User avatar
DaftInvestor
Posts: 3934
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:32 pm

nimo956 wrote:
tractorguy wrote:
msk wrote:Indeed. I find it absurd that you wish to talk salary to the employee before the figures are first cleared by HR. You'll look extremely silly, and the employee will be totally pissed off if you talk 75k and HR then says no way.
+1 on this and not just the money. You need to confirm the salary grade in writing. I was a high mid level manager at a megacorp when I retired. There were hard and fast rules set by HR on what we could offer for a lateral move or a promotion, based on a percentage of the person's current salary and where it was in the range for the position. You need to talk to HR or your manager to find out what the calculation is.

Also you need to get clarification in writing from HR on what they will allow the Salary Grade to be for the position if he fills it before you have any discussions with him. They may not allow another promotion unless you can prove the position is a higher grade irrespective of who fills it by defining the scope of responsiblity etc. Getting permission to post the job as a range of positions is not the same as getting permission to promote someone when you bring him in to it.

You are looking at this as a manager who has a good candidate and needs to entice him to come. They are looking at it company wide and know that if they give him special treatment then there will be 100's of other employees who will want equivalent raises and who will be angry when they don't get them. In my experience, HR departments require a lot of documentation before giving people promotions.
Thanks for the advice. I'll be sure not to mention any specifics until it is confirmed by HR. I'm not going to proactively bring it up, but just want to be prepared in case he asks.
harrychan wrote:You've left out a very important figure. What is the range of the position. $75k for a $70 - $100k range is very different from $50 - 75k.
As an example, let's say he is currently getting $65k at grade 5, which has a range of something like $65k - $85k. The new position is grade 6, which has a range of $75k - $95k. My idea was to get approval for a grade 6 position so he gets the $75k at a minimum. HR would probably like to call this grade 5 and only give a slight increase. I'm preparing for some pushback, but do have evidence to state my case for why this should be grade 6.
You shouldn't be playing games with grades to fit desired salary. The question you should be working on is - does he fit the description and capabilities of a grade 6 versus a grade 5? Have you looked at the other 5's and 6's in your company to see where he falls? Putting someone in the wrong grade just to make them happy or get them a higher salary is not fair to those in the organization that have worked a long time in their positions to get to those grades so pushback from HR is warranted. You also need to understand how easy it might be in the future to provide a bump in position/salary later - in some companies this is easy - in others it takes an act of Congress. Someone else brought up Radford salary data - this data is used by many companies and is considered industry standard- have you looked at it to see where this person fits? Does your HR department use Radford? Talk to peer managers to see how processes work/align and see how others work with HR in these situations. Different companies have different politics/procedures and you need to know how to approach the situation in your company. Rather than ask here - you really should be talking to other managers that have experience with the processes/procedures at your company.

NoGambleNoFuture
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:38 pm

nimo956 wrote:
tractorguy wrote:
msk wrote:Indeed. I find it absurd that you wish to talk salary to the employee before the figures are first cleared by HR. You'll look extremely silly, and the employee will be totally pissed off if you talk 75k and HR then says no way.
+1 on this and not just the money. You need to confirm the salary grade in writing. I was a high mid level manager at a megacorp when I retired. There were hard and fast rules set by HR on what we could offer for a lateral move or a promotion, based on a percentage of the person's current salary and where it was in the range for the position. You need to talk to HR or your manager to find out what the calculation is.

Also you need to get clarification in writing from HR on what they will allow the Salary Grade to be for the position if he fills it before you have any discussions with him. They may not allow another promotion unless you can prove the position is a higher grade irrespective of who fills it by defining the scope of responsiblity etc. Getting permission to post the job as a range of positions is not the same as getting permission to promote someone when you bring him in to it.

You are looking at this as a manager who has a good candidate and needs to entice him to come. They are looking at it company wide and know that if they give him special treatment then there will be 100's of other employees who will want equivalent raises and who will be angry when they don't get them. In my experience, HR departments require a lot of documentation before giving people promotions.
Thanks for the advice. I'll be sure not to mention any specifics until it is confirmed by HR. I'm not going to proactively bring it up, but just want to be prepared in case he asks.
harrychan wrote:You've left out a very important figure. What is the range of the position. $75k for a $70 - $100k range is very different from $50 - 75k.
As an example, let's say he is currently getting $65k at grade 5, which has a range of something like $65k - $85k. The new position is grade 6, which has a range of $75k - $95k. My idea was to get approval for a grade 6 position so he gets the $75k at a minimum. HR would probably like to call this grade 5 and only give a slight increase. I'm preparing for some pushback, but do have evidence to state my case for why this should be grade 6.
Levels/grades should be developed specifically based on what the role will do, responsibilities, experience required, etc. and should be rigid not flexible. Roles are typically leveled based off of the job description and ensure parity within the entire organization -- being super flexible and allowing one-off offers to deviate from the structure creates an EXTREMELY weak foundation that eventually collapses (multiple peers all being paid differently but doing the same job, internal inequity, etc.). In almost every case, "I want to make certain he's at $75k because Glassdoor says the public average is $88k and he has the ability to search for that information" is not justification for deviating from the planned/budgeted grade and range.

Again, if he can easily get $88k elsewhere you should expect that he would have done it already. Honestly, same thing with $75k.

Jags4186
Posts: 2171
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:52 pm

Getting 2 promotions with increases in a manner of months is unusual. I would frankly be surprised if the candidate thought he would go from 65k to 88k after just going from 54k to 65k.

Interview the candidate as well as external candidates, make your offer to the best candidate at the salary approved by HR and go from there. If the internal candidate accepts at 75k and is so good he's worth 88k, he'll go find a job elsewhere relatively quickly and either ask for you to match or leave.

That's the way the world works. It's very unlikely that someone making 54k a few months ago is that integral to the corporation.

msk
Posts: 813
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:40 am

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Post by msk » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:14 am

Long ago I spent a two-year stint in HR before I ended up in general management, as part of career development. Company size does matter. Our company had >100,000 employees worldwide with entangled pay scales, retirement benefits, etc. An employee has a salary group, which may or may not match the job group in the position. In the above scripted situation, wearing an HR hat I would have offered him a lateral move (same salary) into the higher job group position, with the clear understanding that if he matches up to expectations, say, after 3 to 6 months, he will get promoted. In general management I would have tried to make a case for his immediate promotion, fully expecting that will happen only in a competitive situation, whereby he gets interviewed and ranked vs either internal candidates and/or external candidates. Problem with promotions is that the individual is subsequently ranked against other employees who are already in the higher group. It all ends up badly if an otherwise very good employee ends up being ranked as a bottom performer because he had been over-promoted. These are the people who get the first chop whenever the next business downturn comes. An old HR mantra: people always end up being promoted to their level of mediocrity.

Post Reply