nitro4214 wrote:There are a few lessons learned.
First of all, I need to request a phone screening first. This is a conservative company and the initial interview and follow up interview were both in person. There was a lot of wasted time between going to the interviews, driving to the interviews, scheduling, completing their applications, dealing with phone calls, etc.
I should NOT be giving out my salary history just because they ask. If they have an issue with me not providing it then I should walk. They asked for my salary history (which I gave them without hesitation) and they used it against me in this situation.
I should be asking about items such as the start time and vacation time at the initial interview (or perhaps even the phone screening?). There is no point in wasting time if those are going to be deal breakers.
Perhaps it is best to give them my salary requirements at the phone screening as well?
I think if these items were discussed at an initial phone screening, it would have prevented both sides from wasting so much time.
I've enjoyed reading your thread, and I am sorry it doesn't seem to have worked out well for you. It does seem like it was a good learning experience.
A few points.
- What exactly is a conservative company? One that doesn't like to pay new employees well? It's probably a no-win conversation to have with a recruiter, but I'd enjoy debating that label with him over a beer. To me, a conservative company would vet a great candidate and pay him or her well to avoid the risks of hiring new employees that are willing to work for below market rates.
I applaud you for sticking to your guns. In my experience, that initial offer is everything. Many midsize to large companies that I've worked for have strict salary increase restrictions. Status quo can be anywhere from 2-3% increase a year (often not tied that closely to your personal performance), with perhaps a 5-10% increase for a title change/promotion.
This was problematic for me as a manager of a team with entry-level tech professionals. I learned very quickly that if we hired someone at $19 an hour, he'd receive a pittance for his annual raise (.60 cents an hour), and even after I got him a title change, the company's salary increase practices would cap him at $1.90. So, in brief, I had some guys who were worth $25-$30 an hour to me, yet I paid far less and didn't have the tools to get them up where they should be. Exceptions could be made, but they required a lot of director and/or executive support. A major hassle that didn't happen very often.
I recently left that company and joined another, much larger company--attracted by a 40% salary increase. I had delusions of big raises at this company -- the initial offer was so good, they must, right? -- and chuckled at my first performance review when my boss laid out the company's salary increase guidelines: 2% a year, with a 5-10% increase for a promotion. Sounded very, very familiar. Almost like these HR departments share best practices in the industry for keeping wages low? I have no regrets since I'm at a good wage, but I know I may end up leaving this job in 5-10 years if some other company dangles another huge increase in front of me and my current employer has locked down my compensation.
This may not be the rule everywhere, but what I've learned is that you really need to learn the rules so you can understand and play the game.
- Conversations on the phone with recruiters can be very awkward. I suck at them! I loved your pause comment! So true! When you failed to ask about the extra week of vacation and start time, you made it that much harder on yourself. If they come back now and offer you the job with the salary you asked for, countering with more demands will likely be even more awkward. I have a friend who recently negotiated with the recruiter via email, and I think that works very well. It's very easy to craft your presentation (I want x, y, and z), send it, and see what they come back with. It's not always easy. Be prepared to walk away from the offer. Get what you want!
- I'd be careful talking about compensation and benefits in interviews with anyone other than the recruiter. In my experience, especially in group interview settings, if it turns off one person it may come back to haunt you when they discuss the candidates. Ideally, you can request the salary range from the recruiter in advance without giving any of your own requirements. If it meets your expectations, you take the interview and focus on the work and culture in the interview. Then comes perhaps an initial offer--this is where you can ask for an offer letter or the full terms of the offer via email instead of giving them an answer on the phone. Then you can respond with any counters you wish to pursue via email.
- Finally, don't let this experience get you down. You learned a ton. You'll go into that next interview/negotiation process with more experience and confidence. You did expend a lot of energy getting here, but so did the company that offered you the job. Take it as professional skills training that they provided to you, free of charge! =D
It sounds like you have a valuable skill set. Make someone pay you to add it to their resource pool.