Salary Negotiation gone sour

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livetaswim06
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Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by livetaswim06 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:37 pm

So I am going to write out the timeline of what happened and am curious what the community thinks. I got an email from a 3rd party recruiter for a Sr. Analyst role at a company making up to 100k. This would represent a decent jump from my current role and I pursued the opportunity. I spoke with the recruiting agent's manager who stated that my experience was a little below what they were looking for so 90-95k was more reasonable and I was happy with that range. The interview went really well, met the team and loved the office. Less than 24 hours later I got the offer for 85k with 12.5% bonus. This was nearly 10k less than I was expecting so I countered with 92 the same day. I was told that this would need approval, but it shouldn't be difficult to get. Two business days later I got the answer that they could do 85k and 15% bonus target. Again the base was not enough so I countered with 88k at 12.5% bonus. I didn't hear back anything for 4 days and then they told me they filled the role with an internal candidate and the offer was gone. Just to be clear I had 0 contact with the company after the interview. All the negotiating was done via the 3rd party recruiter. They were rather shocked and I am sure upset to have lost the commission on the role.

This was the most negotiating I have ever done since I have a comfortable and decently paying job currently. The opportunity offered more money, more responsibility and some travel, which is why I was pursuing it.

That being said the dept. is growing and I was told I am the number 1 choice when anything else opens up. (Of course this could be just the "Let's be friends" approach to a breakup). Am I correct that this situation is somewhat perplexing? I felt that my asks were reasonable and I was always professional and very responsive.

If they come back and offer me 88/15 in a few months should I consider it? Or should I accept that this was rather unprofessional on their part and move on?

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by athan » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:46 pm

That is the chance you take when negotiating salary. It doesn't seem unprofessional to me.

Thesaints
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Thesaints » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:52 pm

If they took someone else because of 3k/yr losing that job was actually positive for you.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by lthenderson » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:53 pm

livetaswim06 wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:37 pm
If they come back and offer me 88/15 in a few months should I consider it? Or should I accept that this was rather unprofessional on their part and move on?
Yes I would move on and forget about it. This happens when you negotiate. You don't win them all. If they ever call you back, then you can consider it but I wouldn't waste any time dreaming about it between now and then.

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Pajamas
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:54 pm

So they consistently offered $85k base salary but were willing to offer you a higher bonus based on your performance but pulled the offer in favor of an internal candidate.

It could be that they didn't have the flexibility with the salary range that they hoped for or it could be that you were asking more than what they thought you were worth to them.

The involvement of a third-party recruiter and the fees that entails could have favored filling it internally.

Maybe they thought that internal person would be functioning at full capacity faster because they were already acclimated to the culture and that was a critical factor.

If they make make you a good offer in the future, I don't see any reason not to take it based on the way that this was handled. They never actually made you a written offer. However, $88k is a lot closer to $85k than it is to $95k, so I don't see why you would be suddenly willing to accept that.

Don't sit around waiting for them to call but keep looking for a better position. That will help you determine whether or not your assessment of your worth in terms of salary with your current experience is reasonable or needs adjustment.

livetaswim06
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by livetaswim06 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:01 pm

I was looking to accept a slightly lower rate than expected due to higher advancement opportunities at the company vs mine.

N10sive
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by N10sive » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:07 pm

It seems the third party recruiter offered the salary range and not the company directly? Or am I reading that wrong? Then in negotiations the third party recruiter could only get so much for you?

Negotiating for 4k overall between offers isn't a whole lot. As long as it was a 10-15% base from your current position I pry would have taken it. Really between the last offer and your counter the difference if the bonus was paid in full was 1.5k. I would have done more research on how much of that bonus is paid out normally etc. Even if you didn't get all the bonus paid you pry would have been very close in salary for either......

livetaswim06
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by livetaswim06 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:12 pm

N10sive wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:07 pm
It seems the third party recruiter offered the salary range and not the company directly? Or am I reading that wrong? Then in negotiations the third party recruiter could only get so much for you?

Negotiating for 4k overall between offers isn't a whole lot. As long as it was a 10-15% base from your current position I pry would have taken it. Really between the last offer and your counter the difference if the bonus was paid in full was 1.5k. I would have done more research on how much of that bonus is paid out normally etc. Even if you didn't get all the bonus paid you pry would have been very close in salary for either......
Correct, the salary provided came from the recruiter. During the in-person interview the salary was brought up and I simply stated that the range provided was consistent with what I expected. Adding 10% to my current base would take me just above 90k. That being said the bonuses here are smaller so it would indeed be a step up. Honestly, I was really close to pulling the trigger at 85/15. To make manager where I am currently takes years, while at the company I interviewed with a year or two for high performers is reasonable.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:13 pm

OP,

Job offers come and go. What’s good to know is that you are worth at least $85k/15% bonus. I would use that as my anchor for all future jobs.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by N10sive » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:19 pm

livetaswim06 wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:12 pm
Correct, the salary provided came from the recruiter. During the in-person interview the salary was brought up and I simply stated that the range provided was consistent with what I expected. Adding 10% to my current base would take me just above 90k. That being said the bonuses here are smaller so it would indeed be a step up. Honestly, I was really close to pulling the trigger at 85/15. To make manager where I am currently takes years, while at the company I interviewed with a year or two for high performers is reasonable.
The company is taking a risk by hiring you and you are taking a risk by switching to this new company. No one can really determine what suits you better but sometimes you have to believe in yourself and make that jump.

When I was doing a lot of interviews I learned form every single one and got better both in answering interviewing questions and salary negotiations. Life is full of lessons and this is just one of them.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:26 pm

My experience from both sides, employee and hiring manager. Unless you are an exceptional candidate or the need is great. It is not so much a negotiation as it is, Offer -> Counter Offer -> Final Offer.

The candidate only has their own decision to make. Companies are different. Once you start jerking them around over peanuts. It makes them wonder what kind of employee you are going to be and you are done.

I have personally cut more than one candidate loose who thought employment offers were let's make a deal.

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Pajamas
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:30 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:26 pm
My experience from both sides, employee and hiring manager. Unless you are an exceptional candidate or the need is great. It is not so much a negotiation as it is, Offer -> Counter Offer -> Final Offer.

The candidate only has their own decision to make. Companies are different. Once you start jerking them around over peanuts. It makes them wonder what kind of employee you are going to be and you are done.

I have personally cut more than one candidate loose who thought employment offers were let's make a deal.
The second offer in this case had the same base salary as the initial offer with an increase in the performance bonus only.

The second counteroffer which again requested an increase in base salary certainly might have triggered that sort of reaction from the company.

Pacman
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Pacman » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:32 pm

Get a new 3rd party recruiter. They are not being upfront with you.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:36 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:26 pm
My experience from both sides, employee and hiring manager. Unless you are an exceptional candidate or the need is great. It is not so much a negotiation as it is, Offer -> Counter Offer -> Final Offer.

The candidate only has their own decision to make. Companies are different. Once you start jerking them around over peanuts. It makes them wonder what kind of employee you are going to be and you are done.

I have personally cut more than one candidate loose who thought employment offers were let's make a deal.
What you say is peanuts—$3,000 in the OPs case—is a lot of money to the OP. If it’s such “peanuts” and $3,000 to a company is usually “peanuts” then they should have come up with the money. I would say the OP dodged a bullet.

staythecourse
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by staythecourse » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:41 pm

Look this is how it works if you run your own business. You will find the cheapest labor that will accomplish that level of responsibility. If you look at if from there aspect they get an internal hire who understand the "system" or the "culture" of the company (good or bad often bad) for less then you wanted. If they thought you added value they would have offered more. Nothing you did was wrong though.

What I would do is talk tot he recruiter and find out what experience you lacked so you can better work on that deficit when applying for future similar positions.

Personally, I would view it is a positive learning experience.

Good luck.
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by mmmodem » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:41 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:26 pm
It is not so much a negotiation as it is, Offer -> Counter Offer -> Final Offer.
This is my experience as well. You basically turned down the job offer. Also, the salary quoted by the job posting, the recruiter, and the hiring manager always tended to land higher than the actual offer. I wonder why that is? Your salary is what the market demands for the position at that location at your experience level. Was $85k a reasonable offer for the position?

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:43 pm

They offered you nearly $100k total comp. I’m not sure what is wrong here.

And you countered their counter with a difference of about $1K in total comp. As a hiring manager I would have walked.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by abracadabra11 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:45 pm

Typical caveats about hindsight and internet advice apply, but it seems that the company may well have been signaling that their salary ceiling was 85k though flexibility existed on the bonus. Unfortunately, your recruiter appears to have made an error by establishing an artificial anchor that ultimately wasn't achievable.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by z3r0c00l » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:48 pm

"Two business days later I got the answer that they could do 85k and 15% bonus target. Again the base was not enough so I countered with 88k at 12.5% bonus."

I would have said "no thank you" when they came back with 85 and 15, they didn't signal a strong enough willingness to meet you half way. You had been offered much higher salaries to start and they kept dropping it. Who knows how the recruiter was playing both sides so I wouldn't assume the company is to blame.

The comment just above makes a fair point, your counter-counter was too low to benefit you and may have signaled to the company that you were more interested in getting a concession from them than in getting meaningful gains in compensation.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:03 pm

It's odd to me negotiating through a recruiter... I wouldn't use that same recruiter. He is a poor negotiator/recruiter if he didn't talk through your offers and level with you more.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by livetaswim06 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:04 pm

At 85k the increase in take home would have been offset with the increased commute. I was really negotiating to make it somewhat reasonable for me assuming no bonus. I really like the company and while the difference between 85 and 88 seems small, that was enough to get a small bump in take home. I mostly blame the recruiter for setting the anchor at 90-95, and then getting the offer for something that would essentially reduce my take home. It's just jarring going in thinking you are getting 95k + some bonus to 85k+ bonus. It's a learning experience all the way around. Also, who knows the company might have HAD to promote the employee and indeed expects to try to come back in a few months. I am not going to wait that is for sure, but it would be great if it happens.

Do most companies that rescind an offer tell you that you are an excellent candidate and they want to hire you for the next role that opens up?

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by ssquared87 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:19 pm

livetaswim06 wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:04 pm
Do most companies that rescind an offer tell you that you are an excellent candidate and they want to hire you for the next role that opens up?
My experience has been that discussions with potential employers are more conversational and flexible. If they weren't willing to move at all on the base, you're better off not working there. Generally if they like you enough they'd have a conversation about why they can't offer you anymore base, and maybe discuss giving you a few extra days off or something to make up for it. But if it's just an increase in bonus potential, which is basically meaningless since they can give you whatever bonus they want, and it's take it or leave it, I wouldn't want to work for that company.

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Pajamas
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:28 pm

livetaswim06 wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:04 pm
Do most companies that rescind an offer tell you that you are an excellent candidate and they want to hire you for the next role that opens up?
Not if they are only willing and/or able to offer you a salary that you already declined to accept twice. I would take that comment as something a nice person said to make it more pleasant for both of you and not read too much into it.

It's certainly possible that they call you again or that you apply again and they make you another offer, but it's hard to get past the salary issue.

The recruiter should have presented their second offer with something like "They can't or won't increase the base salary because of XYZ but are willing to offer you a higher bonus based on your performance. That is a good salary for this position and I have only seen a couple filled at a higher base salary and those people had more experience than you have. They liked you and want to hire you but XYZ."

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by dcabler » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:58 pm

Pacman wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:32 pm
Get a new 3rd party recruiter. They are not being upfront with you.
+1 Also, at least in my field, a 3rd party recruiter is paid by the company trying to hire you. Meaning, they represent the company, not you. I have gone through third party recruiters from both sides of the table. I've never seen a restriction that the third party recruiter act as a go-between during the negotiation process.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by 123 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:23 pm

It can easily cost an employer 30 - 50 percent of the annual salary to use an outside recruiter. Accordingly when push comes to shove, they may opt for a known internal hire versus an outsider. It also can depend on who's budget the recruiter gets paid from. Sometimes there is a company wide fund for recruiting expense, but if it hits the budget of the hiring unit directly that manager may back away.
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Good Listener » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:37 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:52 pm
If they took someone else because of 3k/yr losing that job was actually positive for you.
This. I would run away....

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:31 pm

z3r0c00l wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:48 pm
I would have said "no thank you" when they came back with 85 and 15, they didn't signal a strong enough willingness to meet you half way. You had been offered much higher salaries to start and they kept dropping it. Who knows how the recruiter was playing both sides so I wouldn't assume the company is to blame.
I don't know where this "meet you half way" idea comes from. Some people think; "Oh when they offer, I will counter-offer twice what I want, because then we will settle in the middle." Nothing could be further from the truth. Just because you have a difference in any negotiation, there is nothing magical of 50% of the difference.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by texas lawdog » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:48 pm

Money doesn't represent entire offer - what about benefits, stock options, ability to move up, company reputation / stability, etc?
Only thing to do at this point is move on knowing that you made a reasonable counter- 3rd party recruiters often tell you what you want to hear and don't always know what happened within the company.

Good luck,

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by boglebill2015 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:49 pm

livetaswim06 wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:37 pm

If they come back and offer me 88/15 in a few months should I consider it? Or should I accept that this was rather unprofessional on their part and move on?
I dont see why you would see it as unprofessional. They made an offer, you countered, they reponded with what was most likely their best offer, and you countered. They decided that you probably were not going to be happy with their best, and moved on. Why would you assume that they owe you the right to go back and retro actively accept their offer?

I say this because I have approved the final number on hundreds of salary negotiations. At a job at the 85-95K level, the amount of back and forth you describe is not common. It happens, but not a lot. As employer,we want to avoid hiring people who are:

1) unhappy with their starting pay
2) earn more than our "band' for the job
3) very "particular" about this sort of stuff, try to extract every dime, (you asked for 1.5K extra in target comp on your last ask)
4) are motivated to move to a new job primarily by money, because you likely will be moving on again soon.

None of these are rules, but just factors that can cause employer to say, "ahh forget it", and move onto the next person.

You may have triggered a few of these in their minds

Or maybe they just decided the internal was better (emerged mid process) and the negotiation had nothing to do with it (less likely than they just decided to move on, but possible)
Last edited by boglebill2015 on Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:51 pm

livetaswim06 wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:01 pm
I was looking to accept a slightly lower rate than expected due to higher advancement opportunities at the company vs mine.
Knowing that, $85K plus 10% takes you to $97K, that is only 3% from the max they were willing to pay. Total comp maxed out at $100K.
Use this experience to determine what it is you really want - job opportunity with the ability to make more down the line or getting the cash upfront. Sometimes you have to initially take less to make more. The countering twice, that was not a good move, you aren't buying a car here, but then again maybe you didn't want the job as much as you indicate above.
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by boglebill2015 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:56 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:37 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:52 pm
If they took someone else because of 3k/yr losing that job was actually positive for you.
This. I would run away....
Or the employer might say, this guy just countered again with us for 1.5K more target comp, does he think he's negotiating to buy a new Honda civic here? What's his motivation?

There's always a limit in every negotiation, possible that 85K in base was their limit since they offered it twice.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by remomnyc » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:03 pm

It sounds like the max base was $85k. You demonstrated you would not accept it, and they moved on. When the base was less than I wanted but the job and company was one that I wanted, I negotiated a six-month performance and salary review and another time, a minimum base bonus. Each time I accepted the job that offered less than I wanted because it offered me a chance to go in the direction I wanted to go. Each time, total compensation ended up significantly superior because of larger bonuses and benefits. Don't lose sight of the big picture.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by z3r0c00l » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:03 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:31 pm
z3r0c00l wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:48 pm
I would have said "no thank you" when they came back with 85 and 15, they didn't signal a strong enough willingness to meet you half way. You had been offered much higher salaries to start and they kept dropping it. Who knows how the recruiter was playing both sides so I wouldn't assume the company is to blame.
I don't know where this "meet you half way" idea comes from. Some people think; "Oh when they offer, I will counter-offer twice what I want, because then we will settle in the middle." Nothing could be further from the truth. Just because you have a difference in any negotiation, there is nothing magical of 50% of the difference.
It comes from evolutionary biology where social primates are finely attuned to fairness and compromise. A compromise is meeting about half-way, where each side gives about the same amount, meeting in the middle. There is something magical about that. All other options have one side sacrificing more than the other.

Counter offering twice what you want has nothing to do with meeting half way, you may be confusing the two concepts. Meeting half-way looks like this:

I want $20,000 for my car, you want to spend $10,000. We both want to make the deal so to get there, we each offer to shift our number by $5,000. Each side sacrifices the same amount to make the deal work, at $15,000.

If I want $20,000 and you offer $10,000, then I say split the difference at $15,000, and then you offer $19,000, I would walk away. The OP job negotiation had that feel to it, perhaps confounded by a shady middleman.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:19 pm

z3r0c00l wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:03 pm
Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:31 pm
z3r0c00l wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:48 pm
I would have said "no thank you" when they came back with 85 and 15, they didn't signal a strong enough willingness to meet you half way. You had been offered much higher salaries to start and they kept dropping it. Who knows how the recruiter was playing both sides so I wouldn't assume the company is to blame.
I don't know where this "meet you half way" idea comes from. Some people think; "Oh when they offer, I will counter-offer twice what I want, because then we will settle in the middle." Nothing could be further from the truth. Just because you have a difference in any negotiation, there is nothing magical of 50% of the difference.
It comes from evolutionary biology where social primates are finely attuned to fairness and compromise. A compromise is meeting about half-way, where each side gives about the same amount, meeting in the middle. There is something magical about that. All other options have one side sacrificing more than the other.

Counter offering twice what you want has nothing to do with meeting half way, you may be confusing the two concepts. Meeting half-way looks like this:

I want $20,000 for my car, you want to spend $10,000. We both want to make the deal so to get there, we each offer to shift our number by $5,000. Each side sacrifices the same amount to make the deal work, at $15,000.

If I want $20,000 and you offer $10,000, then I say split the difference at $15,000, and then you offer $19,000, I would walk away. The OP job negotiation had that feel to it, perhaps confounded by a shady middleman.
Agree with that, the recruiter should have provided more guidance on the compensation. Something to the effect of "the maximum total compensation is up to $100K" instead of being vague leading the candidate to believe max salary was up to $100K and total comp was higher.
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by eye.surgeon » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:29 pm

As someone who employs almost 100 people, I can tell you that I don't go back and forth on salary negotiations. I offer what I think is fair and reasonable, and may (rarely) consider a counter-offer for more. Back and forth more than once, never. I'm not a used car salesman and those making the offer may well have just said forget him, yes even for $3000.
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Helo80 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:36 pm

livetaswim06 wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:37 pm
That being said the dept. is growing and I was told I am the number 1 choice when anything else opens up. (Of course this could be just the "Let's be friends" approach to a breakup). Am I correct that this situation is somewhat perplexing? I felt that my asks were reasonable and I was always professional and very responsive.

Don't overthink it. Move on and shop around for other jobs.

I was put in a similar situation, albeit no offer. I was told "You are the number 1 choice". It was more than just words as I had known several of these people for 5-15 years socially. Unfortunately, Mega Corp went into a hiring freezing that was well beyond their control, and from where I was working at the time, I knew it was not personal and just strictly business. So, no offer was extended.

So, moved on... found a new lead and new opportunity and overall am better off now. Yes, previous opportunity did eventually open back up and tried bringing me back into the fold, but I declined.

You may have negotiated a tad hard, but at the same time, if an internal candidate filled the role, it's much easier to do an internal transfer than external hire. What happened if the internal transfer was at $70k or $80k and 7.5% bonus? A known quantity (internal) is better than an unknown quantity (you).

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by finite_difference » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:18 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:52 pm
If they took someone else because of 3k/yr losing that job was actually positive for you.
+1.

Something is fishy about that company. You probably lucked out. That’s why I think it’s always good to negotiate for salary — the company’s way of handling it is a pretty good indicator of what it will be like to work there. If they are professional, respectful, accommodating and fair throughout the salary negotiations — that’s a place you want to work.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

tibbitts
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by tibbitts » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:07 pm

The lesson here is that when you negotiate, your results will vary. On balance I think negotiating experiences on Bogleheads reflect survivorship bias: people who've been the most successful at negotiating are the ones most likely to show up here. Whether being more successful reflects skill or luck is unclear.

HornedToad
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by HornedToad » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:08 pm

finite_difference wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:18 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:52 pm
If they took someone else because of 3k/yr losing that job was actually positive for you.
+1.

Something is fishy about that company. You probably lucked out. That’s why I think it’s always good to negotiate for salary — the company’s way of handling it is a pretty good indicator of what it will be like to work there. If they are professional, respectful, accommodating and fair throughout the salary negotiations — that’s a place you want to work.
I fail to see how they weren't those things. The company isn't obligated to give into a candidate just because he wants more money.

Honestly, the biggest failure is negotiating on base pay to start with instead of both you and the recruiter talking about total comp.

livetaswim06
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by livetaswim06 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:20 am

Thanks all! I have a few take-aways from all the advice above. First off, I should have negotiated with the company directly. When my recruiter first gave me the verbal at 85/12.5 and I asked for 92 he was extremely confident I would get it having just spoken with the company himself. I think based on their response I would have been better able to judge how willing they were to negotiate. Even on the second counter he was very optimistic based on his conversations with the company. Second, I need to be more aware of what the quoted salary represents. While I think it is reasonable to assume it is base pay, I should have checked. If the recruiter told me outright it was 85 plus bonus I wouldn't have interviewed. Third, sometimes the offer they give is the best they can do and there is no amount of negotiation that will change that. Lastly, sometimes it may just not be a good match right now based on your needs and the company's. Given the recruiter's relationship with the company maybe there was enthusiasm and things happened beyond their control.

Also just a few answers to some questions above. Living in a very HCOL area, 3k makes a world of difference since I am pretty much paycheck to paycheck right now. The main reason is I am paying down debt with every spare cent I have. With the added commute the offer would have been essentially flat or negative relative to current base. Honestly if the bonus is guaranteed, as was told to me, I don't see much of a difference between higher base lower bonus target and vice versa. If there were performance based conditions on the bonus that would make sense, but seeing as there weren't I don't see a difference except for timing. That tells me either the bonus is not guaranteed or it has some element of performance.

Thank you everyone for the advice! Given the differing opinions of many people and lack of consensus I am fairly convinced I have no idea what went wrong. If it was indeed a solid no, I think I would have been better off being told that and moving on. The, let's be friends, part is a little off-putting since it leaves the door open. That being said this company is still really cool and I hope to hear something. If I ever hear back from this company, slim chance, I will update this thread!

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by gotester2000 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:38 am

There is no rule here and nobody's right or wrong. Also each case is different - so what you learnt here is not going to apply to some other offer.
Everything is based on need. Whichever party needs the other party more will be the more flexible one. Forget about this and look for something else.
It is worrisome that 3k/yr is making so much difference to you.

livetaswim06
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by livetaswim06 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:48 am

gotester2000 wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:38 am
There is no rule here and nobody's right or wrong. Also each case is different - so what you learnt here is not going to apply to some other offer.
Everything is based on need. Whichever party needs the other party more will be the more flexible one. Forget about this and look for something else.
It is worrisome that 3k/yr is making so much difference to you.
The offer they gave would have been a drop most likely to current rate excluding bonus. At this stage in trying to achieve financial independence I would rather stick to what I have and work on my debt load. The 3k would have been enough to raise the base enough to make it make sense.

I know others who have left for 90 to 95 base in a similar role. In a very high income area I was asking for a reasonable amount.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Spirit Rider » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:17 am

z3r0c00l wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:03 pm
It comes from evolutionary biology where social primates are finely attuned to fairness and compromise. A compromise is meeting about half-way, where each side gives about the same amount, meeting in the middle. There is something magical about that. All other options have one side sacrificing more than the other
Talk about Red Herrings, "evolutionary biology" and "fairness"? How about some kumbaya "social justice" for a logical fallacy hat trick.

Business negotiation is fundamentally mercenary in it's nature. It is hopelessly naive to think it is anything but on both sides. Where did you ever get the idea that compromise is about meeting in the middle. It has never been, is not and will never be.

Have people lost sight of the fact that this is an investment forum that celebrates capitalism. The fundamental basis is a value proposition. A transaction occurs when a willing seller (candidate) and willing buyer (employer) see the same value for the services to be provided.

This is no different than the bid/ask spread for a security or negotiating to buy a new car.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Thesaints » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:32 am

Spirit Rider wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:17 am
z3r0c00l wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:03 pm
It comes from evolutionary biology where social primates are finely attuned to fairness and compromise. A compromise is meeting about half-way, where each side gives about the same amount, meeting in the middle. There is something magical about that. All other options have one side sacrificing more than the other
Talk about Red Herrings, "evolutionary biology" and "fairness"? How about some kumbaya "social justice" for a logical fallacy hat trick.

Business negotiation is fundamentally mercenary in it's nature. It is hopelessly naive to think it is anything but on both sides. Where did you ever get the idea that compromise is about meeting in the middle. It has never been, is not and will never be.

Have people lost sight of the fact that this is an investment forum that celebrates capitalism. The fundamental basis is a value proposition. A transaction occurs when a willing seller (candidate) and willing buyer (employer) see the same value for the services to be provided.

This is no different than the bid/ask spread for a security or negotiating to buy a new car.
Actually, there have been extensive studies in that direction. A subject who tends to aim at fair trades eventually prevails over one that frequently screws his counterpart. Remember that evolutionary longevity comes from being able to continuously trade, rather than make a killing in a few trades and then be shunned.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by gotester2000 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:33 am

livetaswim06 wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:48 am
gotester2000 wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:38 am
There is no rule here and nobody's right or wrong. Also each case is different - so what you learnt here is not going to apply to some other offer.
Everything is based on need. Whichever party needs the other party more will be the more flexible one. Forget about this and look for something else.
It is worrisome that 3k/yr is making so much difference to you.
The offer they gave would have been a drop most likely to current rate excluding bonus. At this stage in trying to achieve financial independence I would rather stick to what I have and work on my debt load. The 3k would have been enough to raise the base enough to make it make sense.

I know others who have left for 90 to 95 base in a similar role. In a very high income area I was asking for a reasonable amount.
If they are not giving a reasonable amount you should try other opportunities who will. I dont think you should overthink about the company.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by z3r0c00l » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:24 am

Spirit Rider wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:17 am
z3r0c00l wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:03 pm
It comes from evolutionary biology where social primates are finely attuned to fairness and compromise. A compromise is meeting about half-way, where each side gives about the same amount, meeting in the middle. There is something magical about that. All other options have one side sacrificing more than the other
Talk about Red Herrings, "evolutionary biology" and "fairness"? How about some kumbaya "social justice" for a logical fallacy hat trick.

Business negotiation is fundamentally mercenary in it's nature. It is hopelessly naive to think it is anything but on both sides. Where did you ever get the idea that compromise is about meeting in the middle. It has never been, is not and will never be.

Have people lost sight of the fact that this is an investment forum that celebrates capitalism. The fundamental basis is a value proposition. A transaction occurs when a willing seller (candidate) and willing buyer (employer) see the same value for the services to be provided.

This is no different than the bid/ask spread for a security or negotiating to buy a new car.
Evolutionary biology is the fundamental concept in explaining not only our morphology, but also behavior. It has important implications for economics and explains, for example, why people can't stick to an IPS very well, or why we are so easy to fool in get rich quick schemes, it explains FOMO, and also loss aversion fallacies.

You perhaps wanted to hear something about capitalism red in tooth and claw and anything short of that is naive. I think you will find that parties unwilling to split the sacrifice rarely achieve their goals. I also think you should investigate game theory and the Prisoner's Dilemma.

By the way, I got the idea that compromise means what I said it means probably from learning the definition as a child. Gordon Gekko notwithstanding, the word has not substantially changed in meaning.

Definition of compromise (Webster - emphasis mine)
1 a : settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions
b : something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by carolinaman » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:50 am

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:26 pm
My experience from both sides, employee and hiring manager. Unless you are an exceptional candidate or the need is great. It is not so much a negotiation as it is, Offer -> Counter Offer -> Final Offer.

The candidate only has their own decision to make. Companies are different. Once you start jerking them around over peanuts. It makes them wonder what kind of employee you are going to be and you are done.

I have personally cut more than one candidate loose who thought employment offers were let's make a deal.
+1. OP was handicapped by all dealings through recruiter. The company is dealing not only with higher salary demands of candidate but the recruiting fee which is often substantial. Unless this is a specialized position and the candidate has unique skills, the company will quickly turn to other options. It should have been clear from the companies' modest counter response that they were not going to do much more.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by Kow » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:52 am

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:26 pm
My experience from both sides, employee and hiring manager. Unless you are an exceptional candidate or the need is great. It is not so much a negotiation as it is, Offer -> Counter Offer -> Final Offer.

The candidate only has their own decision to make. Companies are different. Once you start jerking them around over peanuts. It makes them wonder what kind of employee you are going to be and you are done.

I have personally cut more than one candidate loose who thought employment offers were let's make a deal.
This point is very true. There is a prove it mindset, and at a below manager level negotiating is also less in your favor. They have other incumbents and are slotting you against existing associates.

Your recruiter messed up to by putting in your mind an unrealistic offer. But if you want to work at this company down the road you may need to just put up with them.

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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:53 am

HornedToad wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:08 pm
finite_difference wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:18 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:52 pm
If they took someone else because of 3k/yr losing that job was actually positive for you.
+1.

Something is fishy about that company. You probably lucked out. That’s why I think it’s always good to negotiate for salary — the company’s way of handling it is a pretty good indicator of what it will be like to work there. If they are professional, respectful, accommodating and fair throughout the salary negotiations — that’s a place you want to work.
I fail to see how they weren't those things. The company isn't obligated to give into a candidate just because he wants more money.

Honestly, the biggest failure is negotiating on base pay to start with instead of both you and the recruiter talking about total comp.
Ding, ding, ding! Winner winner, chicken dinner!

This reminds me of the occasional dividends vs price appreciation discussion. There is no sensible way to consider comp other than total comp.

Additionally, the company didn't decide to go with the internal candidate for $3k; the actual difference was $3k + headhunter fee. If I had a candidate who had nickeled and dimed the comp discussion, I would probably have also decided to go with a "not quite as good but reasonable and 'the poison I know' internal candidate that would cost me thousands less for the first year."

Managers realize that, usually, the candidate behaves as well during the hiring dance as he/she will EVER behave. If they're a PITA on the way in, managers don't expect that they will be better later.

surveyor
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Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

Post by surveyor » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:56 am

This could very easily have been about the third party recruiter. We use them from time to time but I very rarely like them. Unfortunately they're a necessity when labor supply is short.

On edit: I don't mean that I don't like them because I don't like to pay them. It's not about the money. I generally just despise what they do to the labor market and there is a bit of distrust in their motive and the intent of the candidate they present.

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