"Negotiating" Salary

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shavenyak
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"Negotiating" Salary

Post by shavenyak » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:34 pm

I'm asking for my nephew who is interviewing for a job...in short, what would be a wise, professional response to a situation where a prospective employer asks him what he "needs/wants" in compensation before they indicate what they are able/willing to pay? My nephew has a dollar figure in mind based on research, but I can't do better than recommending: "I have a figure in mind but I first need to know what you have in mind." Creative suggestions so that he could potentially maximize his starting salary? Thanks in advance.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:43 pm

You don't answer that question if you can avoid it.

Also, if he's interviewing, he's not negotiating. Ideally, he would say "I'm looking for a total package - salary, bonus, profit-sharing, benefits - that reflect what I am able to contribute to the company's success (or bottom line)."

A professional employer should never ask him the question. They have a compensation range for the job, they interview candidates, find the best one, and make an offer usually below the midpoint of the range.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:44 pm

First one to name a number loses.

He can try to turn it around by asking what the salary range is, and then indicating where he feels he belongs in the range.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

delamer
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by delamer » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:47 pm

“I can’t answer your question about salary without details on the rest of the compensation package.”

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:54 pm

Ask for a range or say that you want to be paid "market". If the employer proposes a number, they need to justify that it truly is "market".
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:58 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:43 pm
You don't answer that question if you can avoid it.

Also, if he's interviewing, he's not negotiating. Ideally, he would say "I'm looking for a total package - salary, bonus, profit-sharing, benefits - that reflect what I am able to contribute to the company's success (or bottom line)."

A professional employer should never ask him the question. They have a compensation range for the job, they interview candidates, find the best one, and make an offer usually below the midpoint of the range.
Disagree with just about everything you wrote here.

A professional company would seek a meeting of the minds on compensation at the outset so as to not waste anyone’s time.

A well-prepared candidate should have done enough homework at the outset on what the role can pay.

In this case, the party that throws out the first number has the power.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by HawkeyePierce » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:15 pm

Tell him to read “Secrets of Power Negotiators” today. He can get through the relevant chapters in a few hours.

Pompous title, yes, but an excellent intro to negotiation. Buying and reading that book has made me hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years that I otherwise would’ve left on the table in salary negotiations.

megabad
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by megabad » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm

If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.

Constantly say you need more details to understand the position better before you can provide a number (ie. the truth). Questions like "What are the potential advancement opportunities within this specific job function?" "How much travel would be expected and to where?" "How often can I work remotely/from home?" are sometimes good questions that a generic HR person or recruiter would have trouble answering and that you can use as an excuse to delay.

But once you get to the hiring manager, I will answer your questions so I want a number. Otherwise I won't know if I am wasting both of our time. At that point, not much to lose. If the company was going to low ball you, do you really want to work there? I have only ever had one person say a number that was just outrageous in my whole career. He was way over (maybe 25%) the top of the job pay band. As long as you are close, it wouldn't be the deciding factor for any reasonable employer.

ddurrett896
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:32 pm

Average for the position pays $xxxx. Cost of living in the city is %xxx.

Position average x COL = Desired salary.

stoptothink
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by stoptothink » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:49 pm

megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm

But once you get to the hiring manager, I will answer your questions so I want a number. Otherwise I won't know if I am wasting both of our time. At that point, not much to lose. If the company was going to low ball you, do you really want to work there? I have only ever had one person say a number that was just outrageous in my whole career. He was way over (maybe 25%) the top of the job pay band. As long as you are close, it wouldn't be the deciding factor for any reasonable employer.
I'd guesstimate that about 50% of the possible employees I get into this discussion with throw out a number above the payband, with probably half of those way above. The absolute worst are recently minted PhDs who have zero real world work experience. For most of my job postings, there is a payband listed in plain sight on the application. The chances of me being able to offer above the mid-point of that payband is zero, regardless of how great I think a candidate is. We are a conservative company, but payscales are pretty comparable to our competitors.

Maybe this is dependent on the level of employee you are looking for. I'm a senior director, although I hire individuals anywhere from 21yr old just finished undergrads to 40yr old PhD scientists, I'm the only individual in my department making $100k+.

tibbitts
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by tibbitts » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:28 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:49 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm

But once you get to the hiring manager, I will answer your questions so I want a number. Otherwise I won't know if I am wasting both of our time. At that point, not much to lose. If the company was going to low ball you, do you really want to work there? I have only ever had one person say a number that was just outrageous in my whole career. He was way over (maybe 25%) the top of the job pay band. As long as you are close, it wouldn't be the deciding factor for any reasonable employer.
I'd guesstimate that about 50% of the possible employees I get into this discussion with throw out a number above the payband, with probably half of those way above. The absolute worst are recently minted PhDs who have zero real world work experience. For most of my job postings, there is a payband listed in plain sight on the application. The chances of me being able to offer above the mid-point of that payband is zero, regardless of how great I think a candidate is. We are a conservative company, but payscales are pretty comparable to our competitors.

Maybe this is dependent on the level of employee you are looking for. I'm a senior director, although I hire individuals anywhere from 21yr old just finished undergrads to 40yr old PhD scientists, I'm the only individual in my department making $100k+.
You are in the minority to list a pay band, possibly with the exception of government employers. I think that's an excellent idea that benefits everybody. I guess an answer to the question would be "what's the pay band for the job?" I'd probably add "and why didn't you publish it?", but wouldn't necessarily suggest doing that.

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Prokofiev
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by Prokofiev » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:57 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:49 pm
I'm a senior director, although I hire individuals anywhere from 21yr old just finished undergrads to 40yr old PhD scientists, I'm the only individual in my department making $100k+.
I don't know what conservative business you are in, but having senior PhD scientists all earning less than $100k is pretty rare. My hard-working illegal immigrant handy-man makes $100k!
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm

megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.

Gronnie
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by Gronnie » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:57 pm

megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.

Constantly say you need more details to understand the position better before you can provide a number (ie. the truth). Questions like "What are the potential advancement opportunities within this specific job function?" "How much travel would be expected and to where?" "How often can I work remotely/from home?" are sometimes good questions that a generic HR person or recruiter would have trouble answering and that you can use as an excuse to delay.

But once you get to the hiring manager, I will answer your questions so I want a number. Otherwise I won't know if I am wasting both of our time. At that point, not much to lose. If the company was going to low ball you, do you really want to work there? I have only ever had one person say a number that was just outrageous in my whole career. He was way over (maybe 25%) the top of the job pay band. As long as you are close, it wouldn't be the deciding factor for any reasonable employer.
So why not just save everyone time and trouble provide the salary range to begin with?

Gronnie
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by Gronnie » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:58 pm

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.
They are fortunate to have avoided you if that's the case.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:59 pm

Gronnie wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:58 pm
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.
They are fortunate to have avoided you if that's the case.
What NoGamble describes is standard practice in Silicon Valley.

tibbitts
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by tibbitts » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:30 pm

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.
Why would someone want to "talk comp" with you since you would just be negotiating within the margins of the range you have posted with the job? Both you and the applicant need more information than you would have during the initial part of the process to decide if that last 5% or 10% or whatever is going to come into play.

ssquared87
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by ssquared87 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:42 pm

Prokofiev wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:57 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:49 pm
I'm a senior director, although I hire individuals anywhere from 21yr old just finished undergrads to 40yr old PhD scientists, I'm the only individual in my department making $100k+.
I don't know what conservative business you are in, but having senior PhD scientists all earning less than $100k is pretty rare. My hard-working illegal immigrant handy-man makes $100k!
+1, your company sounds pretty cheap. Most of our entry level people with 2-4 years experience are starting at 90-110 and that range applies to LCOL locations and HCOL locations...we don't really adjust pay all that much based on location

Starfish
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by Starfish » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:53 am

Gronnie wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:58 pm
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.
They are fortunate to have avoided you if that's the case.
How many times did you go through exhausting 8h interviews to find out that you are too expensive?
tibbitts wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:30 pm

Why would someone want to "talk comp" with you since you would just be negotiating within the margins of the range you have posted with the job? Both you and the applicant need more information than you would have during the initial part of the process to decide if that last 5% or 10% or whatever is going to come into play.
And unfortunately here lies the problem.
It would be nice to know a range for the position ahead of time.
Of course the problem noways is that compensation is so complicated that many people have no idea how much they make without spending 20 minutes and it takes serious effort to compare to offers.

mako171
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by mako171 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:38 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:58 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:43 pm
You don't answer that question if you can avoid it.

Also, if he's interviewing, he's not negotiating. Ideally, he would say "I'm looking for a total package - salary, bonus, profit-sharing, benefits - that reflect what I am able to contribute to the company's success (or bottom line)."

A professional employer should never ask him the question. They have a compensation range for the job, they interview candidates, find the best one, and make an offer usually below the midpoint of the range.
Disagree with just about everything you wrote here.

A professional company would seek a meeting of the minds on compensation at the outset so as to not waste anyone’s time.

A well-prepared candidate should have done enough homework at the outset on what the role can pay.

In this case, the party that throws out the first number has the power.
Agree with hedgefundie. Plus this whole “first one to say a number loses” idea is old timer stuff.

1. Google anchoring. You're in the driver’s seat.

2. I have a number that I’d move for...it’s about 75% more money than I make now, plus a signing bonus equal to unvested funds I’d be walking away from at my old employer.

If this is his first job, then fine... “I’m looking for 85, is that what you had in mind?” Even is the employer had 50-65 in mind, s/he knows he’ll need to counter at the top of the band.

We are at zero unemployment. I don’t see employers losing their preferred candidate over 10k or whatever.

At least in my world...ymmv.

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8foot7
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:45 am

I still subscribe to "get the deeper pocketed party to name a number first" but if you feel like you can't avoid answering that question, then take your total comp now (salary + bonus + 25% for benefit costs), add your desired raise to it, and then give that as a ballpark.

So if you earn $50k now with a 5k bonus, you'd figure your current compensation package at $68,750, and then if you want to move by 25%, then say, "It's hard for me to give a single number this early in the process with so many unknowns, but I would expect a position of this value to the organization with these responsibilities to offer a total comp package around $85-95,000. I'd really have to understand the details and breakdown to give a more formal answer."

usagi
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by usagi » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:14 am

Prokofiev wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:57 pm
My hard-working illegal immigrant handy-man makes $100k!
In case you are not aware, you might want to review:

Federal Immigration and Nationality Act Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii)

I'll leave it at that.

stoptothink
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by stoptothink » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:28 am

Prokofiev wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:57 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:49 pm
I'm a senior director, although I hire individuals anywhere from 21yr old just finished undergrads to 40yr old PhD scientists, I'm the only individual in my department making $100k+.
I don't know what conservative business you are in, but having senior PhD scientists all earning less than $100k is pretty rare. My hard-working illegal immigrant handy-man makes $100k!
No, it isn't, at all. Google PhD microbiologist, chemist, research scientists, etc.; median salaries are in the $70k-$95k range. In biotech they tend to make a little more.

oilrig
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by oilrig » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:41 am

Im an HR Recruiter and have worked at several mega-corp fortune 500's. We ALWAYS try to get the candidate's salary expectations before setting them up for an interview. I dont care if they tell me their current salary or what range they're looking for, we just need something to go off of to make sure they are in line with our compensation level. When a candidate purposely doesn't tell me their salary expectations, it makes the candidate look suspicious and like they are hiding something. It also makes me think that they are likely underpaid. I think candidate's should do their homework and know what their market value is ahead of time.

I have interviewed for other jobs and when they ask me my salary expectations, I tell them Im making X and looking for Y. A lot of times the company tells me that they can't match that, so we both say thanks and go our separate ways. No time wasted at all!

Recently I interviewed someone that didn't want to disclose their salary expectations, instead he asked what our salary range was. I was honest and told him it was $70-85k, and he said that's within his range. The problem with that is what if we offer him $70k, but in reality he is making $75k and looking for $80k. All of that time wasted when he could have just been upfront with me and given me a specific number!
Last edited by oilrig on Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:44 am

oilrig wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:41 am
Im an HR Recruiter and have worked at several mega-corp fortune 500's. We ALWAYS try to get the candidate's salary expectations before setting them up for an interview. I dont care if they tell me their current salary or what range they're looking for, we just need something to go off of to make sure they are in line with our compensation level. When a candidate purposely doesn't tell me their salary expectations, it makes the candidate look suspicious and like they are holding something back. It also makes me think that they are likely underpaid. I think candidate's should do their homework and know what their market value is ahead of time.

I have interviewed for other jobs and when they ask me my salary expectations, I tell them Im making X and looking for Y. A lot of times the company tells me that they can't match that, so we both say thanks and go our separate ways. No time wasted at all!

Recently I interviewed someone that didn't want to disclose their salary expectations, instead he asked what our salary range was. I was honest and told him it was $70-85k, and he said that's within his range. The problem with that is what if we offer him $70k, but in reality he is making $75k and looking for $80k. All of that time wasted when he could have just been upfront with me and given me a specific number!
+1

usagi
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by usagi » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:45 am

Most large employers have salary bands. The standard rule is you do not want to be in either the bottom or the top 20% salary wise if you wish to stay 5 years or more. And salary bands greatly overlap. What you want to know is what is the salary band and what is the salary band above you and the number of years it usually takes to move from one band to another. You also need to know what the average salary increases are for new hires at the beginning of their career.

If they are not willing to give you this generic information I would throw out a high figure and be prepared to walk. I do not do business with employers who are not transparent and honest with me. If you have genuine skill, they need you far more then you need them.

Make sure you ask is they have a mentoring program and if it is informal or formal. That normally catches a recruiters attention, because it tells them you are looking for a home. In the event they do not, it gives you leverage as you are taking on an additional risk in a company that does not have a mentoring program. Usually those who work with a mentor in a formal program advance in title and salary rapidly compared to those who do not.

I have 4 children, the eldest is 25, all earn in the 100-160K range and earn a large premium compared to their peers. All of them started at least 30% higher than their peers hired for the same position. The difference was they are darn good and they knew the band ranges and promotion scenarios. Now 1 - 5 years into their careers they continue to earn a premium over their peers and moved rapidly up in their respective professions and companies. They are mindful of their titles and band ranges and will ask for a title promotion in order to push the boundaries of their bands.

My point is, you need to know the rules of the road. If a company will not tell you they are simply filling bodies and are not serious about developing employees. If the former, then throw out a high figure, plan on getting a few years of experience and move along, if the latter, think of the long term game and learn how to play it well.

And of course the retirement package is huge factor. If I was young I would look for a company that had a 401K plan with a Roth feature, allows after tax contributions and immediate conversion to Roth as well as in place withdraws and of course low cost index funds. I also would want a HSA, lack of these features means you have to fund the difference yourself and thus are salary negotiation points.

Essentially, when they ask what salary you want you should be prepared to whip out your power point presentation explaining how you arrived at your salary figure.

mottooscillator
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by mottooscillator » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:52 am

There are two possible approaches, depending on how much the candidate knows about the probable salary range.

1. If they don't have good data, from others in the industry, reliable websites, friends, professional network, etc, the best answer is to stay mum. Say something like: "I don't have good data about salary ranges for this position, but you as the employer have hired many people into similar roles, so you must know. Why don't we start with the last accepted offer for this position?"

2. If they do have good information, start out by saying "salary is not the most important part of the job for them but rather that they want to focus on the work and the work relationships. If all those work out, I would be willing to immediately accept any offer in the X-Y range." X should be the largest number they can say with a straight face based on their research. Something like the 90%th percentile. Y should be a small percentage above X. This approach is called anchoring.

DoctorPhysics
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by DoctorPhysics » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:03 am

Interesting thread. Responding so I can follow.

Off the cuff idea - run an NPER formula in excel based on some reasonable assumptions with a goal to retire at some point in the future, and use that to figure out a starting salary :P

cheezit
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by cheezit » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:41 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:59 pm
Gronnie wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:58 pm
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.
They are fortunate to have avoided you if that's the case.
What NoGamble describes is standard practice in Silicon Valley.
It wasn't the last time I did an interview loop. Some of the (internal) recruiters didn't even ask, and for the ones that did I mentioned that I had looked into their salary ranges online (knowing the limitations of anonymous employee-reported comp) and was sure their offer would be reasonable, and we moved on to scheduling either the initial screen or the on-site. I see a lot more variance in how much of a hassle the screen/first interview is, ranging from "if it's inconvenient, we can just schedule the on-sites" or a simple set of algorithms problems over the phone, to "please install these three pieces of repurposed exam proctoring spyware before we bother with you".

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:46 am

... Plus this whole “first one to say a number loses” idea is old timer stuff.
Yeah, I have to admit it’s been more than 2 decades since I interviewed for a job, so I’ll defer to your more recent experience.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

megabad
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by megabad » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:49 am

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.
Ironically, you just proved my point on why I recommend to never want to provide a number early if possible. It is a great way to never get your foot in the door. I approve of getting an applicant's broad salary range but until he/she knows the details, it just doesn't make sense to give an exact number.

I can understand why this would upset someone in recruiting/HR. While they certainly play a role, they can relay compensation information to a hiring manager easily (even though he/she should already know this). I don't know of any company that doesn't conduct phone/webcam interviews first (after initial screening). The time commitment is minimal for both parties and the compensation question usually comes up in the first 5 minutes.

Unfortunately (in my opinion), your view is consistent with most recruiting managers in my experience and this is why many online applications require a salary number. However, if an applicant is only applying through the online process, I would strongly suggest he/she rethink the approach. My view is that neither the company nor the applicant should be that worried about a salary number until they decide whether the job is a good fit. If either party is, than it tells me that one or both parties are not knowledgeable about appropriate compensation, a bad situation all around.
Gronnie wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:57 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.

Constantly say you need more details to understand the position better before you can provide a number (ie. the truth). Questions like "What are the potential advancement opportunities within this specific job function?" "How much travel would be expected and to where?" "How often can I work remotely/from home?" are sometimes good questions that a generic HR person or recruiter would have trouble answering and that you can use as an excuse to delay.

But once you get to the hiring manager, I will answer your questions so I want a number. Otherwise I won't know if I am wasting both of our time. At that point, not much to lose. If the company was going to low ball you, do you really want to work there? I have only ever had one person say a number that was just outrageous in my whole career. He was way over (maybe 25%) the top of the job pay band. As long as you are close, it wouldn't be the deciding factor for any reasonable employer.
So why not just save everyone time and trouble provide the salary range to begin with?
As I touched on above, because you don't want to get stopped by the front line recruiting/HR folks. At that stage, if you say anything that either checks or unchecks a box, you are disqualified. If you assume this is a totally functional system at large companies, you are likely going to be surprised. I know folks that get instant rejected by a corporate application system and then happily hired by the same company for the same position through a 3rd party head hunter. I have been on both sides of this and I really believe that getting to a knowledgeable human is always your best shot. A brief phone call is not a large time commitment by either party in my opinion.

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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by wilked » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:54 am

Everyone saying not to answer the question is working off old myths and realistically from a position of fear.

People are scared to throw a number out too low and risk 'leaving money on the table', as well as scared to throw out a number too high and risk scaring the company off when realistically they would have happily settled for less.

Operating from a position of fear is not a winning formula.

The above posters who are encouraging people to answer the question directly are correct - there is lots of data that in face the person who throws out the first number has the advantage (anchoring). Do your research, present your qualifications well, and don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Be sure to mention that total compensation is ultimately what is important, but again - don't be afraid to answer what is really a basic question.

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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:58 am

wilked wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:54 am
Everyone saying not to answer the question is working off old myths and realistically from a position of fear.

People are scared to throw a number out too low and risk 'leaving money on the table', as well as scared to throw out a number too high and risk scaring the company off when realistically they would have happily settled for less.

Operating from a position of fear is not a winning formula.

The above posters who are encouraging people to answer the question directly are correct - there is lots of data that in face the person who throws out the first number has the advantage (anchoring). Do your research, present your qualifications well, and don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Be sure to mention that total compensation is ultimately what is important, but again - don't be afraid to answer what is really a basic question.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by Rudedog » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:07 am

My daughter was offered $ 32,000 to work for University of Wisconsin, lab work. She was able to negotiate it up to $ 45,000. Employer had a salary range and offered her the bottom amount. By the way, she lasted one year in that job, moved, and negotiated a $ 10,000 raise. That means a lot for a person's first or second job.

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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:12 am

cheezit wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:41 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:59 pm
Gronnie wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:58 pm
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.
They are fortunate to have avoided you if that's the case.
What NoGamble describes is standard practice in Silicon Valley.
It wasn't the last time I did an interview loop. Some of the (internal) recruiters didn't even ask, and for the ones that did I mentioned that I had looked into their salary ranges online (knowing the limitations of anonymous employee-reported comp) and was sure their offer would be reasonable, and we moved on to scheduling either the initial screen or the on-site. I see a lot more variance in how much of a hassle the screen/first interview is, ranging from "if it's inconvenient, we can just schedule the on-sites" or a simple set of algorithms problems over the phone, to "please install these three pieces of repurposed exam proctoring spyware before we bother with you".
Technical interviews are a bit different in that the job level you are offered can differ depending on your performance during the technical interview. So there is less point in discussing compensation upfront when neither party knows in advance which level is the right fit.

Most open roles do not have this variability, and so the upfront compensation discussion is important to align on.

In any case, in California recruiters are required to give you a compensation range for the role if you ask. If you really don’t want to give out a number you can just ask them for theirs. But again, you are giving up power if you do that.

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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by oilrig » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:04 am

A lot of the negotiating methods listed above would scare off potential companies, recruiters, and hiring managers. Playing coy about your desired salary will only make you come across as difficult and indecisive, also potentially not interested in the job. I think being upfront and honest in the recruiting/interviewing process is always the best policy. If your take it or leave it number is $100k, then tell the company that! They will either say yes or no, its that simple.

However, if you ask for $100k and then they offer $90k, thats when its ok to negotiate/counter until you get the salary youre looking for!

Think about it this way. If theres 2 finalist candidates equally as qualified, one is upfront and direct about his desired salary and the other is playing coy the entire time and not giving out a specific number, who do you think will ultimately get the offer?

GT99
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by GT99 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:35 am

That me against them attitude many folks have towards salary negotiation is unfortunate. Your entering into what should be a mutually beneficial partnership with an employer. If one side "loses" at salary negotiation, nobody wins.
I've been on both sides of this many times in recent years (I've built 3 teams, and changed jobs twice, once because of a startup making bad decisions, the other because I made a bad choice of where to go next).
On the "interviewee" side, I want to have the salary conversation up front because many positions don't have the budget to hire me. I've had many 10 minute conversations with recruiters where the call ended because I was out of their range - both sides save time.
On the hiring side, I want to make sure my employees are happy with their compensation because it's much more expensive to have to find and train someone new. And I'm specifically saying "happy with" rather than "fairly compensated" because many folks have warped definitions of "fair".

So in determining the salary you tell them, do research on what the market typically pays, and think about what you want (this is much easier if you're already gainfully employed :D ). Then add a little on top (around 10%). 10% is rarely going to be a deal-breaker. But understanding the market is key.

Last year, DW was recruited back to a company she'd worked for before. They asked her how much she wanted, and she gave them a number 25% over her salary at the time - she would have taken less. They offered 5% more than what she asked for.

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:03 pm

Gronnie wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:58 pm
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.
They are fortunate to have avoided you if that's the case.
Thousands of people would disagree with you ;)

I am more than happy to ballpark a range of what we’re comfortable with to start the conversation, more than happy for you to shoot for the moon with me, etc... I don’t really care. All I want to know is what would it take for you to be very happy and genuinely excited about a new opportunity from a compensation perspective. If your stance is “I’m not talking comp this early on in the process” then simply let me know when you’re ready to and I’d be happy to get you into the mix - because I’ve got thousands of other candidates to talk to, I’m trying to be as efficient as possible, and want to make best use of everyone’s time. So we’re not going to schedule anything beyond an initial screen without us both being on the exact same page - you knowing what we’re comfortable with and knowing that you’re happy with it, too.

It does me no good to get into the process with someone that wants 2x what we’d be comfortable paying.

Wish I had a dollar for every time I told a candidate to not shoot themselves so short when they ballpark comp or gave someone 1.2-1.4x what they asked for...

Thegame14
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by Thegame14 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:09 pm

I would always use a range, so if he has in his mind $80K, Id say I expect a salary in the 75-90K range depending on benefits, work life balance, bonus and overtime expectations.

you don't want to give them much room to lowball, but if you aim too high, they might just pass you over for a "cheaper" candidate.

mako171
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by mako171 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:43 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:46 am
... Plus this whole “first one to say a number loses” idea is old timer stuff.
Yeah, I have to admit it’s been more than 2 decades since I interviewed for a job, so I’ll defer to your more recent experience.
Hope this wasn’t taken in an offensive way by you, tomato. Apologies if it was. I normally very much agree with your outlook in other posts!!!

Gronnie
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by Gronnie » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:58 pm

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:03 pm
Gronnie wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:58 pm
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.
They are fortunate to have avoided you if that's the case.
Thousands of people would disagree with you ;)

I am more than happy to ballpark a range of what we’re comfortable with to start the conversation, more than happy for you to shoot for the moon with me, etc... I don’t really care. All I want to know is what would it take for you to be very happy and genuinely excited about a new opportunity from a compensation perspective. If your stance is “I’m not talking comp this early on in the process” then simply let me know when you’re ready to and I’d be happy to get you into the mix - because I’ve got thousands of other candidates to talk to, I’m trying to be as efficient as possible, and want to make best use of everyone’s time. So we’re not going to schedule anything beyond an initial screen without us both being on the exact same page - you knowing what we’re comfortable with and knowing that you’re happy with it, too.

It does me no good to get into the process with someone that wants 2x what we’d be comfortable paying.

Wish I had a dollar for every time I told a candidate to not shoot themselves so short when they ballpark comp or gave someone 1.2-1.4x what they asked for...
The way you put it here is much more reasonable. From your first post it sounded like you wanted them to give you a shot in the dark number with no upfront feedback from you. The employer knows what range they are willing to give an employee, they should be the ones providing that number and the candidate can decide if it is something they want to pursue or not.

Gronnie
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by Gronnie » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:00 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:59 pm
Gronnie wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:58 pm
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:25 pm
If this is anything but an entry level job (ie. for a recent college grad) than eventually you will need to give a number in my experience. The trick is to postpone it as long as possible. I don't think anyone but the hiring manager needs a number. I certainly would not give HR or a recruiter any numbers other than a very broad range. I would use similar tactics as other posters.
I manage the team that owns all technical recruiting of a ~5bil publicly traded software company.

Compensation is handled on our initial screen - if you don’t want to talk comp with me you simply wouldn’t make it any further in the process. I’m not going to waste my time not the time of my interviewers getting you into the process just to find out we aren’t in the same ballpark as it relates to compensation.

Our hiring managers know their role in the process has nothing to do with compensation nor negotiating just as I’m not about to jump into the code and make some commits.
They are fortunate to have avoided you if that's the case.
What NoGamble describes is standard practice in Silicon Valley.
I work in tech and not once have I had to give a salary expectation to the recruiter. That is usually handled with someone else after having a technical phone screen.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:01 pm

mako171 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:43 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:46 am
... Plus this whole “first one to say a number loses” idea is old timer stuff.
Yeah, I have to admit it’s been more than 2 decades since I interviewed for a job, so I’ll defer to your more recent experience.
Hope this wasn’t taken in an offensive way by you, tomato. Apologies if it was. I normally very much agree with your outlook in other posts!!!
Not at all! Sometimes I sound sarcastic when I really am being straight. I usually think that truths remain true, but some respected posters disagreed with my statement, which made me re-think. Since I am sometimes called upon to counsel my kids and their cohort, you all did me a favor. I appreciate the reference to anchoring, and its utility in such a situation.

I realized that all of my personal experience was with compensation that was wide open, without compensation guardrails or bands. It was the opposite of fungible workers back then. That has changed since my time. As an old dog, I don’t necessarily have to learn a new trick, but I should understand that the tricks might have changed.

I’m glad that you often agree with me, and I appreciate you calling me out on an outdated view of mine. That was not intended to be sarcastic :happy
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

deikel
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by deikel » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:37 pm

delamer wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:47 pm
“I can’t answer your question about salary without details on the rest of the compensation package.”
+1

Immediately followed by: "But if you can tell me the budget approved hiring range then we can make sure we overlap and no one is wasting time" - depending on the job, the range will be 5k or 10k and they should understand that he knows how this works.

However, this question should not come up in the face-to-face interview, this should have been checked in pre-selection already (phone interview) - I guess this depends on the interview style.
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by JBTX » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:47 pm

In my experience it is worthwhile to at least get a feel whether you're in the same ballpark. Otherwise you both may end up wasting a lot of time. I'll try to ask what the compensation range is, and see if they bite.

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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by abuss368 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:09 pm

Avoid answering the question. Try to get them to offer a figure first. This is key.
John C. Bogle: "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

bling
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by bling » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:25 pm

put me in the camp of stating your expectations up front and don't waste any time.

if you don't have much experience, then you have no leverage and should be thankful that anyone took a chance on you. once you have your foot in the door, it's easy to job hop and get that rapid growth in salary until you hit market rate.

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whodidntante
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by whodidntante » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:33 pm

One million dollars. Or best offer.

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ClevrChico
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by ClevrChico » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:38 pm

The best thing they can do is research, research, research.

Most corporations stick to their budget, and they won't be able to negotiate more than 10% of an offer. They will happily turn down the best candidate in the world if it means going outside their budget.

wilked
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Re: "Negotiating" Salary

Post by wilked » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:57 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:09 pm
Avoid answering the question. Try to get them to offer a figure first. This is key.
Let’s say you’re right.

Is the reason to avoid the question because you don’t know what you are worth? Or is it that you are worried that you are worth more than they are willing to pay?

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