Countering a Job Offer

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absolute zero
Posts: 1212
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:59 pm

Countering a Job Offer

Post by absolute zero »

Hey everyone,

I received a job offer which I found appealing, with the exception of an underwhelming sign-on bonus (very small and in the form of gradually vesting stock as opposed to cash). I plan to make a counteroffer to ask for a higher sign-on bonus, in cash.

Question for the forum: Should I make the counter offer to the hiring manager or to the HR rep?

My thoughts: It feels like HR rep is probably the person to deal with (HR rep was the one who called me to tell me about the job offer, and also sent over offer letter). BUT, Id like to express gratitude and explain why my counter-offer will make me more excited to take the job, and I don’t know if that “falls on deaf ears” to the HR rep. Isn’t it likely HR rep will just shoot an email/text to the hiring manager or director and say “candidate wants bigger sign-on bonus, do you approve” without passing along my rationale/justification?
Jags4186
Posts: 6838
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Countering a Job Offer

Post by Jags4186 »

absolute zero wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:12 pm Hey everyone,

I received a job offer which I found appealing, with the exception of an underwhelming sign-on bonus (very small and in the form of gradually vesting stock as opposed to cash). I plan to make a counteroffer to ask for a higher sign-on bonus, in cash.

Question for the forum: Should I make the counter offer to the hiring manager or to the HR rep?

My thoughts: It feels like HR rep is probably the person to deal with (HR rep was the one who called me to tell me about the job offer, and also sent over offer letter). BUT, Id like to express gratitude and explain why my counter-offer will make me more excited to take the job, and I don’t know if that “falls on deaf ears” to the HR rep. Isn’t it likely HR rep will just shoot an email/text to the hiring manager or director and say “candidate wants bigger sign-on bonus, do you approve” without passing along my rationale/justification?
You have no idea how their internal process works. Just respond to the person who made you the offer. They’ll work out everything internally.
Normchad
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 am

Re: Countering a Job Offer

Post by Normchad »

Whoever gave you the offer, make the counter to them.

Recommend something like “Thank you so much for the great offer. The team and the role sound perfect. I’m really excited by this opportunity, and I’d enthusiastically accept it if you could restructure the sign in bonus”.
Marylander1
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Location: Baltimore & DC

Re: Countering a Job Offer

Post by Marylander1 »

Normchad wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:24 pm Whoever gave you the offer, make the counter to them.
Exactly. Reply to continue the conversation, don't randomly engage other people.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Countering a Job Offer

Post by JoeRetire »

absolute zero wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:12 pm Question for the forum: Should I make the counter offer to the hiring manager or to the HR rep?
Give your counter offer to whoever made you the offer.
This is gonna be my time. Time to taste the fruits and let the juices drip down my chin. I proclaim this: The Summer of George!
DarkHelmetII
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: Countering a Job Offer

Post by DarkHelmetII »

Another vote to simply counter to whomever gave you the offer in the first place. They will route it internally to whoever needs to decide / sign-off.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Countering a Job Offer

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

What I have always done, which has worked out fantastically is to propose LESS signing bonus for a small increase in base salary. I've noted that I don't have to move, so the company doesn't have the moving expense or time off expense of a move. I can remember some time ago when going to New Hampshire for a new job, I was not moving from Massachusetts. The offer was $48k and I asked for $50k and no moving expense. HR was quite clear that if they upped my salary to $50k, that I would get no moving expense. So I wasn't asking for some unreasonable amount but over the 8 years I worked there, that little bit higher salary got me more money every year instead of some single time bump.

Why?

When raise time comes along, it's a percentage within Megacorp's range that gets cranked out and even for low raise numbers for a penny pinching company is higher when the base pay is bigger. A bonus of any kind is a company's way of giving a one time jolt to your income to make you do what they want. But of course, next year, there's nothing.

Now, I do understand that sometimes, I've already pushed them to the salary limit and a sign on bonus is all that the hiring manager has to work with. I had another job where the hiring manager knew that I drove a Jeep Wrangler and the job required a 4 door car, for which they would pay me a car allowance. But I'd have to buy the car. So the hiring manager offered me a $10k sign on bonus with the "moral commitment" to stay at least 2 years. I took the money and was given 6 months to buy an appropriate car, which I did. I stayed 8 years.
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Mr.Chlorine
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Re: Countering a Job Offer

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

Regardless of who you counter to, both the Hiring Manager and HR Rep will be involved (and probably someone on the Comp team). If this is over the phone, I would call the person who gave you the offer. If this is over email, I would email the person who made the offer but CC the other party. At my company, offers are generally made by the Hiring Manager but provided by the HR Rep. Any counter offers are reviewed by the compensation team, with them having the final say.
rage_phish
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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:27 pm

Re: Countering a Job Offer

Post by rage_phish »

As a recruiter I have made many offers
The HM can and will often advocate for higher comp, but I have never worked anywhere where they would work directly with the comp team on a counter. It’s always been the recruiter who works with comp

I would counter to the recruiter (especially since they are the one who made the offer). If you are countering via email, no reason not to CC the HM (though I’m sure the recruiter will tell the HM about the counter offer)
AlwaysLearningMore
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Re: Countering a Job Offer

Post by AlwaysLearningMore »

Are they a local firm? If so, can you respond in person? This is probably one of the only times you'll have this much leverage in that work relationship. Looking the HM straight in the eye and asking "is this really the best you can do?" can be an effective technique.
Retirement is best when you have a lot to live on, and a lot to live for.
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