Author Topic: Anticipating a verbal offer, how do I handle this if I want to negotiate?  (Read 1123 times)

sizzlinkola

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I have a call regarding a role at an early-stage startup (< 10 FT employees). It'll either be a rejection or a verbal offer. They are creating a role for me based on their needs and the fit of my experience. I did not apply through an online job posting.

I'm concerned that this role will be "too junior" in terms of title and responsibilities. I have 4+ years of experience in the industry. When asked if I would be open to a junior role in a 2nd interview with the CEO, I said I would but I'd want to discuss further if an offer is made. After that, I did a final interview with the CTO.

That being said, they may offer the junior role and ask my thoughts over the call. Should I negotiate then and there? Or wait until they send the written offer, then hop on another call to negotiate? I understand that they may not have funds to compensate for a better title, so I'd be happy to take the same pay if I got the role I wanted.

I've never had someone offer a job verbally. It was always final interview, then decision/written offer over e-mail.

Home Stretch

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What is the role? Obviously it's a software/tech company, but are you a developer or applying for another role? Also where are you located?

These things are relevant because your leverage differs based on the supply and demand of qualified employees in your area. If you are being hired for a very in-demand role, you should be able to negotiate a lot, for titles, salary, and maybe even equity.

robartsd

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I would not verbally accept the offer only to negotiate when they write it up. When they make the offer you can indicate that you are interested ask about discussing terms. You want to discuss your role first (since that seems to be what is most important to you). After you are clear on what your role is, you might as well make sure the title of your position will reflect the role you will play. Then you can talk money and/or equity stake to obtain the compensation that is suitable for the role.

secondcor521

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If they make an offer over the phone (which I've had happen to me several times; it seems normal in the tech industry and probably also in startups), then I would thank them for the offer first, and be prepared to ask questions to get all of the data I needed (title, role, salary, benefits, travel, hours, etc.).  I would then say that I would like a day or two to think it over and that I would get back with them.

Then I'd research and ruminate further as needed, then probably call them back with the next step, whether it be a declination, acceptance, or counteroffer.  Counteroffer is probably the most likely.

They will certainly not expect you to accept or decline a verbal offer on the spot.

Papa bear

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Agree with posts above.

Verbal offers are fairly common. Itís also common to say you need to think about it for x amount of time, negotiate with them right there on the phone, or get back to them next day and say you really wanted more money or better title.

In this case, they want to have the offer pretty much done before they give you a written offer.  So negotiate away! Get this figured out so there arenít any surprises in the written offer.


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sizzlinkola

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I would not verbally accept the offer only to negotiate when they write it up. When they make the offer you can indicate that you are interested ask about discussing terms. You want to discuss your role first (since that seems to be what is most important to you). After you are clear on what your role is, you might as well make sure the title of your position will reflect the role you will play. Then you can talk money and/or equity stake to obtain the compensation that is suitable for the role.

So are you suggesting to negotiate during the same call and not wait until I get a written offer?

Papa bear

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Negotiate the verbal offer.  The written offer should have no surprises for anyone.  It should all be hashed out by then. 

If itís not, then both sides didnít talk enough before drafting the offer.

Obviously, read over the written offer after youíve come to an agreement to make sure it reflects what was talked about verbally.


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robartsd

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Negotiate the verbal offer.  The written offer should have no surprises for anyone.  It should all be hashed out by then. 

If itís not, then both sides didnít talk enough before drafting the offer.

Obviously, read over the written offer after youíve come to an agreement to make sure it reflects what was talked about verbally.


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This is what I'm saying - negotiate everything before the written offer. I'd likely turn the immediate conversation towards role - you're interested but you want to be sure both sides are on the same page as far as what you'll be doing for them. I might also discuss title in the immediate conversation. I'd let them present a compensation package and ask any needed clarifying questions needed to get a clear picture of the compensation they are offering, but my only response to the compensation offer would be to ask for a day or two to think about it.