Author Topic: Desired salary? What to say?  (Read 25702 times)

rugorak

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Desired salary? What to say?
« on: April 15, 2013, 08:31:19 AM »
So I am in the process of interviewing and I have been asked for my desired salary. I have a summary of benefits (same old same old nothing special but nothing crucial missing) but not costs. I am not sure what to ask for. I have a general range but that is it. I usually prefer to let them make the first move and go from there weighing cost of benefits, etc. But it seems more and more companies are asking for it either before you even interview or during the process. Any suggestions on how to handle this?

jrhampt

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 08:41:55 AM »
You could give them a range and say it depends on the total compensation package.  That gives you some wiggle room if you can't evade the question entirely.

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 08:48:11 AM »
Additional question - they want to know my current salary too. Do I give it to them or not? I don't really think it is relevant. I know I am making below market which is part of why I want to leave. If I tell them it may seem I am asking for too big of a raise. But honestly given the cost of living change (I would be moving from a rural area to a larger metro area). Short version is I think given the cost of living difference and current market I would ask for 20-25k more than I am making now. Most places I think would scoff at that. But I am interviewing with another place that is offering 20-30k more.

You could give them a range and say it depends on the total compensation package.  That gives you some wiggle room if you can't evade the question entirely.

Seems like a good idea. Just harder with the catch of wanting my current salary.

bo_knows

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 08:49:35 AM »
"I just want my compensation to be commensurate with the market for my experience/education level."

You should already have a good idea of what your experience/education/field/location would dictate in terms of salary.  If you don't, start poking around on salary.com and other sites to find out.  I personally don't like giving out a concrete number, and I tell them that it very much depends on the total compensation package (benefits, 401k match, bonuses, vacation, etc).

madgeylou

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 08:51:08 AM »
just dodge the current salary question. you can say something like "my current salary is based on a regional cost of living and a job description that would be changing drastically if i were to accept the new position. what i'm looking for is something around $X" where X is about 10% more than what you expect to get.

bo_knows

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 08:51:43 AM »
Additional question - they want to know my current salary too. Do I give it to them or not? I don't really think it is relevant.

This is a tough one.  If you refuse, they think you're hiding something. Plus, they can find out the exact number during the background checks anyways. While I'd say it's probably not relevant (I received a 30% bump in salary when leaving a position in which I was being paid under market, despite the new company knowing my old salary).

I'd say just tell them your current salary, and mention that you believe that it is below market for your education/experience.

sherr

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 09:10:36 AM »
glassdoor.com is an excellent resource for finding out how much you should be paid, by the way. Depending on how large the company is they may even have statistics for your position in your company, so you can know what to expect.

Done by Forty

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 09:59:02 AM »
Ideally, you should not make the first offer.  You can respond with something along the lines of "I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and I am interested in the position.  I am sure we can come to an agreement on salary.  What salary would you offer to a candidate with my experience?"  Offering first carries the risk of asking for less than they would offer.

I heard a podcast today that had a little segment on this.

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/why-99-us-are-terrible-job-interviews

bdub

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 11:59:00 AM »
1.  Assume all of the benefits are worst case: 2 weeks vacation, no sick time, no 401K matching, no bonus/stock options
2.  Decide what $$$ you are comfortable with based on the above assumptions and the limited knowledge you may have regarding the expectations, responsibilities and work environment.
3.  Add 10%.

I think by avoiding giving them a number with flower-y language (e.g., "I want to be paid commensurate with...."), you are implying that you are unsure what you are worth.

You need to negotiate from a position of strength; go on the offensive.  If you are at the job offer stage of the process, they DO NOT want to start over with a different candidate.  Come in with a number and be willing and able to defend it.

Lastly, do not share your current salary unless it becomes a contingency of employment.


Done by Forty

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 12:51:19 PM »
I think that's a fine approach to take but when they accept your offer, there's a reasonably good chance they would have paid more.

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2013, 01:02:53 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. I do use salary.com and glassdoor.com so I have a good idea what I am worth in the field/market. The 10% thing is a good piece of advice I don't think I would have figured out on my own.

I'll have to figure out how to state the current salary piece. They asked for it explicitly but don't say that it is a contingency of employment. They just emailed me today so I figure as long as I get them an answer before tomorrow it should be fine.

The hardest part I have is the huge range that seems to be my field. I currently make about 60k in a rural area. I have had offers in this metro area for 55k that I turned down (benefits worse than I have now). But I have a phone interview later this week with someplace else that has specifically listed 80-90k as the pay rate for pretty much the exact same job as this. 90k would be a 50% raise which might be hard for some places to stomach.

MtnGal

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 01:19:43 PM »
Lastly, do not share your current salary unless it becomes a contingency of employment.

What do you say when they flat out ask you for your current salary then?

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 01:20:11 PM »
In asking about the previous salary, they likely just want I know that they are offering you more than you currently make.

Good luck!

madgeylou

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2013, 01:23:11 PM »
Lastly, do not share your current salary unless it becomes a contingency of employment.

What do you say when they flat out ask you for your current salary then?

you tell them that your current salary isn't relevant to the discussion, or you spin it to talk about something else entirely.

hiring managers know that you don't want to tell them your current figure, and they know that if you do, they have gained a great advantage.  i have never had any of them make it an issue when i've dodged the question.

madgeylou

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2013, 01:27:11 PM »
The hardest part I have is the huge range that seems to be my field. I currently make about 60k in a rural area. I have had offers in this metro area for 55k that I turned down (benefits worse than I have now). But I have a phone interview later this week with someplace else that has specifically listed 80-90k as the pay rate for pretty much the exact same job as this. 90k would be a 50% raise which might be hard for some places to stomach.

i was in almost this exact situation when i changed jobs 8 years ago -- moving from a lower salary in a lower cost of living area, to a much higher cost of living area. i dodged the 'what are you making now' question by telling them it was an irrelevant figure based on the change in my cost of living moving from pittsburgh to new york. when pressed for a number, i asked for the typical salary for the job i was doing in area i was moving to, plus 10%.

i didn't get what i asked for, but i did get $15K more than the person who had my job before me at the new company, which was a 50% raise over what i had been making at the old place.

i would say that if pressed to give a number, focus on the number you want, while dodging the question about the number you now have. of course it's better to never be the first to name a number if you can get away with it.

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2013, 04:39:09 PM »
So glassdoor is tough due to lack of visible listings. Seems to be 40k on the low end and 85k on the high end for what is visible. But salary.com seems to indicate 78-98k as the range. When I put in my info and the industry the place is in it says I should ask for 92k. That seems a little high to me. As I said in the past (a year ago actually) I was offered 55k for a job I turned down as it was a pay cut even without cost of living. The job type is an IT Systems Administrator. I figure I need to make 70k just to break even with cost of living difference (most things are the same except rent, maybe fuel).

So my plan right now is to ignore my current salary. Hope they don't insist on it and if they do state it is not relevant. Still not positive what to ask for. I think 80-90k is fair market based on the job, the market, my experience and education. So should I ask for 95k and go from there? Or give them a range like 85-95k depending on benefits?

Thanks for all the responses. Even if no one else responses you all have been a great help already!


dizzean

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2013, 04:56:50 PM »
So glassdoor is tough due to lack of visible listings. Seems to be 40k on the low end and 85k on the high end for what is visible. But salary.com seems to indicate 78-98k as the range. When I put in my info and the industry the place is in it says I should ask for 92k. That seems a little high to me. As I said in the past (a year ago actually) I was offered 55k for a job I turned down as it was a pay cut even without cost of living. The job type is an IT Systems Administrator. I figure I need to make 70k just to break even with cost of living difference (most things are the same except rent, maybe fuel).

So my plan right now is to ignore my current salary. Hope they don't insist on it and if they do state it is not relevant. Still not positive what to ask for. I think 80-90k is fair market based on the job, the market, my experience and education. So should I ask for 95k and go from there? Or give them a range like 85-95k depending on benefits?

Thanks for all the responses. Even if no one else responses you all have been a great help already!

Sys admin job in the city?  Yeah..any offer less than 80k would be a complete joke and a waste of your time IMO.

madgeylou

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2013, 04:58:46 PM »
How would you feel if you ended up making 85 at this job -- happy? Or like you left money on the table? If you would feel happy with that figure w/just a standard set of benefits, then the range idea is good. Otherwise, if you get stuck naming your number first, 95 sounds pretty good.

If they are prepared to pay you something within spitting distance of that -- 10% or so -- then that won't put them off. If they aren't willing to pay you that much, would you still want to work there anyway?

SmackDab

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2013, 09:40:26 PM »
Some of the replies seem to be based on the assumption that they're asking your salary range after you've already been through most of the interviews and they've basically decided that they want to make an offer, but in my experience it's more common for this question to come up in the first 30-min phone screen with someone from HR.  The problem with shooting high in this situation is that you risk pricing yourself out of the job (unless you truly wouldn't take it for anything less), and since you've only done a 30-min phone screen at that point they might just decide to move on to someone else.  It's really a lose-lose situation for the interviewee, so I try to dodge the question at all costs.  Most places I've interviewed will drop it and move on, but a handfull have been annoyingly persistent and wouldn't give up until I gave them a hard number.  Irritating.

gooki

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2013, 01:27:07 AM »
Additional question - they want to know my current salary too. Do I give it to them or not? I don't really think it is relevant. I know I am making below market which is part of why I want to leave. If I tell them it may seem I am asking for too big of a raise. But honestly given the cost of living change (I would be moving from a rural area to a larger metro area). Short version is I think given the cost of living difference and current market I would ask for 20-25k more than I am making now. Most places I think would scoff at that. But I am interviewing with another place that is offering 20-30k more.

What I do is I say my total renumeration last year was XXX and I'm looking for an additional 10% to switch.

Now the kicker is XXX is actually my current salary plus 20% as like you I was underpaid.

This worked for me. Result a 30% raise, without any hard negotiation.

gooki

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2013, 01:30:12 AM »
And having been on the interviewing end, the best response I've heard is.

I'm looking for a salary that reflects the fair market rate for someone of my experience.

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2013, 04:40:59 AM »
Ideally, you should not make the first offer.  You can respond with something along the lines of "I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and I am interested in the position.  I am sure we can come to an agreement on salary.  What salary would you offer to a candidate with my experience?"  Offering first carries the risk of asking for less than they would offer.

I heard a podcast today that had a little segment on this.

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/why-99-us-are-terrible-job-interviews
And having been on the interviewing end, the best response I've heard is.

I'm looking for a salary that reflects the fair market rate for someone of my experience.

After looking at things more I am think I am going to go with this. Try and delay it as much as possible. I have been through a phone and an in person interview. But they have no said they are making an offer or would like to make an offer. So I am starting to think they are trying to use salary to decide between me and someone else. So it would work in my best interest to try and make them make the first offer. I'd rather they tell me they would like to make me an offer first and then ask. At least then I would feel like I could give them a number and it would be a start of negotiation rather than pricing myself out.

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2013, 06:49:23 AM »
I went with the throw the ball back in their court answer.

"I am sure if an offer was made we could come to a mutually agreeable rate that is commensurate with my experience, the requirements of the job and at a fair market value including all the associated benefits of the position. "

I'll see what they say. I have other prospects so if it ends up not working out so be it. If they say I am required to I'll shoot high.

As for padding I already have done some of that. We get extra pay for on call so I factor that into things. And a few other little things. I am going to try and just ignore for the most part what I make today and go for what I think is fair for the job and market. I make plenty to have an ok life and build a stache but it will be slow going. And I know I am worth more for the work I do. But since I don't need a new job it gives me a great position to negotiate from. I can afford to shoot big and if I miss I'm still fine.

igthebold

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2013, 07:02:36 AM »
Lastly, do not share your current salary unless it becomes a contingency of employment.

What do you say when they flat out ask you for your current salary then?

you tell them that your current salary isn't relevant to the discussion, or you spin it to talk about something else entirely.

Definitely. Do you see car salesmen telling you what other people have paid for a given model of car? Not unless it strengthens their hand in negotiation. Ultimately you're talking about hiring/selling your expertise, experience, character, and labor, and you want them to pay commensurate to the value they place in those things. What others have paid for the same things is irrelevant.

It's touchy, but if you know what you're worth without being prideful or cocky about it, you can frame the conversation to keep things relevant.

One more seemingly counterintuitive factor is that often people value more what they pay more for. If they pay more for your services, they might also listen more closely to your recommendations, etc.

projekt

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2013, 07:37:18 AM »
Is this the only job you are interested in? Do you have a best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA)? Usually a BATNA, in this situation, is a job offer from another company that you have time to respond to. Sometimes a BATNA is another situation. You want a job, but you'd also be OK taking a year off and backpacking, so the offer has to be worth it to keep you from doing that.

When I got my first job out of college, I basically wanted any job. I came in under market. I didn't have any alternatives. My previous wages had been really small. That's the problem with entry-level jobs.

You're not at entry level. You are trading up and you are looking for a company where you will be respected.

It can be perfectly okay, in a negotiating situation, to tell them your current/previous salary and your almost, but not quite, ludicrous salary expectation. It can also be okay to hold that to your vest. They will assume your previous salary is low, but they won't know how low.

No employer will hire the discount candidate over the best candidate. They want to hire the best employees and get them at a discount. If you aren't #1 on their list for every reason other than salary, they will make an offer to the person who is. If that person is out of their absolute price range, they will move to #2.

If you come in with a low salary expectation but they think you are awesome, they might get scared. Maybe you are awesome but you are being edged out of your company because nobody can work with you. Or perhaps you have a tendency to harass other employees.

Ask for the highest number that you think won't get you thrown out of the room. Make them bring you down from there by offering you concessions. More vacation time? Guaranteed training and conferences? If it's a private company or a zero-earnings company, stock options are not a concession.

If you are offered stock options, ask to see a financial exhibit, so you know what you are being offered. If it's a public company, you can look at their SEC statements.

But if you don't have any alternatives, you won't feel comfortable holding out. So make sure you work your other job offers. And if this is not your #1 choice, make sure that you have plenty of time to make a decision, so you can incubate other offers.

Spork

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2013, 08:03:01 AM »
But honestly given the cost of living change (I would be moving from a rural area to a larger metro area). Short version is I think given the cost of living difference and current market I would ask for 20-25k more than I am making now. Most places I think would scoff at that. But I am interviewing with another place that is offering 20-30k more.


While you may have run the numbers and you may be correct, I caution you to double check them.  I moved from "the big city" to a rural setting and found that the cost of living was considerably higher in the small town.  Everything was higher: housing, groceries, gas, etc and salaries in the small town were considerably lower.  And this is not a large distance -- more like 100 miles.  (I knew this ahead of time, so I was prepared for it... but it seems very counter intuitive.)

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2013, 10:45:15 AM »
So I have heard back. They said they do want to make me an offer. However they require my current salary at the very least in order to get approval to make me an offer. Not sure what to do. I think I would really like working there however I am not wedded to the idea. It isn't a dream job. It is a this seems like a place that treats employees fairly and has decent benefits and is a job I wouldn't mind doing until FI.

Also might be able to squeeze a phone interview in with the other place if I can free myself up later this afternoon.

Any advice on how to proceed? Tell the truth on both sides of current and desired? Make something up? I wouldn't mind delaying them a little too to find out about the other opportunity but I have a feeling that is going to take some time to get through as this is just the first phone interview.

Again thanks for all the advice and keep it coming.

Richard3

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2013, 12:17:23 PM »
If their HR department want your current salary to make you an offer and you want them to make you an offer I would tell them. As a hiring manager, if a candidate said something like " I am sure if an offer was made we could come to a mutually agreeable rate that is commensurate with my experience, the requirements of the job and at a fair market value including all the associated benefits of the position. " it would annoy me. I asked you a question and you avoided it. That's a bad sign. Also you used a lot of bullshit business words which makes me think you don't know what you're doing and can't communicate clearly rather than saying "my mother always told me to never make the first offer" which we both know is what is happening.

As a candidate I used to phrase my answer to that kind of question as follows:

"My current base salary is 50,000 (or whatever it was at the time) with a bonus of up to 20,000 (no way anyone got the max bonus but they don't need to know that). I also get X Y Z (various allowances / flexible working / training / travel etc) and am comfortable living where I am. This means for me to consider leaving my current role I would expect a package of at least 100,000 (or whatever I'd decided - if you don't know what offer you want, you need to work it out)."

Whatever the first offer I would make a sort of disappointed  tsssss sound and say "well, it's a bit lower than I was hoping for. I'll think about it for a couple days / over the weekend and get back to you" That should be enough of a hint that the recruiter / hiring manager will go back and ask for more on your behalf. If it isn't, then you should restate "I really was hoping for a slightly higher salary" or "I'd really like to work from home two days a week" or whatever fringe benefits you value equal or more than money.

However, I was getting headhunted rather than applying straight out so I could be more aggressive.

DoubleDown

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2013, 12:20:30 PM »
If their HR department want your current salary to make you an offer and you want them to make you an offer I would tell them. As a hiring manager, if a candidate said something like " I am sure if an offer was made we could come to a mutually agreeable rate that is commensurate with my experience, the requirements of the job and at a fair market value including all the associated benefits of the position. " it would annoy me. I asked you a question and you avoided it. That's a bad sign. Also you used a lot of bullshit business words which makes me think you don't know what you're doing and can't communicate clearly rather than saying "my mother always told me to never make the first offer" which we both know is what is happening.

As a candidate I used to phrase my answer to that kind of question as follows:

"My current base salary is 50,000 (or whatever it was at the time) with a bonus of up to 20,000 (no way anyone got the max bonus but they don't need to know that). I also get X Y Z (various allowances / flexible working / training / travel etc) and am comfortable living where I am. This means for me to consider leaving my current role I would expect a package of at least 100,000 (or whatever I'd decided - if you don't know what offer you want, you need to work it out)."

Whatever the first offer I would make a sort of disappointed  tsssss sound and say "well, it's a bit lower than I was hoping for. I'll think about it for a couple days / over the weekend and get back to you" That should be enough of a hint that the recruiter / hiring manager will go back and ask for more on your behalf. If it isn't, then you should restate "I really was hoping for a slightly higher salary" or "I'd really like to work from home two days a week" or whatever fringe benefits you value equal or more than money.

However, I was getting headhunted rather than applying straight out so I could be more aggressive.

Excellent advice.

I would not beat around the bush, it will sound defensive or evasive. Just tell them outright, and confidently.

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2013, 01:06:43 PM »
I'll do that this time around. It just seems 1/2 the advice says never make the first offer or give them current salary information. The other half says to do it. I'll just have to figure out how to word it right that doesn't seem annoying. I was trying to delicately say "you make the first offer". Obviously I am new at the whole salary negotiation thing so am just trying to work with what seems to be correct. Hence asking for the advice here. And since they didn't specifically say it was required with the previous email I erred on the side of calling them on it. Assuming they like me I am hoping the slight annoyance would be overlooked as someone just trying to get the best deal he could and not blaming me for trying.

I am going to do the phone interview for the other place this afternoon too. Figure it will give me something to go on as well. It helps with some leverage at the very least. Or find out that it really isn't what I want and I can be clearer on this potential offer.


rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2013, 04:12:13 PM »
So the phone interview really got me excited for this other opportunity. Seems much more of what I am looking for as far as work and environment. I still don't want to say no yet to the other. So still need to figure out what to say. I think I'll go for just the truth. Since they are gone for the day I have some time so still taking suggestions. I can't inflate my income hugely. So would be asking for almost a 50% raise. I guess how do I say that gracefully without coming off as pretentious?

projekt

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2013, 09:34:09 PM »
rugorak, since the first offer will be your best alternative, make it as good as possible. Obviously, better work and environment factors in and may be traded in some way against salary, but you should at least be able to rank offers. Also, having an acceptable offer from the first company will make you bolder with the second company.

Be strong. Remember, if they are talking about giving you an offer, you are #1.

gooki

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2013, 12:18:44 AM »
I say inflate your current salary.

DoubleDown

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2013, 09:36:57 AM »
If you're feeling confused over what might seem like conflicting advice about whether/how to divulge your salary, I'll respectfully suggest that there really is no conflict at this point. There's lots of wiggle room (and good reason) for not divulging salary early in talks, but once you've reached the point you are at and it's been requested point blank in order to make you an offer, there is little choice but to tell them honestly and confidently. I would not inflate your earnings or mislead them at all. That dishonesty would readily be revealed in a pre-employment verification and could result in your immediate dismissal or rescission of the offer.

The advice already out there is good about telling them confidently what your current salary is, with all other bonuses/perks. You don't need to say anything further or try to inflate it. They already know you are looking for a job you consider better than what you already have. Just tell them matter-of-factly what you are earning, and you can add if you wish that you are looking for at least an additional X% to consider changing jobs.

Congratulations on your pending offer by the way!

cosmie

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2013, 06:09:43 PM »
I'm a bit late to this thread, but thought I'd add my two cents. I'm graduating soon from college and have gotten a good bit of experience in the process recently.

Don't lie about your salary. As mentioned, many employers verify this in the pre-employment process (One company I interned with even did it). They won't take it well; if you bullshit something that easily verifiable, how much else in your interview process was padded? Or so they will ask themselves.

However, qualify your current salary with the commiserate cost-of-living adjustment, using a calculator like this one. For example, I've been given an offer from a former internship for $36,000 after graduation. I'm currently doing another internship in a significantly more expensive area, and during a performance review was asked what I would expect a full time offer would be. I told him that I had been offered $36k back home, and that the equivalent here would be $52k (as per that calculator); therefore, I'd expect a premium of that to compensate for moving halfway across the country. I was able to negotiate an offer of about $58k with a flexible working arrangement; whereas I've been told by a coworker the previous intern given an offer was told $50k.

Note: Never do this in reverse; if shopping for offers in a lower CoL area, just give them your current high-CoL-based salary and let them decide how far down to adjust the cost of living difference (if they try to be greedy and low-ball you, that's when you bring out your objective source of CoL-adjusted salary expectations).

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2013, 12:10:27 PM »
So I'll add an update to things. I ended up telling the truth. I added some extra that is valid (I get paid for when I am on call) and asked for what is fair. Since then I had an in person interview with the other place last Friday. They had me fill out forms asking similar information and I just went with the truth. With them the asking price seems easier as they listed a salary range on their listing. Their benefits as explained thus far seem much more generous as well (bonuses, etc.).

Knowing what I know today I would go with the later place. However there is 1 more in person interview that would have to take place before they made me an offer. I have a voicemail from the first place asking me to call them back. I am going to delay until tomorrow. For all they I could have left my cell at home like I did yesterday. I don't know if it is an offer or not. If it is I am not sure what to do. Given I had offers from both places I would take the second. The second place also has two openings so I think it would be a likely thing. But if for some reason it didn't come through I wouldn't be miserable at the first place. I would be miserable at my current job if I had to stay another year.

So in short if they are making an offer and I can't delay long enough do I turn it down and wait for the second?

Freda

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2013, 01:05:47 PM »
Lastly, do not share your current salary unless it becomes a contingency of employment.

What do you say when they flat out ask you for your current salary then?

Tell them your current employment contract doesn't allow you to discuss it. Confidentiality etc.

cosmie

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2013, 04:17:28 PM »
Knowing what I know today I would go with the later place. However there is 1 more in person interview that would have to take place before they made me an offer. I have a voicemail from the first place asking me to call them back. I am going to delay until tomorrow. For all they I could have left my cell at home like I did yesterday. I don't know if it is an offer or not. If it is I am not sure what to do. Given I had offers from both places I would take the second. The second place also has two openings so I think it would be a likely thing. But if for some reason it didn't come through I wouldn't be miserable at the first place. I would be miserable at my current job if I had to stay another year.

So in short if they are making an offer and I can't delay long enough do I turn it down and wait for the second?

This isn't that uncommon; don't burn the bridges with the first offer, but don't cut off the second before they even have a chance.

First, return Company A's call. If they give you an offer, be gracious, excited, and interested, but don't accept it on the spot. Tell them you have a few things to tie up before you can definitively accept the offer, and ask when they need a response by. Although it's up to you, I wouldn't tell them straight out that you're trying to get an offer at another company, as some (but not all) hiring managers may be insulted by that.

Then, call your hiring contact at Company B, and let them know your situation. Tell them you've been given an offer by another company and have to give them a response by [x days from now], but have a strong preference for Company B. Ask them if there's any way possible to expedite the process within the timeframe given by Company A. This (a) shows loyalty to Company B, (b) tells them you aren't desperate and have options, and (c) gives them a deadline.

Having made it through the vetting process of another company only works in your favor, and could be what pushes Company B to decide on you. Or else they'll tell you flat out that you're not their primary candidate, rather than keep you hanging and risking your first offer.

Hope this helps. :)
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 04:19:48 PM by cosmie »

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2013, 05:59:17 PM »
This isn't that uncommon; don't burn the bridges with the first offer, but don't cut off the second before they even have a chance.

First, return Company A's call. If they give you an offer, be gracious, excited, and interested, but don't accept it on the spot. Tell them you have a few things to tie up before you can definitively accept the offer, and ask when they need a response by. Although it's up to you, I wouldn't tell them straight out that you're trying to get an offer at another company, as some (but not all) hiring managers may be insulted by that.

Then, call your hiring contact at Company B, and let them know your situation. Tell them you've been given an offer by another company and have to give them a response by [x days from now], but have a strong preference for Company B. Ask them if there's any way possible to expedite the process within the timeframe given by Company A. This (a) shows loyalty to Company B, (b) tells them you aren't desperate and have options, and (c) gives them a deadline.

Having made it through the vetting process of another company only works in your favor, and could be what pushes Company B to decide on you. Or else they'll tell you flat out that you're not their primary candidate, rather than keep you hanging and risking your first offer.

Hope this helps. :)


This is a fantastic help! It is exactly what I was looking for. It spells out exactly what I am looking to do. Thanks!

cosmie

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2013, 07:51:08 PM »
Glad to help.

Being honest is definitely the way forward, you just have to be a bit careful in phrasing. My main concern is usually to avoid letting the fallback know they're the fallback, which can cause resentment or reservations on their part if you decide to go forward with them.

Keep us posted!

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2013, 09:21:53 AM »
So company A made me an offer. And as I feared it is low. It barely covers the difference in rent. My net after paying for rent and such would probably be less than I am bringing in now (other than the bonus). Vacation time is low as well. I would lose almost 2 weeks compared to what I have today. But there is a potential for a bonus.

And of course I attempted to call my contact at company B but she is off today. Company A said they would like an answer by Friday if I can but Monday at the latest. I am debating between trying to reach someone else at company B and see if they can give me an update or just try calling first thing tomorrow morning. I would email but assuming she is off off it may be faster to call first thing tomorrow morning. And if they can't move fast enough (which I expect it would be hard to get the last interview and an offer together that fast) it puts me in a tough position. I have to look over the package tonight (they emailed me the details and I can't really look them over at work).

Obviously everything is dependent on company B still wanting to consider me. But assuming that is true I am leaning towards just telling company A a polite no thank you and hoping that company B comes through. Thoughts?

Freda

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #41 on: April 24, 2013, 09:35:17 AM »
Call tomorrow.  You have time.

projekt

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #42 on: April 24, 2013, 03:18:34 PM »
Keep company A on line, and respond with a counter proposal. If they walk away, that's better than you saying no. If they want to continue to negotiate, you have time. Don't be afraid. They want to hire you. But they also want to pay as little as possible. Tell them that you appreciate that they are interested, and that you need to study their proposal. This is a good time to start probing for what their interests truly are, so use the opportunity to ask them questions.

fnord

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #43 on: April 24, 2013, 04:39:42 PM »
http://qz.com/77020/the-secret-to-a-higher-salary-is-to-ask-for-nothing-at-all/

Saw that on Hacker News today. Not sure I agree, with him; but you might get some use out of reading it.

cosmie

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #44 on: April 24, 2013, 06:06:33 PM »
So company A made me an offer. And as I feared it is low. It barely covers the difference in rent. My net after paying for rent and such would probably be less than I am bringing in now (other than the bonus). Vacation time is low as well. I would lose almost 2 weeks compared to what I have today. But there is a potential for a bonus.
Never rely on a non-guaranteed bonus. Depending on how badly you want to move, I'd negotiate hard upward. Unless you want to move for the sake of moving, the cost and stress associated with a cross country move is not worth a marginal increase (and possible net decrease) in pay, especially when you account for the loss of vacation time.

Quote
And of course I attempted to call my contact at company B but she is off today. Company A said they would like an answer by Friday if I can but Monday at the latest. I am debating between trying to reach someone else at company B and see if they can give me an update or just try calling first thing tomorrow morning. I would email but assuming she is off off it may be faster to call first thing tomorrow morning. And if they can't move fast enough (which I expect it would be hard to get the last interview and an offer together that fast) it puts me in a tough position. I have to look over the package tonight (they emailed me the details and I can't really look them over at work).
Just call tomorrow morning and explain the situation. You never know until you ask; if you're high up on the hiring manager's list he'll find a 30 minute block to give you a call. If not, then that tells you where your options stand.

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Obviously everything is dependent on company B still wanting to consider me. But assuming that is true I am leaning towards just telling company A a polite no thank you and hoping that company B comes through.  Thoughts?
Well, that depends. If Company B doesn't come through, will you regret burning bridges with Company A prematurely? Rather than turn them down, negotiate with them. Give them back a figure higher than you want. They'll most likely come back with a no, and tell you what they can do. Or else they really plan on paying you peanuts. In either case, it buys you time and potentially a much better offer, neither of which you get by declining it outright.

olivia

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #45 on: April 24, 2013, 07:19:48 PM »
Keep company A on line, and respond with a counter proposal. If they walk away, that's better than you saying no. If they want to continue to negotiate, you have time. Don't be afraid. They want to hire you. But they also want to pay as little as possible. Tell them that you appreciate that they are interested, and that you need to study their proposal. This is a good time to start probing for what their interests truly are, so use the opportunity to ask them questions.

Ditto, you should absolutely counter offer.  I would counter offer with a number that's over what you're hoping to get because they will likely meet you in the middle.  I would say something along the lines of "Thank you for your offer.  I'm interested in working at Company Name, but based on my skills and experience I think $x would be a more appropriate salary."

Freda

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2013, 06:34:05 AM »
Good luck today!!

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2013, 08:16:00 AM »
So called company B and I am out of the running. They have filled one of the positions and are pursuing others for the second. It sucks but I guess better to know now rather than later.

So now I just have the offer from company A. I looked over the benefits briefly last night and they were not great. Not bad but not great. Health/dental insurance will cost me more than I am making now. 401k is better. Bonus is most likely a sure thing. They are a utility and not for profit. But it isn't a huge bonus. 3k for the end of a year I have been there a full calendar year. Their offer is 71k which is just barely above a wash with the cost of living (for those who questioned I have looked at specifics as far as rents and such). With the extra cost of health insurance with them it pretty much is a wash. I asked for 80-90k. But all things considered the offer as it stands is a wash for cost of living and I lose 2 weeks of vacation. Only plus is slightly more into my 401k and potentially slight improvement in work environment.

There are other opportunities out there. And I am not sure about this offer. It seems like a decent place. I guess I need to decide whether they can make another offer that is worth it for me to leave my current job. I love the work and my immediate coworkers and boss. Not crazy about the location as far as personal life. And can't stand the higher ups. I'd be doing the same work. But I'd have a worse commute (even after moving as I can't live anywhere near there as it is all industrial and retail anywhere near there).

I guess my only hesitation about walking away from this if they aren't willing to come back with a higher offer is that I may be hoping for and expecting too much. Based on my offer last year and this one. And the fact that both places asked why I wanted to leave my current job after being here 7 years that maybe not taking a new job will hurt my future prospects.

Ishmael

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #48 on: April 26, 2013, 06:11:56 AM »
There's one thing to note in general - if a company is willing to show you a lack of respect during the interview process (enforcing their rules on salary discussions, lowballing offers, setting artificially aggressive timelines)... what the heck are they going to be like after they have bought you?

One company I worked for spewed total BS during the recruiting process, so I had no idea it would be a crappy company to work for. But if they're half-assed during recruitment, what are they going to be like to work for?

They sound like a bunch of penny-pinchers to me, and that's a frustrating place to be. A loss of 2 Weeks vacation is huge. Figure out the number that makes it work for you, and stick firm to that number. Don't be afraid to walk. If they don't meet it, say politely that you can't accept your offer based on the compensation package offered.

If you're unemployed, or hate your job, they're in the driver's seat and you have to swallow your pride a bit. You don't give the impression of being desperate. It sounds more like you're flattered by the fact they want to hire you, than that you think it will be a positive move. You certainly aren't excited about it, which would be a tough attitude to go into a new position with.

If you jump, and you're not happy there, you'll have to jump again. There's only so much of that you can get away with. However, having the excuse "well, I was offered 30% more so it was impossible to refuse" makes sense to pretty much everyone as a reason to leave one job.

Anyhow, good luck and hope whichever way you choose ends up working out. There's rarely a clear, perfect decision so make the best of either way.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 06:20:18 AM by Ishmael »

rugorak

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Re: Desired salary? What to say?
« Reply #49 on: April 26, 2013, 11:44:15 AM »
Well I called this morning and politely declined the offer from company A. They asked why and I explained to them the issues. I thanked them for their time and that I enjoyed meeting everyone from the team. I left the door open that if they made me another offer that was a bit better I could still take it without it being weird. But I doubt they will.

I thought long and hard and got the opinions of some trusted family and friends. In the end it just wasn't a fantastic job. I would have been bored I think. It wasn't bad by any means. Had the offer been better I probably would have accepted it. But the loss of vacation and net loss in pay after cost of living I just couldn't justify it. I might have also been able to accept it had it been someplace I really wanted to live. But it is only 1 1/2 hours away from where I live now. Too far to commute but close enough that I can get there easily when I want to. Especially with the extra time off I have here.

My relationship with my current employer is complicated. My boss is fantastic. So are my immediate coworkers. However once you get to the level above my boss the organization is really bad. They freak out about tiny costs and try and nickel and dime everything. Yet when it comes to huge cost things they act like money is no object. Even though we have been losing money for the past few years. For example if you suggest switching from MS office to Libre office to save hundreds of thousands of dollars they say just by office for every device whether it needs it or not, but if you ask for something that costs $800 that is required for a project they flip out and say you need to cut costs. My boss wants what is best for us, whether that be here or elsewhere. He would prefer us stay but not wish us ill if we left. Unfortunately he has no control at all over anything to try and get us to stay. And they would make only token gestures at best. Some recent announcements organization wide and changes would have to be overturned to convince me it was a good idea to stay given an appropriate offer elsewhere (meaning at least equivalent pay/benefits adjusted for cost of living or someplace really awesome to work for just slightly less). It just isn't going to happen.

So for now I am just going to restart my search. I have one job I need to follow up on. And some others I have seen listings for over the past 2 weeks but not gone for given the potentials I had. And with the national economy improving ever so slowly I am hopeful more places will be hiring and hopefully for a more competitive compensation package than I have been offered. With some hard work and a little bit of luck maybe before the end of the year I'll be on to a new job I love with a good compensation package.

Thanks to everyone for all your advice. It has been invaluable and I will put it to good use again. Hopefully the information shared helps some others too. Again thanks to everyone!