Author Topic: How many back and forths in salary negotiations?  (Read 3058 times)

Valvore

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How many back and forths in salary negotiations?
« on: March 05, 2018, 10:43:13 AM »
How many back and forths is acceptable in salary negotiations?

I've only ever negotiated two salaries and they went like this:

HR: What are your salary expectations?
Me: Based on this position and my experience, I believe a fair compensation is $X0,000
HR: We would like to offer you the position but at $Y0,000
Me: I am really looking forward to working with you. However, I do feel the offer is below the value I bring to the team. I am looking for the $X0,000 range
HR: [Day or two later] We can offer you [somewhere between $X0,000 and $Y0,000]
Me: Great, I accept.

However this time I have a problem. I was offered a government job that has a set salary range. I thought they would offer me the higher end of the salary (I have almost double the experience requested and Masters when only Bachelors was required) but it was more toward the lower mid range. When I requested more, they suggested that it likely wouldn't be approved because the request would go outside their department and those types of requests  never get approved. They implied they would try but not to expect the approval.

I really want this job but they are offering 15-20% less than I was expecting/hoping for. If they come back with just a minor bump, how hard should I push? I decided I will probably take the job regardless because of great benefits, but it will be a significant impact on my long term  earning potential since I plan to be here for at least 5 years with only meager annual raises. I don't want to start off on the wrong foot but I am worth it gosh dang it!

TLDR; How many back and forths is acceptable in salary negotiations? Would two rebuttals be too rude?

Sibley

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Re: How many back and forths in salary negotiations?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 10:55:01 AM »
I think you're maybe asking the wrong question. What you should be asking is, how can I get the higher pay rate given this is a government job/what's the chance I'll get it? From all I've heard, they're very different from companies.

I would expect answers to vary based on industry, possibly region, and definitely governmental vs non.

Valvore

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Re: How many back and forths in salary negotiations?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 11:14:15 AM »
This government job doesn't have the defined salary grades like federal ones. The hiring manager already mentioned that I was coming in at a higher grade than normal at this position. I expect I have the necessary qualifications for the higher grade because of the added experience and degree.

netskyblue

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Re: How many back and forths in salary negotiations?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 03:42:26 PM »
I think if they come back with "this is the best we can do" your choice is take it or leave it, or try *possibly* to negotiate other perks like time off.

If I were angling for a certain # and they couldn't get close enough, I'd say, well thank you for your time, but I'm not going to change jobs for less than X.  If you can't do that, I'll have to continue with my job search.


Urchina

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Re: How many back and forths in salary negotiations?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 12:31:25 AM »
If you are really curious about your options you may ask them something like "Under what type of situation would someone be hired into this position at the top end of the salary range?"

It would give you an idea of where you stand versus their expectations. Also, if they hire you at the top end -- they can't give you any merit increases. You'd just get COLA (assuming those happen regularly, which isn't always the case).

If the job is represented by a union, it's possible that their agreement only allows hiring at a higher step if very specific conditions are met.

Valvore

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Re: How many back and forths in salary negotiations?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 08:25:52 AM »
So I feel like I miffed it a little bit. They came back without a specific number and asked me again what number I would be happy with. I really do want the job and didn't want to be extra difficult so I said I would be satisfied with a smaller pay grade than I actually wanted. They still came up 10K from the original offer so I AM happy overall. I'm not going to cry over $4K left on the table (even though it will affect my future earning potential slightly). The benefits are awesome and I only have to work there for 3 years and 4 months to be eligible for the pension (6K/yr after age 62, but it goes up the longer I work). This will hopefully be my last job before FIRE!

The plan is work there for 7 years. Fully FIRE at age 33. I will be able to collect a pension of 20K/yr for life starting at age 60. I plan to use that exclusively for medical costs as that is my only unknown for old age FIRE. Now I just have to figure out the insurance issue from age 33 to 60... hmmm


catccc

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Re: How many back and forths in salary negotiations?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 11:54:54 AM »
My last salary negotiation went like this:
HR- So, salary wise, we'd like to offer you $80K.
Me- I was hoping for $85K.
HR- Okay, we can do that.

It was all of 9 seconds.  IDK what your actual numbers are, but I think coming 10K up from their original offer sounds decent.  If you are being fairly compensated for your work, be happy with it.

Gone_Hiking

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Re: How many back and forths in salary negotiations?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 09:28:40 PM »
Since you have given them the number first, that automatically invited more than one round of back and forth.  They upped their offer by 10K, which is awesome.  Can you ask for a raise after a year?  That might cover the missing 4K.

Usually, the higher you go up the corporate/government totem pole, the more rounds of salary negotiation are acceptable.  Lower down, two rounds might be it to avoid you, the applicant, looking like perhaps the the wrong choice.

Valvore

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Re: How many back and forths in salary negotiations?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 11:20:38 AM »
Since you have given them the number first, that automatically invited more than one round of back and forth.  They upped their offer by 10K, which is awesome.  Can you ask for a raise after a year?  That might cover the missing 4K.

Usually, the higher you go up the corporate/government totem pole, the more rounds of salary negotiation are acceptable.  Lower down, two rounds might be it to avoid you, the applicant, looking like perhaps the the wrong choice.

There is a set salary pay scale for this position, so for next year I will automatically get that 4K raise. It's a good scale with very decent annual raises but that's why I missed out on the higher grade because I decided to ask for the lower one to be less difficult.