Author Topic: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR  (Read 4890 times)

norabird

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How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« on: April 15, 2016, 12:06:02 PM »
Sorry to be using the forum as my personal job sounding board, but, the internet is not as targeted as I might hope for this kind of stuff.

I have an external job offer which I am inclined to take but want to negotiate some of the terms. It's for a better title and around 13k more money. I want to ask for more vacation time/vacation time to be given earlier, and if a 401k match is possible. But I may need to be willing to compromise on those items after I've told my company about the offer because I think that might make staying where I am hard.

I am also interviewing internally for a step up in my department. They don't seem very excited about promoting me (hence my search), but I want to tell them about the offer to see what they say.

What is the best way to do that? I have to consider my manager, the hiring manager/dept head, and the HR manager, and have no idea who to tell first.

My plan now is to ask about vacation and 401k match first to see if the package can be something that makes me more excited before pulling the trigger on informing my current company. But I'm not sure I should walk away from the offer solely for those reasons since I would still come out ahead. Note it will cost an extra $3,000 a year in commuting costs at this job.

ZiziPB

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2016, 12:30:24 PM »
Just a note about 401k match - most likely it is non-negotiable.  You will not be able to get something different than the other employees of the company.  The match has to be the same for every participant or the plan is non-compliant with governmental regulations. 

You may run into the same problem with vacations.  If there is a company-wide policy, you are not likely to be granted an exception. 

mozar

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2016, 12:32:54 PM »
Are there more opportunities for advancement at the external job? Do they seem more excited about you? I've never tried to negotiate with a current job because I figure they are paying me what the company thinks I'm "worth" already. If you got promoted what are the chances they'll give you another 13k? From what I've seen, people will start not liking someone who tries to use another offer to negotiate. I would just leave. My current company didn't have a 401k match when I started so I asked them for 4k in higher salary. Then they started a 401k matching program. It doesn't hurt to ask for whatever you want. And you've got good leverage because you are being considered for an internal promotion. The other company doesn't need to know it's unlikely.

Axecleaver

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2016, 12:45:20 PM »
The order in which you do this is critically important:

1. Negotiate the best possible deal with NewCorp. Get a signed offer letter with all terms. This process can take time, time is on your side (they likely want you to start ASAP)
2. Turn in two week notice at OldCorp. Provide a copy of your offer letter. Keep your resignation letter short and sweet. When handing it in, see if they're interested in a counteroffer. They get two weeks to do it.
3. Take the best deal.

This provides time pressure to your current job - it's common for promises of raises and better conditions to take months or years to develop. They happen quickly when a date certain is provided, or they lose you forever.

For NewCorp, try to negotiate with the highest up person you can. Don't negotiate with HR unless you must, because they could care less whether you take the job. For OldCorp, it's generally considered polite to inform your current manager first. But you could consider negotiating with whomever you have the best relationship.

401k terms are non-negotiable, but I disagree with the other posters that vacation isn't negotiable. This has been one of the easier terms to negotiate for me in past jobs, both as boss and as candidate.

Good luck, Norabird! I always look forward to your job offer negotiating threads. Practice makes perfect.

captinsnow

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2016, 12:46:21 PM »
Personally I ended up staying at my current job when I was in a similar situation but I handled it like this (For reference I had been at my company for 4 years so I had some leeway):

After I had clarified salary and benefits, I went to my current company to say that I was currently not happy with my role. I mentioned that I wanted more control and more duties. I then said that I had an offer on the table that was going to allow me to pursue those thing along with a substantial raise. I said that I like the company, thought it had a good outlook and like my coworkers but stressed the idea that I was no longer building the skills I needed to help me in the future.

Unless they could make my current position into something where I would be gaining skills. I said the money also played a factor as well, I was being offered a 22% raise (I prefer to look at numbers as percentage over $$ amount).

When I first went to my manager I had come up with a list of what I wanted out of my job in order to stay. For me that was:
  • Team Lead
  • Direct Reports
  • More autonomy in my decision making process
  • More competitive compensation to go hand and hand with the increase in duties

In the end they gave me an 18% raise as well as the items that I need to be more happy at the job.

Other items you may want to think about
  • The additional time that will be spent commuting
  • The future career growth at the new company vs current company
  • Which place will grant you the most skills
  • Try not to burn any bridges
  • Make sure everything is in writing

It might help to know the industry you are in and the job you are going from and to. Just more details. I do agree that you don't go to your company until you have finished negotiations. I agree with this:

The order in which you do this is critically important:

1. Negotiate the best possible deal with NewCorp. Get a signed offer letter with all terms. This process can take time, time is on your side (they likely want you to start ASAP)
2. Turn in two week notice at OldCorp. Provide a copy of your offer letter. Keep your resignation letter short and sweet. When handing it in, see if they're interested in a counteroffer. They get two weeks to do it.
3. Take the best deal.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 12:48:26 PM by captinsnow »

lampstache

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2016, 12:49:32 PM »
Having worked as a Recruiter/HR at a large well known public accounting firm, I would tell you that HR is not your friend if you tell them you have another job offer. First person that will be notified is your supervisor or someone in the chain of command above you. Don't talk to HR whatever you do!

401k: Non-negotiable in my experience. Typically will get whatever everyone else gets.

Vacations: Depending on size of the organization the amount of vacation time you get may be negotiable, but the amount of time it takes start accruing most likely won't be. Again, this might be one of the benefit options that can be flexible when comparing what companies will and won't do for strategic new hires.

I think it'd be best to speak with your supervisor or dept head and attempt to get a real answer for them about how likely you are to get the promotion. Any idea of when they'll be making a decision? Depending on what they say might make your decision that much easier. Negotiate with the potential new employer first before you talk to anyone at your organization.

Good luck!

Sibley

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2016, 01:02:10 PM »
Internet source: Ask a Manager

norabird

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2016, 01:09:51 PM »
Thanks all for the input! I work in book publishing and have a middle-of-the-road resume, so while there are job opportunities (and I have had several interviews over the last two months) it is not a field where the pickings are that easy.

Quite frankly I do not expect to get the internal job offer. I think I am a great candidate but that I am not seen as a viable choice for some reason. I like aspects of my current role--lots of travel lined up over the next three months if I stay--but HR essentially told me after the internal interview that I was not who they are looking for.

What I will likely do post-negotiation is tell my direct boss in person, then call or email the hiring manager/dept head, and either copy in HR or tell them separately. It would be great if they could figure out that I have value but the chances are low. I would be open to coming back to the department down the line, but right now I am feeling some pressure to get better pay and a higher title for my resume so that I am not seen as stagnating. My direct boss is great in some respects but I have been chaffing at not being solely in charge of my own work.

Formulating a response that looks like the below for the exteranal company (might be too soft? I have literally never been in this position in my life):


Thank you very much for offering me the position of X. I am eager to become a part of Y's editorial team and excited by the opportunity to work toward making a real contribution. The position and areas of responsibility are an excellent fit with both my skill set and my career goals, and I am ready to give my best efforts to the role.

I have evaluated your current offer and benefits, and would like to discuss a few of the compensation details in more detail, particularly with regard to a possible match in your 401k plan and the initial vacation time. As I currently receive a 6% 401k match and 20 days of vacation yearly, would it be possible to also receive these benefits from you? If the 401k match and vacation are standard and inflexible, would it be possible to increase the base salary in order to compensate for the loss as compared with my current position?

I am greatly interested in working with Y, as I believe this position will help me develop my current strengths and capabilities, as well as develop new ones. I am also very impressed by the small, familial feeling of the office and would love to come on board if we are able to come slightly closer together on these few items.

Many thanks again for your consideration and wishing you a wonderful weekend,
« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 03:30:57 PM by norabird »

erae

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2016, 01:18:11 PM »
Agree that AskAManager is your best resource here. She recommends against taking counter-offers from your current employer. More here: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/03/26/why-you-shouldnt-take-a-counteroffer

mm1970

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2016, 01:45:58 PM »
Agree that AskAManager is your best resource here. She recommends against taking counter-offers from your current employer. More here: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/03/26/why-you-shouldnt-take-a-counteroffer
That's interesting.  I have a former boss who has used it (twice) here, successfully.

former player

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2016, 03:12:05 PM »
nora: you might like to take a name out of your last post.

norabird

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2016, 03:32:31 PM »
Ack thanks for catching!

They've come up to 55k and 15 days vacation which is pretty good. I expect I will accept next week and tell my current job when I am back in the office Wednesday (going on a weekend trip.).

Fred2004

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2016, 04:56:32 PM »
The 3 step advise above is really good, unless you don't want the new job.

I was 4 months into my job and I realized there were obstacles I would not be able to manage that would make my job extremely difficult to be successful at.  A friend basically told me I could make about 15% more at his company but if I interviewed I was guaranteed the job and would be putting his reputation on the line (He wanted to make sure I wouldn't use him as a bargaining chip).

I went to my manager and told him about the opportunity to see if he could do anything without interviewing, he made promises of trying to get me more money.  I then realized he had no intentions of going to bat to get me more $ so I got another position within another dept. at current company.  Boss came back (3 month process) and said he could give me what I had asked for.  By this time I told him the ship had sailed.

HR is a helluva hurdle.

The position I got is pretty bad (bait and switch).  I'm looking to leave company, but now I'm looking at potentially 30-40% more as a result, so it was worth it.

SwordGuy

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2016, 06:03:21 PM »
Just a note about 401k match - most likely it is non-negotiable.  You will not be able to get something different than the other employees of the company.  The match has to be the same for every participant or the plan is non-compliant with governmental regulations. 

You may run into the same problem with vacations.  If there is a company-wide policy, you are not likely to be granted an exception.

401Ks all being the same for all employees is the LAW.

Vacations all being the same is a company chosen policy that it can change or make an exception to at will.   

mozar

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2016, 09:07:10 PM »
Quote
I expect I will accept next week and tell my current job when I am back in the office Wednesday (going on a weekend trip.).

Onward!

ender

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2016, 08:18:30 AM »
Only take a counteroffer if you are 100% convinced it meets ALL of the reasons you wanted to leave in the first place.

Very rarely do people look for a different job only because they are underpaid.

elaine amj

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Re: How to communicate external job offer to internal HR
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2016, 10:48:50 PM »
Very exciting news that they bumped up your offer. Following to hear how this all works out for U. Gotta catch up on your journal :)


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