Author Topic: Negotiating salary with potential job offer  (Read 19144 times)

Workinghard

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Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« on: April 10, 2014, 06:33:35 AM »
Our son has an interview at a large corporation for a position he was recommended for in spite of having limited experience. He does have the appitude and necessary clearance required. He's unable to find the position on glassdoor but estimates salary to be in the 70-90k range. He's currently making around 30K and they will know that from his résumé. He would love to get a foot in the door with the company as it would be a carreer position versus a job to pay the bills. IF he's offered a position in the lower range (albeit more than his current salary), should he take or counter it?

alex trebeck's mustache

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 07:07:55 AM »
By 'lower range' do you mean 70k or do you mean somewhere between the 30k he makes now and 70k?

If he's offered 70k, I would say take it without a counter. If he's offered somewhere between 30k and 70k, I would counter.

In my career (6 years, 3 jobs), I've found it much easier to negotiate salary at the time of the offer. My jumps in salary have all come from taking a new job at a new company. The 2 times I've asked for and received a raise, it has been in the 6 - 10% range which has had a small effect on my take home pay.

Tell him to read this recent MMM post: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/03/19/make-it-big/

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 07:14:27 AM »
No matter what he's offered, he should counter it ;)

If they're interested in hiring him, they're not going to change their minds if he counters. Although, if he's jumping in salary from $30k to $70k, he better have a good reason for the counter. I'm going to guess that the benefits aren't all exactly the same. Is he making ends meet on $30k?

As a side note -- he shouldn't be putting his salary on his resume.

Sonorous Epithet

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 07:20:13 AM »
Ramit Sethi talks about The Briefcase Technique, which sounds fancier than it is.

All it means is that when you give your counter, you have a piece of paper of some kind that lays out the support for your argument. It shows you have researched what you are asking for and that you can substantiate it, that you were prepared to make your case ahead of time, meaning you are serious, and it takes the second-guessing out of the hands of the person you're negotiating with.

The video is, granted, aimed towards a person a bit less savvy about the marketplace, i.e. your boss vs. a recruiter, but I think it's still an interesting idea. (I have never used the Briefcase Technique, but I probably should.)

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 07:21:32 AM »
By 'lower range' do you mean 70k or do you mean somewhere between the 30k he makes now and 70k?

If he's offered 70k, I would say take it without a counter. If he's offered somewhere between 30k and 70k, I would counter.

In my career (6 years, 3 jobs), I've found it much easier to negotiate salary at the time of the offer. My jumps in salary have all come from taking a new job at a new company. The 2 times I've asked for and received a raise, it has been in the 6 - 10% range which has had a small effect on my take home pay.

Tell him to read this recent MMM post: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/03/19/make-it-big/

I was thinking in the 50k range which would still be a huge jump. Thanks for the link. I'll pass it on!

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 07:31:13 AM »
No matter what he's offered, he should counter it ;)

If they're interested in hiring him, they're not going to change their minds if he counters. Although, if he's jumping in salary from $30k to $70k, he better have a good reason for the counter. I'm going to guess that the benefits aren't all exactly the same. Is he making ends meet on $30k?

As a side note -- he shouldn't be putting his salary on his resume.

Thanks. That was one of my concerns--if a counter offer would affect them changing their minds. For example if they offer him 50K and he counters with 70k, although he would still jump at the 50k without hesitation.  No problem making ends meet on the 30k.

I think the salary was on an online application. Things were kinda backwards at least from the way they use to be done back in the day. He heard about the job before it was officially posted and met informally with one of the guys. Then his résumé was submitted and an online application, then he was called for a formal interview. At that time he also had to resubmit an online application. His current job and this one are totally unrelated.

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 07:33:11 AM »
Ramit Sethi talks about The Briefcase Technique, which sounds fancier than it is.

All it means is that when you give your counter, you have a piece of paper of some kind that lays out the support for your argument. It shows you have researched what you are asking for and that you can substantiate it, that you were prepared to make your case ahead of time, meaning you are serious, and it takes the second-guessing out of the hands of the person you're negotiating with.

The video is, granted, aimed towards a person a bit less savvy about the marketplace, i.e. your boss vs. a recruiter, but I think it's still an interesting idea. (I have never used the Briefcase Technique, but I probably should.)

Thanks, SE. I'll pass this on to him too. He's young and this is his first career possibility.

Badass by 41

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2014, 03:53:21 PM »
His current job and this one are totally unrelated.

This.

The company has a budgeted salary range for the position, which is what they believes is a competitive salary range for the job level and duties. The offer should be within that range, and "should" have nothing to do with his current salary.

In my experience (20yrs, 10 jobs, 2 taken as "foot in the door" pay cuts) you never have a stronger negotiating position as when you are being hired, and companies know that.

If the pay range is posted publicly, and/or your son has factual data (70-90k), then I would advise him to "run-don't-walk" from an offer lower than that range.  It speaks volumes to the integrity and morals of the company and hiring staff.


Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 06:32:25 PM »

The company has a budgeted salary range for the position, which is what they believes is a competitive salary range for the job level and duties. The offer should be within that range, and "should" have nothing to do with his current salary.

In my experience (20yrs, 10 jobs, 2 taken as "foot in the door" pay cuts) you never have a stronger negotiating position as when you are being hired, and companies know that.

If the pay range is posted publicly, and/or your son has factual data (70-90k), then I would advise him to "run-don't-walk" from an offer lower than that range.  It speaks volumes to the integrity and morals of the company and hiring staff.

I appreciate your response. The pay range is not posted publicly, but he did find somewhat similar positions. He also commented about there being a budgeted range and he is going to talk to one of the guys that recommended him. It's a large reputable company, so that's a good thing. He does extremely well in interviews so here's hoping he has the job requirements. On the other hand, he must or they wouldn't have called him? I was actually amazed that the person he met informally kept him apprised of the situation--letting him know the job posting had closed, he had received his résumé, and then contacting him when HR wanted it reopened for another week.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 03:34:26 AM by Workinghard »

Freedom2016

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2014, 09:24:44 PM »
My career is in negotiation consulting and you've gotten some good input from others. I'll echo/build on some of their points.

--Mistake: listing his salary on his resume. Tell him to never list it again. Even if his old job is completely unrelated to the new one, it may serve as an "anchor" (however unconsciously) in the minds of the hiring firm and drag down their starting offer to the bottom of their range even if his qualifications suggest otherwise ("he should be THRILLED to get a 40K raise!").

--Mistake: thinking he shouldn't negotiate a first offer because they'll change their mind and withdraw it. Companies EXPECT to negotiate the salary, and in fact he may lose credibility if he doesn't negotiate it. Not negotiating salary offers will also lower his lifetime earnings (see the research on women who don't negotiate job offers compared to male peers who do).

--(Potential) Mistake: Having no idea how much more to ask for. As someone else said, ground it in some tangible data rather than appearing to have pulled it out of the air.

Good luck!! Sounds like he may actually do very well -- fingers crossed!

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2014, 03:31:33 AM »
Course11, what do you do in the case where it asks for your current pay on an application? He didn't list it on his résumé but was asked when he filled out the online application.

Thanks for the insider tip on negotiation and responding before his interview next week!

SnackDog

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2014, 04:43:19 AM »
If I were hiring someone who I knew was getting more than a 100% bump in salary and they made a big deal out of getting out of getting even more, I might reconsider.   In my experience (in life and business), people who make a big deal out of anything up front are going to continue doing so.  My willingness to put up with a high maintenance person depends on what I get in return.  Nine times out of ten these people actually give less in return than others who require no maintenance.  Don't get me started!

little_owl

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2014, 05:01:37 AM »
If I were hiring someone who I knew was getting more than a 100% bump in salary and they made a big deal out of getting out of getting even more, I might reconsider.   In my experience (in life and business), people who make a big deal out of anything up front are going to continue doing so.  My willingness to put up with a high maintenance person depends on what I get in return.  Nine times out of ten these people actually give less in return than others who require no maintenance.  Don't get me started!

This.  Your kid is in a weak negotiating position because his best alternative (unless he has ANOTHER offer) is his current $30k job.  The company will know this.  I am a huge advocate of negotiating, but there is a fine line between negotiating fairly and beeing greedy.  In this situation, I recommend that he ask for other benefits in the negotiation of the job offer...like more days off. As a hiring manager, I would have a hard time not laughing out loud at someone making $30k who was angling for a higher salary than DOUBLE what they were currently making.

zataks

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2014, 07:49:38 AM »
A little over a year ago I took a new job in a different region (coastal) but in the same field.  I had years of experience in the field but none with the specific technologies the new facility uses.  When offered the job, I was offered at the lowest step in the classification.  This is common in my field.  And, as your son did, I filled in my former salary on the application as requested; the new wage, even at lowest step, was 180% more than my former wage.  Still, when the offer came I asked the recruiter to get me the second step as I had to relocate and was moving to a much higher COL area.  She requested the hire at step 2 but it was denied.  I still took the job and 1 year later got the step increase and COLA, totaling 7% raise by the end of my first year of employment. 

tl;dr: It does not hurt to ask for the greater wage.

olivia

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2014, 08:32:04 AM »
When there are questions in online applications requesting salary information, I always leave them blank.  Typically they're not required questions in that you can click through to the next page while leaving it blank.  If it is a required question, I'm not sure there's any way to get around it.

But either way, I'm in the school of thought that you should always ask for more money.  Regardless of offer I typically ask for 10-15% more, depending on the range.  I just relocated for a promotion and was offered me a few thousand under the max salary for the position, but I still asked (and got) a few thousand more.  Every little bit helps, and provided you're respectful and realistic when negotiating, the worst they can say is no.

Freedom2016

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2014, 10:56:14 AM »
I agree with Olivia on leaving such questions blank whenever possible.

Little_Owl is correct that your son doesn't have a great BATNA right now (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). Ideally he would first secure a job offer from a different, similar company and use that offer as leverage for this one. That would also eliminate his prior salary as a relevant benchmark.

At the margins I can see SnackDog's point, although if I'm the job applicant, I want to be paid what my skills are worth to this company; I don't want to be pressured by a company to accept a low figure because "you should be happy with whatever we offer you, given what you used to earn." That argument is no different from saying, "Hey, Company X, you should pay me 50% more because you had record profits last year." Not relevant, right? In my field we emphasize the importance of using relevant industry benchmarks to determine a fair and reasonable amount. Your son should use relevant industry benchmarks both as a shield to protect him against being low-balled, and as a sword to (gently, and constructively) advocate for as high a salary as possible given his skill set, the job he is being offered, etc.

There's a huge amount of empirical research that shows that negotiators who aim higher consistently get more/better results. Set as high an aspirational target as the industry norms support, knowing that you may not get that, but you'll almost certainly get more than if you had set lower targets.

Zataks' experience is also worth keeping in mind - maybe you don't get all you want at the outset, but you've set the stage (perhaps) for an accelerated raise down the line. In all events, you discuss the matter with a smile and with enthusiasm for joining the team.
 

BlueHouse

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2014, 01:45:09 PM »
If they already know his current salary, the only way I could see to negotiate upwards would be to counter with "that didn't include bonuses, overtime, vacation time, or other perks.  To match my current compensation would really require $$x. and for only a y% increase, it might not be worthwhile to move companies when I already have seniority/accrued vacation/vesting here"  (but nicer) Figure out what all of those were worth and add them to the base pay and negotiate with that in mind as the number.  But don't get into a "my insurance is better than your insurance" conversation - you can't pay the bills with that.   If they offer $20K more for a job unrelated to his previous experience, I would take it in a heartbeat.  Your son has no direct experience and they (may) offer a huge increase to his current comp.  It sounded as if the 70-90K was a budget, not a "Pay Range".  There's nothing unethical about a company paying less than budget for something, but if the company has pay grades and is paying you less, then that's a problem. 
I agree with the others.  Don't post current salaries and don't share.   It's nobody's f-ing business.  Companies use that information against you to justify an x% increase rather than pay what the position is worth.  Never ever give up that info unless you really have to.
Good luck. 

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2014, 03:29:45 AM »
Wow, everyone, thanks for the additional responses and perspectives. You've given me a lot to think about.  As a nurse, there's really no room for negotiation unless you're in management. I'll pass the thread info onto him. Ultimately, he'll have to make the decision, but it's good to go in with a plan even if that changes in the course of the interview.

Snackdog and little_owl, he has no sense of entitlement whatsoever and will take the position regardless of what they offer him. Even if it was lower, which it won't be, he would still appreciate the opportunity to be mentally challenged and in an area where he felt he was making a difference.

Zatak, thanks for sharing your experience. It's my understanding if they want you enough to make a job offer, they won't rescind it if you make a counter offer--within reason of course. Glad that turned out to be true in your case!

Olivia and course 11, thanks for the information about leaving salary blank. When I started back into the workforce two years ago after a 10 year hiatus, I took a job as an RN making less than an LPN. I doubled my salary in 18 months, two jobs later, and have been with that company for almost two years.

BlueHouse, not sure what the difference is between a budget and pay range. Oops, reread your post.  I know there was one guy he knew, who took an offer, and found out later that he could have gotten more because the money the company "saved" couldn't be reallocated for something else. Different company though.

Ihamo, ditto on things besides salary. This company, based on those he's talked too, would be a huge plus in that area. A review at 6 months is a great idea and having specific performance targets!

Sorry I couldn't respond to everyone last night.  I couldn't connect to the server.  Talk about withdrawal!

TomTX

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2014, 05:45:14 AM »
BlueHouse, not sure what the difference is between a budget and pay range. Oops, reread your post.  I know there was one guy he knew, who took an offer, and found out later that he could have gotten more because the money the company "saved" couldn't be reallocated for something else. Different company though.

Budget: How much money we actually have to pay people and how many FTE (Full Time Employee) positions we are willing to have.

Pay Range: Policy allows us to pay an individual between these two numbers

Example:

Budget: We have $500,000/year and 10 FTE slots budgeted for Hamster Huggers. We currently have 9 Hamster Huggers totaling $435,000. One slot is open for hiring.

Pay Range: We will pay a Hamster Hugger between $35,000 and $75,000, depending on qualifications.

So, company issues an offer for $50,000. There is an additional $25,000 in the allowed pay range (for a really excellent hugger) - but only $15,000 more available in the budget. If you insist on $75,000 on the first day of the year, because you are the Best Hamster Hugger EVAR!! - they still can't pay it out, because budget only has $65,000 for this year.

Is it possible to get the budget changed? Yes, but usually it would entail a large hassle to the person doing the hiring, and they will have go negotiate with THEIR bosses AND the finance people AND justify getting the budget changed AND the money has to be taken away from somewhere else - maybe the Snake Charmer budget could be cut. However, the manager over the Snake Charmers was planning to maybe use that budget later.... or policy prevents moving money from the Office Supplies budget to Personnel (entailing another set of hassles to get an exception) etc. etc.

little_owl

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2014, 08:51:34 AM »
Workinghard, keep us updated!  I am so curious about what your kid decides to do and what happens!  Lots of good perspectives in response to your question.

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2014, 03:13:37 AM »
Little_owl, I'll update once I have more information. The job interview is tomorrow. Gives me another day to pray!

Thanks for the detailed explanation, TomTx. Where do I send my application to be a hamster hugger? I'm sure I can wing the experience part, since I use to have a lot of experience hugging foster children.

Weedy Acres

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2014, 08:29:56 AM »
If he's currently making $30K stocking shelves or flipping burgers, or something else unrelated to the job he's interviewing for, then it's actually easier to make the case for a bigger jump in salary.  If they offered <$70K, I'd say something like, "my research indicates that this position typically pays $70-90K.  I understand I'm coming in at an entry level, so I'm fine with the bottom of that range."  If the employer makes noise about such a big jump from 30K, he can remind them that his current position is a "pay the bills while job hunting" type of job, and his expectations of salary for this position would be commensurate with market value.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2014, 01:53:42 PM »
I know it's too late, but this brings up another question:  How do you guys feel about lying when asked current/previous wages?

3 years ago I was working IT in Ohio, which doesn't pay well.  I interviewed with and got hired for a job in the silicon valley (where IT pays rediculously well) and ended up relocating.  I knew the job payed 2.5-3 times my salary (due to my friend working same position), but if I told them what I was making there's no way I'd be able to negotiate up into that range, so I told them i made 2x as much as I did.  They didn't bat an eye and after further negotiation I came in at just over 2.5x what I was making.  I felt like this was my only choice because it's hard to understand the difference in pay between the IT desert of Ohio with its low COL, to the complete opposite of SF Bay area.  I also feel like it's none of their business.  If they're going to be rude enough to ask, I have no problems lying.  If I'm qualified for X position that pays Y salary, then my previous earnings are of no consequence.  Curious on other viewpoints on this.

Gin1984

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2014, 02:03:54 PM »
No matter what he's offered, he should counter it ;)

If they're interested in hiring him, they're not going to change their minds if he counters. Although, if he's jumping in salary from $30k to $70k, he better have a good reason for the counter. I'm going to guess that the benefits aren't all exactly the same. Is he making ends meet on $30k?

As a side note -- he shouldn't be putting his salary on his resume.
That is not always true.  I personally know of a few people who had their offers rescinded after countering.

Freedom2016

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2014, 05:09:14 PM »
I know it's too late, but this brings up another question:  How do you guys feel about lying when asked current/previous wages?

3 years ago I was working IT in Ohio, which doesn't pay well.  I interviewed with and got hired for a job in the silicon valley (where IT pays rediculously well) and ended up relocating.  I knew the job payed 2.5-3 times my salary (due to my friend working same position), but if I told them what I was making there's no way I'd be able to negotiate up into that range, so I told them i made 2x as much as I did.  They didn't bat an eye and after further negotiation I came in at just over 2.5x what I was making.  I felt like this was my only choice because it's hard to understand the difference in pay between the IT desert of Ohio with its low COL, to the complete opposite of SF Bay area.  I also feel like it's none of their business.  If they're going to be rude enough to ask, I have no problems lying.  If I'm qualified for X position that pays Y salary, then my previous earnings are of no consequence.  Curious on other viewpoints on this.

All it would take is one call to your supervisor or HR department to find out that you lied and then you would be fucked.

My advice to my clients is to always behave in trustworthy ways (which is distinctly different from trusting, or blindly trusting, others). Your reputation for honesty and follow-through is a form of negotiation power that you can enhance throughout your career, and it can become a source of influence and even leverage for you. However, once your reputation as a trustworthy counterpart ("an honest broker") is dinged, particularly by your own doing, you may will have a hard time rebuilding it. IMO there is no good reason to squander this resource.

In your situation I would have worked really hard to shift the conversation to being about what the position should pay in the geographic area you moved to rather than materially lie about my income. I also would have tried to secure another offer so as to use that as my salary bargaining chip rather than current income.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 05:21:14 PM by course11 »

Freedom2016

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2014, 05:13:11 PM »
No matter what he's offered, he should counter it ;)

If they're interested in hiring him, they're not going to change their minds if he counters. Although, if he's jumping in salary from $30k to $70k, he better have a good reason for the counter. I'm going to guess that the benefits aren't all exactly the same. Is he making ends meet on $30k?

As a side note -- he shouldn't be putting his salary on his resume.
That is not always true.  I personally know of a few people who had their offers rescinded after countering.

Very interesting. I would love to know more details, in particular what the hiring company found so egregious. At the margins I can imagine that if the counter was for a ridiculous amount e.g. double the offer, or if it was made with a tone of entitlement or pushiness, that it may have left a bad impression... but so much so as to rescind an offer?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 05:19:19 PM by course11 »

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2014, 07:21:58 PM »
I know it's too late, but this brings up another question:  How do you guys feel about lying when asked current/previous wages?
...

All it would take is one call to your supervisor or HR department to find out that you lied and then you would be fucked.

My advice to my clients is to always behave in trustworthy ways (which is distinctly different from trusting, or blindly trusting, others).
...

I have been accused of being honest to a(n) (annoying) fault.  My bar for when lying is appropriate is very high (honey, does my fat ass make my ass look fat? etc).  That being said, I felt that the situation warranted it.  That's the only time I've felt the need to lie about current wages.  Was not aware of that being information HR would willingly give out (obviously not that it effects the ethics of it), but reading into it, it does seem to be one of the few questions they'll answer nowadays.  Glad that didn't bite me.  I guess part of the reason I still don't see a problem with it is that I don't feel like it's an appropriate or relevant question to ask in the first place, but I can't just say 'none of your business' or 'no comment' without negative effects.

Weedy Acres

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2014, 06:01:48 AM »
All it would take is one call to your supervisor or HR department to find out that you lied and then you would be fucked.

Uh, no.  I've never worked for a company whose HR dept would freely disclose people's salaries to anyone who called up and asked.  Dates of service only.  Too much liability.  Unless they got a signed disclosure authorization form (as from a bank for a loan) with the employee requesting said disclosure.

And any boss who would give out an employee's salary to someone calling claiming to want to hire one of his/her employees is an idiot.

That said, I concur that honesty is the best policy.  I'd just decline to answer, and artfully redirect.  If they pressed me, I'd say something like, "Salaries are lower here than in Silicon Valley, which is why I'm looking to relocate.  My research shows that X to Y is fair, and I'm willing to work in that range."

Keep in mind that part of the reason they're asking is not necessarily to get you as cheaply as they can, but to know whether you're going to be in their price range.  Why bother interviewing someone for a $50K job that's currently making $100K?  So letting them know what your price range is gets to the root of their question. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2014, 08:53:48 AM »
And any boss who would give out an employee's salary to someone calling claiming to want to hire one of his/her employees is an idiot.

From the previous employer side, I have never offered up the candidate's salary to a caller, but I have confirmed information that the new prospective employer has been given.
 
Q:  Can you confirm that candidate made $40K ? 
A:  Yes, that's within range for the position she held. 

From the hiring manager side, I've completely given up on getting any useful information from anyone in HR.  The last few times I had to hire someone and I checked references I called the previous supervisors and left the following in a voicemail:  "please call me back only if this was an exceptional employee and you have only positive examples of work product".   If they give a shit about the employee, they will make sure to get in touch with me, otherwise they know they're costing someone a job. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2014, 09:14:03 AM »
I know it's too late, but this brings up another question:  How do you guys feel about lying when asked current/previous wages?

3 years ago I was working IT in Ohio, which doesn't pay well.  I interviewed with and got hired for a job in the silicon valley (where IT pays rediculously well) and ended up relocating.  I knew the job payed 2.5-3 times my salary (due to my friend working same position), but if I told them what I was making there's no way I'd be able to negotiate up into that range, so I told them i made 2x as much as I did.  They didn't bat an eye and after further negotiation I came in at just over 2.5x what I was making.  I felt like this was my only choice because it's hard to understand the difference in pay between the IT desert of Ohio with its low COL, to the complete opposite of SF Bay area.  I also feel like it's none of their business.  If they're going to be rude enough to ask, I have no problems lying.  If I'm qualified for X position that pays Y salary, then my previous earnings are of no consequence.  Curious on other viewpoints on this.
Well, I'm sure a lot of people will say this is lying, but I think it's okay to add in all forms of compensation including bonuses when answering the question. 

All the artful deflection suggestions are great, but I've encountered many instances where the hiring manager was just more skilled and more persistant than I was.  In one negotiation, no matter how many times I deflected, the interviewer just smiled and asked "how much were you making"?  It got to such an uncomfortable (for me) situation, that I was left with answering either "I'm just not going to tell you" or providing an answer. I finally just said "including bonuses, I make $x".  She had the number to write down on her silly little form and she was satisfied.  Sure enough, the base salary offer came in at a clean percentage over what I told her. 
I'm now a consultant and my rate is rarely questioned. However, on one contract, the prime contractor requires a "cost breakdown" worksheet to validate how rates are derived.  I flat out refused to provide the information, until the prime's president even got involved.  It was such an uncomfortable situation (starting out as adversaries), but in that case, I held the upper hand because they wanted my services and I also understood the requirements well enough to counter with "I will be happy to review my rate structure and cost breakout during a formal audit with DCAA, but I am not required to and will not share that information with you."  But that's just for US Defense contracts.



MayDay

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2014, 10:08:58 AM »
No matter what he's offered, he should counter it ;)

If they're interested in hiring him, they're not going to change their minds if he counters. Although, if he's jumping in salary from $30k to $70k, he better have a good reason for the counter. I'm going to guess that the benefits aren't all exactly the same. Is he making ends meet on $30k?

As a side note -- he shouldn't be putting his salary on his resume.
That is not always true.  I personally know of a few people who had their offers rescinded after countering.

Very interesting. I would love to know more details, in particular what the hiring company found so egregious. At the margins I can imagine that if the counter was for a ridiculous amount e.g. double the offer, or if it was made with a tone of entitlement or pushiness, that it may have left a bad impression... but so much so as to rescind an offer?

I can give you an example.  This happened to my H about 9 years ago.  He was offered a job straight out of grad school.  Low end of salary for the degree, but he was interested in the job and town, so whatever.  He asked for a reasonable salary increase over the offer in a very polite way (details are fuzzy but I think the offer was around 62K and he asked for 65K, going rate for the degree was 70-90K, so they were still getting a bargain).  The hiring manager brought his request to the hiring team, and the most senior person in the department yanked the offer on the spot, because he personally hated when people negotiated.  The hiring manager and the rest of the hiring team would have been fine with just saying "62K is the best we can do". 

DH ended up hearing these details because he had a friend who worked in the department.  Probably dodged a bullet bc working under that senior guy most likely would have sucked.  Luckily DH had a few other offers within a month or so, but if that had been his only offer, it would have sucked to lose it over 3K.

Freedom2016

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2014, 01:54:01 PM »
No matter what he's offered, he should counter it ;)

If they're interested in hiring him, they're not going to change their minds if he counters. Although, if he's jumping in salary from $30k to $70k, he better have a good reason for the counter. I'm going to guess that the benefits aren't all exactly the same. Is he making ends meet on $30k?

As a side note -- he shouldn't be putting his salary on his resume.
That is not always true.  I personally know of a few people who had their offers rescinded after countering.

Very interesting. I would love to know more details, in particular what the hiring company found so egregious. At the margins I can imagine that if the counter was for a ridiculous amount e.g. double the offer, or if it was made with a tone of entitlement or pushiness, that it may have left a bad impression... but so much so as to rescind an offer?

I can give you an example.  This happened to my H about 9 years ago.  He was offered a job straight out of grad school.  Low end of salary for the degree, but he was interested in the job and town, so whatever.  He asked for a reasonable salary increase over the offer in a very polite way (details are fuzzy but I think the offer was around 62K and he asked for 65K, going rate for the degree was 70-90K, so they were still getting a bargain).  The hiring manager brought his request to the hiring team, and the most senior person in the department yanked the offer on the spot, because he personally hated when people negotiated.  The hiring manager and the rest of the hiring team would have been fine with just saying "62K is the best we can do". 

DH ended up hearing these details because he had a friend who worked in the department.  Probably dodged a bullet bc working under that senior guy most likely would have sucked.  Luckily DH had a few other offers within a month or so, but if that had been his only offer, it would have sucked to lose it over 3K.

Yikes!

Like you say, in the long run I'd probably try to look at that situation as a bullet dodged.

It's kind of like in dating, where the advice is to "Be yourself and if that scares people off, great! You don't want to be with them anyway"; i.e. it's a great screening tool for weeding out the jerks and incompatibles. Perhaps negotiating salary can/should be viewed similarly; if an employer is going to get their panties in a bunch about having a reasoned discussion about compensation, perhaps you're better off not working for them.

The Mobile Mustachian

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2014, 05:26:18 PM »
I always recommend countering. If the salary is in the right range given your comparative analysis, I would go with 5k more than what is being offered.

Freedom2016

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2014, 04:00:09 PM »
For the OP: you might consider getting your hands on this book for your son:

http://www.amazon.com/How-Negotiate-Your-First-Job/dp/0991271416/

I haven't read it, but it was (recently) written by an old professor of mine and from the Table of Contents, it looks highly consistent with what I advise and teach my own clients.


Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2014, 04:40:52 PM »
For the OP: you might consider getting your hands on this book for your son:

http://www.amazon.com/How-Negotiate-Your-First-Job/dp/0991271416/

I haven't read it, but it was (recently) written by an old professor of mine and from the Table of Contents, it looks highly consistent with what I advise and teach my own clients.

Thanks for the book suggestion! We're just waiting to hear the outcome. Surprisingly, he got a follow up email from the hiring manager saying he did very well in the interview and that it was going to be a tough decision and they would let him know in a few days. Not sure if that's a good sign or not.

MrFrugalChicago

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2014, 11:25:13 AM »
Thanks for the book suggestion! We're just waiting to hear the outcome. Surprisingly, he got a follow up email from the hiring manager saying he did very well in the interview and that it was going to be a tough decision and they would let him know in a few days. Not sure if that's a good sign or not.

Usually means he is in the top X, but not clearly #1 (or he would have got an offer right after interviewing).

if they pick you, they are then set on you.. so yes, ask for a small raise. if they offer 50, ask for 65. If they offer 70, ask for 80. Just do it in a soft gentle way, so they won't yank the offer. All about tact ;)

squatman

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2014, 01:02:56 PM »
If he gets an offer I'd absolutely negotiate. If the company pulls the offer based on that request, it's definitely a company he doesn't want to work for.

One other thing: the negotiation doesn't have to be very long or drawn out, just well-reasoned. My wife and I each sent a single email (didn't even have to call!) to negotiate salaries for our most recent jobs. Those emails earned us $26k in year 1, plus untold amounts in years to come.

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2014, 01:56:14 PM »
Thanks for the book suggestion! We're just waiting to hear the outcome. Surprisingly, he got a follow up email from the hiring manager saying he did very well in the interview and that it was going to be a tough decision and they would let him know in a few days. Not sure if that's a good sign or not.

Usually means he is in the top X, but not clearly #1 (or he would have got an offer right after interviewing).

if they pick you, they are then set on you.. so yes, ask for a small raise. if they offer 50, ask for 65. If they offer 70, ask for 80. Just do it in a soft gentle way, so they won't yank the offer. All about tact ;)

That's a SMALL raise? Lol

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2014, 06:08:45 PM »
The latest...

He was told today he'd be contacted on Wednesday. One of the guys at the interview had a family emergency.

Badass by 41

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2014, 11:24:11 AM »
The latest...

He was told today he'd be contacted on Wednesday. One of the guys at the interview had a family emergency.

Bump.  Any update for those of us playing along at home?  9)

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2014, 01:11:11 PM »
Haha. Thanks for reminding me! He did NOT get the job. They felt it would limit him, BUT they want to meet with him on Friday about another job position. And so starts round two.

Badass by 41

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2014, 05:45:28 PM »
That's not a bad thing as these things go.  Especially if they want to bring him in for a better fit, at least for them, hopefully for him.  Good luck and let us know if that works out.

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2014, 07:18:45 PM »
He had another meeting today. They spoke with him concerning some positions that will be opening up in 6-12 months that will coincide with him finishing Officer Training School. I'm surprised they called him in for an interview with the first position, knowing about OTS and the potential conflict, unless they wanted to meet him and see if he'd be a match somewhere else.

 He did find out (from someone else) there were 12 applicants and he was one of three that interviewed. He's disappointed, but I think the timing will be better later on and he's still young, 21.

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2014, 03:29:02 AM »
Thanks, Ihamo. That actually happened with his current job. He applied for a position, willing to take anything just to get a job, and the guy was like why are you applying here with your background and potential. He didn't get the job, but unknown to him, his résumé and a referral were sent to corporate. He got a call and was hired for a position that paid almost double.

He'll keep in contact with the interview person and hopefully there will be a slot when the dust settles. He's just anxious and ready to move into a career path versus a job. Nice to know resumes are kept on file!

BlueHouse

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2014, 10:41:08 AM »
It actually even goes beyond that, at least in my very small/specialized sector.  I frequently get asked by people in other organizations if I know of good candidates for positions they are looking to fill.  If someone has left a particularly strong/positive impression on me, I will pass that resume on to the other organization as well. I guess that is all part of the "secret job market" that you hear about so often.  Impressions matter.  Encourage him to keep being enthusiastic and professional as he interviews.  Never know where a positive encounter might lead.
So true.  I have a folder on my computer with the resumes of people I wish I could hire.  Never realized that I was part of the "secret job market"

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2014, 03:42:56 PM »
It's definitely a different job market than the one I grew up with. Glad I don't have to do online applications or find the Underground Railroad.

I do appreciate everyone's insight and the "other side" perspective!

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2014, 08:04:30 PM »
Update: the position became open again and our son was contacted! They asked if he was still interested and he received an offer for 73k+. They decided they would work around his officer training and that it would be relevant job experience. He's on cloud nine.  He's also eligible for their investment program from the day of hire and he's going to max out from the beginning. :) We are so excited for him!

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #47 on: June 21, 2014, 04:20:39 AM »
Congratulations! That's a lovely story :)

Bikesy

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #48 on: June 21, 2014, 05:53:21 AM »
Wow!  Talk about a great starting salary for a 21 y/o...I was recently in a similar position, albeit a little later in life.  I changed companies and my offer was 50% more than I previously made.  I negotiated my salary up slightly; however, the first thing the recruiter asked me was what supporting evidence I had for the request.  If your son feels that the offer is within the acceptable range for the job title I'd be tempted not to negotiate unless he truly has some evidence to back up his request.  I negotiated based on my projected future earnings with my current company and ended up getting a 5%ish raise...not much but worth asking the question.

Workinghard

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Re: Negotiating salary with potential job offer
« Reply #49 on: June 21, 2014, 07:08:02 PM »
He decided NOT to negotiate. He didn't think it was worth it.  If they had come in at $50k, it would have been different. Also it won't be long before he moves up a pay grade anyway. And he's making more than my dh or me, but combined we still out earn him! 

Wow!  Talk about a great starting salary for a 21 y/o...I was recently in a similar position, albeit a little later in life.  I changed companies and my offer was 50% more than I previously made.  I negotiated my salary up slightly; however, the first thing the recruiter asked me was what supporting evidence I had for the request.  If your son feels that the offer is within the acceptable range for the job title I'd be tempted not to negotiate unless he truly has some evidence to back up his request.  I negotiated based on my projected future earnings with my current company and ended up getting a 5%ish raise...not much but worth asking the question.