How to negotiate salary after entrepreneurship? (Update: I accepted the revised offer)

BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
edited May 2017 in Help / Advice Forum
Long story short, after 2.5 years of entrepreneurship, a few months ago I decided to get back to the workforce and had been interviewing with a few cloud companies (that was my targeted industry). I actually got word from one of them today that they were happy to offer me a position and I needed to provide them with information so they can prepare a compensation package offer.

They sent me a compensation form that asks for the details of my previous compensation package like base salary, gross salary, espp, etc. Given that I have been self employed for the past 2.5 years, my financials have been a roller coaster ride so I am planning on giving them some info about the package I had at my previous professional job.

So here I am really confused as I never had any employers ask for this before and I am not really feeling comfortable about giving them all this info. I feel that the package they plan to offer should reflect my self and market worth, not what my previous job paid because I was seriously underpaid there as an early-join employee. I am certain people who had joined years after me got much better packages due to better economy, etc. but my annual raises were really low even with excellent performance reviews.

How should I go about this? There's an area on the form where I can write/list anything I would like to add to the package info.

Thanks.

i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

Basar on
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  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    you shouldn't give them your past compensation information, and the fact the every company these days asks for it by rote is a plague

    jsut leave it blanks and if they press you, you have a good excuse, in that you were (self-employed? early in a startup so you had a large equity stake and low compesation?) to it doesn't really apply
    Just be like "I can't fill this out, my compenstion at my previous company was based on equity and any numbers I put down would be misleading to you and possibly misrepresenting on my part"

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
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  • LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    If a company I was hoping to get a job with asked me for my previous compensation details I would seriously consider if I wanted to be employed there.

    Assuming you DO want this job, I would do what Aioua said and leave it blank. If you they press you, you can write down whatever numbers you want. Considering you were self-employed, there is no way for them to confirm anything aside from requesting you provide your personal tax return/financial statements.

    They are using this to gauge how much they should pay you. If you do provide them with any information, make sure it's comparable to what you want to be paid from this job.

    spool32davidsdurionsElvenshae
  • [Michael][Michael] Registered User regular
    There was some talk about this in the programming thread a few weeks ago, along with links to some useful resources:

    https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/comment/37301979/#Comment_37301979

    Content copy/pasted from the thread:
    Campy wrote: »
    Released my CV into the wild on Monday and my phone is practically exploding with calls! Praise Honky!
    Now to face the pant shitting fear of actual interviews. Oh god how I hate interviews!

    Oh and don't give your current salary to people. This will never benefit you. Best way to handle the scenario is to redirect and refocus on your interest in the position not the salary. Come up with a script before hand of how to answer this question. Good companies will not push on this.

    See http://infohost.nmt.edu/~shipman/org/noel.html
    http://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/01/23/salary-negotiation/

    He's not bullshitting you on salary, by the way. I used the Kalzumeus blog post as a bible while looking for my second job, and I got a 75% increase in my salary. The recruiter even gave me an ultimatum and said the company wouldn't move forward without knowing my previous salary, and I told her that the company wouldn't be a good fit and we should find another. They ended up hiring me.

    Just to pile on the negotiation resources:

    http://haseebq.com/my-ten-rules-for-negotiating-a-job-offer/
    http://haseebq.com/farewell-app-academy-hello-airbnb-part-ii/

    I didn't negotiate hardly at all my first job out of college, and that was a mistake. Take a few hours to read up on negotiation and practice before the interviews. An hour or two of reading now can verrry literally mean tens of thousands of dollars in just the next year. Hundreds of thousands over a career.

    TLDR is same from this thread: don't give them the info.

    Cauldfirewaterword
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    Thank you all. I'll leave it blank as suggested but they'll probably push me for my last salaried job. Let's give it a try.

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    If they push you for it, put whatever you want really. It's not like they're going to ask to see a pay stub. Maybe they'll call your previous employer (you) and then you can tell them the same lie.

    If they do ask to see a pay stub just laugh at them and leave, you don't want to work for them, ever.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    DarkewolfeHeirjungleroomxdispatch.oSmrtnikdavidsdurionsElvenshae
  • lunchbox12682lunchbox12682 MinnesotaRegistered User regular
    I will fully agree with bowen.
    It's one thing if they want an expected range of what you want, but the old pay is crap.
    If you have not done so already, I do recommend you look into what your general job pays in your area. The better case you can make for yourself, the more likley you end up with an offer you like.

    bowenLostNinjaJulius
  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Yeah I've been asked pretty regularly...but that might just be a thing at SaaS companies. I would just tell them my salary was what I wanted to make.

    camo_sig2.png
  • Mr. FusionMr. Fusion Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    In salary negotiation not giving out a number first is a bad idea. It gives them the power to lowball you and then force you to negotiate your way up.

    You want to anchor the conversation on a high number. However, you don't want to throw out a high number and then get rejected in favor of a schmuck who gets negotiated into a low offer.

    The trick is to use comparables. You might say something like "Well in my last job I was self employed... so the compensation wasn't salary based. For the work I was doing though, other companies would pay an employee around $210k a year." Then say nothing and wait for them to respond. Let there be a silence.

    What they say next determines how the rest of the conversation could go. They could say "Holy cow... we can't afford anything like that." and you could say something like "Well I'm open to hearing what you would offer." or maybe they'll say "We can do that! You're hired!" Who knows.

    This is better discussed in person, so it's better to leave salary on a form blank and let them ask you about it later.

    Mr. Fusion on
    zepherindavidsdurionsSimpsoniatynic
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    In salary negotiation not giving out a number first is a bad idea. It gives them the power to lowball you and then force you to negotiate your way up.

    You want to anchor the conversation on a high number. However, you don't want to throw out a high number and then get rejected in favor of a schmuck who gets negotiated into a low offer.

    The trick is to use comparables. You might say something like "Well in my last job I was self employed... so the compensation wasn't salary based. For the work I was doing though, other companies would pay an employee around $210k a year." Then say nothing and wait for them to respond. Let there be a silence.

    What they say next determines how the rest of the conversation could go. They could say "Holy cow... we can't afford anything like that." and you could say something like "Well I'm open to hearing what you would offer." or maybe they'll say "We can do that! You're hired!" Who knows.

    This is better discussed in person, so it's better to leave salary on a form blank and let them ask you about it later.

    This is nuts, saying a number second is great. They have the same power to lowball you after you say a number as before. Always try to get them to say a number first, probably don't give out past salary information, if you do feel free to lie, never give supporting documentation for previous salary information.

    sig.gif
    ElvenshaeLanlaorn
  • Mr. FusionMr. Fusion Registered User regular
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    In salary negotiation not giving out a number first is a bad idea. It gives them the power to lowball you and then force you to negotiate your way up.

    You want to anchor the conversation on a high number. However, you don't want to throw out a high number and then get rejected in favor of a schmuck who gets negotiated into a low offer.

    The trick is to use comparables. You might say something like "Well in my last job I was self employed... so the compensation wasn't salary based. For the work I was doing though, other companies would pay an employee around $210k a year." Then say nothing and wait for them to respond. Let there be a silence.

    What they say next determines how the rest of the conversation could go. They could say "Holy cow... we can't afford anything like that." and you could say something like "Well I'm open to hearing what you would offer." or maybe they'll say "We can do that! You're hired!" Who knows.

    This is better discussed in person, so it's better to leave salary on a form blank and let them ask you about it later.

    This is nuts, saying a number second is great. They have the same power to lowball you after you say a number as before. Always try to get them to say a number first, probably don't give out past salary information, if you do feel free to lie, never give supporting documentation for previous salary information.

    No it isn't. If you get lowballed first you're fighting an uphill battle to get to the salary you actually want. Better to start high and have them talk you down, then you can say other shit like "Well this is less than what other companies usually pay... what else are you willing to give me in exchange for this lower salary?"

    Psychologically it's harder for them to lowball you after you've set the tone for the negotiation using a strategically chosen anchor.

    You don't have to give out past salary information. Throw out a couple examples of market rates, inflated by a some %, and that's enough. Don't commit to any of those rates, just suggest them as the starting point for the negotiation. If they try to call you out on your numbers and say you're wrong, ask them if they would like to share what they think the numbers are.

    Keep in mind their best alternative to the negotiated agreement is to keep looking for other candidates. None of this will work if they are perfectly fine with that and will patiently wait forever until they can get the best person for the cheapest price. In this case you are better off going elsewhere, these people will never hire you for what you deserve to be paid.

    zepherindavidsdurionsSimpsoniatynic
  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    In salary negotiation not giving out a number first is a bad idea. It gives them the power to lowball you and then force you to negotiate your way up.

    You want to anchor the conversation on a high number. However, you don't want to throw out a high number and then get rejected in favor of a schmuck who gets negotiated into a low offer.

    The trick is to use comparables. You might say something like "Well in my last job I was self employed... so the compensation wasn't salary based. For the work I was doing though, other companies would pay an employee around $210k a year." Then say nothing and wait for them to respond. Let there be a silence.

    What they say next determines how the rest of the conversation could go. They could say "Holy cow... we can't afford anything like that." and you could say something like "Well I'm open to hearing what you would offer." or maybe they'll say "We can do that! You're hired!" Who knows.

    This is better discussed in person, so it's better to leave salary on a form blank and let them ask you about it later.

    This is the exact opposite of what you should do. There is a large information asymmetry where the company not only knows the range it wants to pay for the position and but generally has a better idea of what competitors pay than you do. Letting the company give the first number reduces this as you now have a better idea of what they want to pay. On the other hand you giving the first number requires you to guess the high end of the range and land above it. If you don't then you've anchored yourself to the initial number which is very difficult to move.

    I wouldn't count the company accepting an initial number you give as good thing. It means you left an unknown amount of money on the table.

    khain on
    HeirElvenshaeLanlaorn
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    Thanks for all the help and guidance. I hate negotiating, argh.

    I am communicating with HR about the package. Recruiting Manager called me to let me know they'll prepare an offer. What I am wondering is, how appropriate it would be for me to get in touch with the hiring manager about this. He was the one who found me through Linkedin and at the interview told me how he really respects people who give entrepreneurship a try because he did the same 10 years ago and feels that my specific experience would be a great asset to the team. Basically I had his buy-in before I had to interview with a bunch of other people. Do you think I can get any leverage by talking with him and voicing my concern about how I don't feel comfortable with this process because HR might try to lowball me?

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • Mr. FusionMr. Fusion Registered User regular
    khain wrote: »
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    In salary negotiation not giving out a number first is a bad idea. It gives them the power to lowball you and then force you to negotiate your way up.

    You want to anchor the conversation on a high number. However, you don't want to throw out a high number and then get rejected in favor of a schmuck who gets negotiated into a low offer.

    The trick is to use comparables. You might say something like "Well in my last job I was self employed... so the compensation wasn't salary based. For the work I was doing though, other companies would pay an employee around $210k a year." Then say nothing and wait for them to respond. Let there be a silence.

    What they say next determines how the rest of the conversation could go. They could say "Holy cow... we can't afford anything like that." and you could say something like "Well I'm open to hearing what you would offer." or maybe they'll say "We can do that! You're hired!" Who knows.

    This is better discussed in person, so it's better to leave salary on a form blank and let them ask you about it later.

    This is the exact opposite of what you should do. There is a large information asymmetry where the company not only knows the range it wants to pay for the position and but generally has a better idea of what competitors pay than you do. Letting the company give the first number reduces this as you now have a better idea of what they want to pay. On the other hand you giving the first number requires you to guess the high end of the range and land above it. If you don't then you've anchored yourself to the initial number which is very difficult to move.

    I wouldn't count the company accepting an initial number you give as good thing. It means you left an unknown amount of money on the table.

    You must have missed the part where I said to give them a much higher salary than they'd be comfortable with for the position.

    If HR goes first they are not going to give you a fair offer, they are going to give you what they want to pay, which is lower than what you can probably get. They give offers with room for negotiation built in... if you can get it.

    Who gives a fuck about what they want to pay, focus on what you want to earn. Do not let them go first.

    Juliuszepherindavidsdurions
  • Mr. FusionMr. Fusion Registered User regular
    Basar wrote: »
    Thanks for all the help and guidance. I hate negotiating, argh.

    I am communicating with HR about the package. Recruiting Manager called me to let me know they'll prepare an offer. What I am wondering is, how appropriate it would be for me to get in touch with the hiring manager about this. He was the one who found me through Linkedin and at the interview told me how he really respects people who give entrepreneurship a try because he did the same 10 years ago and feels that my specific experience would be a great asset to the team. Basically I had his buy-in before I had to interview with a bunch of other people. Do you think I can get any leverage by talking with him and voicing my concern about how I don't feel comfortable with this process because HR might try to lowball me?

    Unless there's an alternative process, there's nothing you can do now except negotiate.

    They are going to give you an offer now, but it's not the best one for you. I'm not sure in what context you'll be given the offer, but if it's in person or on the phone or some other real time medium, what you should do after you hear it is be silent and pensive for as long as it takes to make them uncomfortable, make sure you don't say anything until they do. Usually they will start to make some concessions on their own to break the silence. If they try to ask for what you think, you could say something like "Is this your final offer?" and pause again after they respond. Try not to suggest numbers yourself, say stuff like "I thought this position would have paid more" or "How am I supposed to accept this offer?" etc, sometimes this causes them to increase their offer on their own.

    Of course, there's numerous possibilities for how the negotiation could go, they don't all follow the same path. The basic principle is to get HR to negotiate against itself.

    Also, to get a really good offer you have to be willing to walk away. If you're going into this desperate for any kind of salary you'll have a hard time.

  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    Basar wrote: »
    Thanks for all the help and guidance. I hate negotiating, argh.

    I am communicating with HR about the package. Recruiting Manager called me to let me know they'll prepare an offer. What I am wondering is, how appropriate it would be for me to get in touch with the hiring manager about this. He was the one who found me through Linkedin and at the interview told me how he really respects people who give entrepreneurship a try because he did the same 10 years ago and feels that my specific experience would be a great asset to the team. Basically I had his buy-in before I had to interview with a bunch of other people. Do you think I can get any leverage by talking with him and voicing my concern about how I don't feel comfortable with this process because HR might try to lowball me?

    Unless there's an alternative process, there's nothing you can do now except negotiate.

    They are going to give you an offer now, but it's not the best one for you. I'm not sure in what context you'll be given the offer, but if it's in person or on the phone or some other real time medium, what you should do after you hear it is be silent and pensive for as long as it takes to make them uncomfortable, make sure you don't say anything until they do. Usually they will start to make some concessions on their own to break the silence. If they try to ask for what you think, you could say something like "Is this your final offer?" and pause again after they respond. Try not to suggest numbers yourself, say stuff like "I thought this position would have paid more" or "How am I supposed to accept this offer?" etc, sometimes this causes them to increase their offer on their own.

    Of course, there's numerous possibilities for how the negotiation could go, they don't all follow the same path. The basic principle is to get HR to negotiate against itself.

    Also, to get a really good offer you have to be willing to walk away. If you're going into this desperate for any kind of salary you'll have a hard time.

    You are not the first person that has suggested this. Thanks, I'll definitely give this a try.

    Oh btw, I am definitely desperate for the job (my startup left me in bad financial shape) but of course I didn't tell them that.

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    khain wrote: »
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    In salary negotiation not giving out a number first is a bad idea. It gives them the power to lowball you and then force you to negotiate your way up.

    You want to anchor the conversation on a high number. However, you don't want to throw out a high number and then get rejected in favor of a schmuck who gets negotiated into a low offer.

    The trick is to use comparables. You might say something like "Well in my last job I was self employed... so the compensation wasn't salary based. For the work I was doing though, other companies would pay an employee around $210k a year." Then say nothing and wait for them to respond. Let there be a silence.

    What they say next determines how the rest of the conversation could go. They could say "Holy cow... we can't afford anything like that." and you could say something like "Well I'm open to hearing what you would offer." or maybe they'll say "We can do that! You're hired!" Who knows.

    This is better discussed in person, so it's better to leave salary on a form blank and let them ask you about it later.

    This is the exact opposite of what you should do. There is a large information asymmetry where the company not only knows the range it wants to pay for the position and but generally has a better idea of what competitors pay than you do. Letting the company give the first number reduces this as you now have a better idea of what they want to pay. On the other hand you giving the first number requires you to guess the high end of the range and land above it. If you don't then you've anchored yourself to the initial number which is very difficult to move.

    I wouldn't count the company accepting an initial number you give as good thing. It means you left an unknown amount of money on the table.

    The median salary for any position is public knowledge, right? Just pick that one and add to it and put that down as your expectation. It's unlikely that that would put you on the low end.

    You honestly shouldn't be concerned with what THEY want to pay you, you should be concerned with what you want to be paid.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    I disagree really strongly with Mr. Fusion's advice.

    My recommendations require you to know what your target salary is ahead of time. In hiring, they're going to have a salary range already in mind. You're going to know what your target salary is. Their offer has no impact whatsoever on what the lowest salary you'll take is, so you always want them to go first. There's a chance they'll have a higher salary in mind that what you were going to ask for, so you don't want to accidentally undercut that. However, assuming they come in at a lower offer than you wanted, you just very firmly state your offer, why it's appropriate (with research and your own value to the company), and then you negotiate off of that. If they can't meet it, well, we're assuming you know what you're worth so you go find your salary elsewhere. All of this is a negotiation tactic reliant on you being an in demand skill set and a strong employee, though. If you don't know what you're worth, or you need the job more than they need the employee, then you'll have to negotiate a different way.

    In situations like I describe. You're a senior software engineer. Your target salary is 120k. The offeror may have 120-140k in mind for the hire, in which case you don't want to say 120k, because they may open up around 130 if they're impressed with you. If they offer 100k, you simply come back with your target, why it's your target, etc. You can then negotiate vacation or perks or whatever off of them if they can't go above, say, 115k.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
    LostNinjaHeiradmanbLanlaorn
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Advice to throw out some ridiculously high number and also maintain radio silence until they become uncomfortable is going to end up with you not getting this job. Please do not do this.


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
    DarkewolfezepherinDaenrisHeirPowerpuppiesQuidschuss143999ElvenshaeBurnageSkeithKarlLanlaorn
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Advice to throw out some ridiculously high number and also maintain radio silence until they become uncomfortable is going to end up with you not getting this job. Please do not do this.

    Oh, yeah. I forgot to address that specifically. You're both business parties deciding whether to continue to do business for years to come. If you act like an assholr, you're going to make a good argument for why they shouldn't hire you.

    What is this I don't even.
    zepherinElvenshaeLanlaorn
  • Mr. FusionMr. Fusion Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    I disagree really strongly with Mr. Fusion's advice.

    My recommendations require you to know what your target salary is ahead of time. In hiring, they're going to have a salary range already in mind. You're going to know what your target salary is. Their offer has no impact whatsoever on what the lowest salary you'll take is, so you always want them to go first. There's a chance they'll have a higher salary in mind that what you were going to ask for, so you don't want to accidentally undercut that. However, assuming they come in at a lower offer than you wanted, you just very firmly state your offer, why it's appropriate (with research and your own value to the company), and then you negotiate off of that. If they can't meet it, well, we're assuming you know what you're worth so you go find your salary elsewhere. All of this is a negotiation tactic reliant on you being an in demand skill set and a strong employee, though. If you don't know what you're worth, or you need the job more than they need the employee, then you'll have to negotiate a different way.

    In situations like I describe. You're a senior software engineer. Your target salary is 120k. The offeror may have 120-140k in mind for the hire, in which case you don't want to say 120k, because they may open up around 130 if they're impressed with you. If they offer 100k, you simply come back with your target, why it's your target, etc. You can then negotiate vacation or perks or whatever off of them if they can't go above, say, 115k.

    Dead wrong. If you negotiate this way you've been leaving money on the table.

    Your target salary is not the same as the salary you suggest for the position. If your target salary is 120k, you might recommend instead a range of $140-150k. This will blow their hair back, but they are unlikely to tell you to fuck off right on the spot. When they think you're crazy, you can ask for what they think is fair. Real negotiations do not end at the first suggestion of an unreasonable offer.

    Keep in mind, if you give a salary range they will always target whatever the minimum number is in that range. Likewise, if a job offer states a salary range upfront, you should always target the maximum number of that range.

    If you ask for your target salary of 120k, they could counter and say how about $115k? Well, then what? Is this the beach you want to die on? Are you going to walk away from the job over a measly $5k? Probably not, you'll take the job, and maybe ask for a few other perks, but at the end of the day you're making $115k. You could of course, hold firm and reiterate that you think $120k is fair, and probably get that. However, the more firm you hold to that target, the less chance you have of getting any amount over that. If they know you think $120k is fair, they have zero reason to go over that.

    You probably could have been making $130k and still had the same perks.

    And staying silent is not being an asshole, it's negotiation. You have plenty of opportunities through the rest of the interview process to show you're not an asshole. However, if from the first negotiation you show you could be taken for a ride they will never respect you. Don't come to a negotiation already discounting yourself, let them do that for you, and ask them how they got to their numbers. You want it to seem like you're doing them a huge favor by working below your expected salary.

    Mr. Fusion on
    zepherindavidsdurions
  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    And staying silent is not being an asshole, it's negotiation. You have plenty of opportunities through the rest of the interview process to show you're not an asshole. However, if from the first negotiation you show you could be taken for a ride they will never respect you. Don't come to a negotiation already discounting yourself, let them do that for you, and ask them how they got to their numbers. You want it to seem like you're doing them a huge favor by working below your expected salary.

    When I've hired in the past, if someone had made it seem like they were doing me a huge favor by working below expected salary I would probably assume they would leave as soon as they found something that paid better. And so if they weren't leaps and bounds ahead of the next best candidate, I would go with someone else instead. I still might go with the next best candidate even with a big skill disparity if I thought my potential hire would be unhappy with the salary I could pay them.

    That said, I've never hired for a position with a salary anywhere near what you're talking in that example. I don't think doing so would change my feelings on the matter drastically though.

    Darkewolfe
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    I disagree really strongly with Mr. Fusion's advice.

    My recommendations require you to know what your target salary is ahead of time. In hiring, they're going to have a salary range already in mind. You're going to know what your target salary is. Their offer has no impact whatsoever on what the lowest salary you'll take is, so you always want them to go first. There's a chance they'll have a higher salary in mind that what you were going to ask for, so you don't want to accidentally undercut that. However, assuming they come in at a lower offer than you wanted, you just very firmly state your offer, why it's appropriate (with research and your own value to the company), and then you negotiate off of that. If they can't meet it, well, we're assuming you know what you're worth so you go find your salary elsewhere. All of this is a negotiation tactic reliant on you being an in demand skill set and a strong employee, though. If you don't know what you're worth, or you need the job more than they need the employee, then you'll have to negotiate a different way.

    In situations like I describe. You're a senior software engineer. Your target salary is 120k. The offeror may have 120-140k in mind for the hire, in which case you don't want to say 120k, because they may open up around 130 if they're impressed with you. If they offer 100k, you simply come back with your target, why it's your target, etc. You can then negotiate vacation or perks or whatever off of them if they can't go above, say, 115k.

    Dead wrong. If you negotiate this way you've been leaving money on the table.

    Your target salary is not the same as the salary you suggest for the position. If your target salary is 120k, you might recommend instead a range of $140-150k. This will blow their hair back, but they are unlikely to tell you to fuck off right on the spot. When they think you're crazy, you can ask for what they think is fair. Real negotiations do not end at the first suggestion of an unreasonable offer.

    Keep in mind, if you give a salary range they will always target whatever the minimum number is in that range. Likewise, if a job offer states a salary range upfront, you should always target the maximum number of that range.

    If you ask for your target salary of 120k, they could counter and say how about $115k? Well, then what? Is this the beach you want to die on? Are you going to walk away from the job over a measly $5k? Probably not, you'll take the job, and maybe ask for a few other perks, but at the end of the day you're making $115k. You could of course, hold firm and reiterate that you think $120k is fair, and probably get that. However, the more firm you hold to that target, the less chance you have of getting any amount over that. If they know you think $120k is fair, they have zero reason to go over that.

    You probably could have been making $130k and still had the same perks.

    And staying silent is not being an asshole, it's negotiation. You have plenty of opportunities through the rest of the interview process to show you're not an asshole. However, if from the first negotiation you show you could be taken for a ride they will never respect you. Don't come to a negotiation already discounting yourself, let them do that for you, and ask them how they got to their numbers. You want it to seem like you're doing them a huge favor by working below your expected salary.

    Ah, yes, the Trump negotiation.

    This is very silly and unless we just work in very different industries I don't think your advice is grounded in reality. I've hired for positions in these numbers. If you came out with a preposterous number I'd just write you off as a bad fit for the position and continue interviewing.

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  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Can say at the low end of wages as a hiring manager that if you spit out a ridiculous number, we just move on.

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  • Mr. FusionMr. Fusion Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    I disagree really strongly with Mr. Fusion's advice.

    My recommendations require you to know what your target salary is ahead of time. In hiring, they're going to have a salary range already in mind. You're going to know what your target salary is. Their offer has no impact whatsoever on what the lowest salary you'll take is, so you always want them to go first. There's a chance they'll have a higher salary in mind that what you were going to ask for, so you don't want to accidentally undercut that. However, assuming they come in at a lower offer than you wanted, you just very firmly state your offer, why it's appropriate (with research and your own value to the company), and then you negotiate off of that. If they can't meet it, well, we're assuming you know what you're worth so you go find your salary elsewhere. All of this is a negotiation tactic reliant on you being an in demand skill set and a strong employee, though. If you don't know what you're worth, or you need the job more than they need the employee, then you'll have to negotiate a different way.

    In situations like I describe. You're a senior software engineer. Your target salary is 120k. The offeror may have 120-140k in mind for the hire, in which case you don't want to say 120k, because they may open up around 130 if they're impressed with you. If they offer 100k, you simply come back with your target, why it's your target, etc. You can then negotiate vacation or perks or whatever off of them if they can't go above, say, 115k.

    Dead wrong. If you negotiate this way you've been leaving money on the table.

    Your target salary is not the same as the salary you suggest for the position. If your target salary is 120k, you might recommend instead a range of $140-150k. This will blow their hair back, but they are unlikely to tell you to fuck off right on the spot. When they think you're crazy, you can ask for what they think is fair. Real negotiations do not end at the first suggestion of an unreasonable offer.

    Keep in mind, if you give a salary range they will always target whatever the minimum number is in that range. Likewise, if a job offer states a salary range upfront, you should always target the maximum number of that range.

    If you ask for your target salary of 120k, they could counter and say how about $115k? Well, then what? Is this the beach you want to die on? Are you going to walk away from the job over a measly $5k? Probably not, you'll take the job, and maybe ask for a few other perks, but at the end of the day you're making $115k. You could of course, hold firm and reiterate that you think $120k is fair, and probably get that. However, the more firm you hold to that target, the less chance you have of getting any amount over that. If they know you think $120k is fair, they have zero reason to go over that.

    You probably could have been making $130k and still had the same perks.

    And staying silent is not being an asshole, it's negotiation. You have plenty of opportunities through the rest of the interview process to show you're not an asshole. However, if from the first negotiation you show you could be taken for a ride they will never respect you. Don't come to a negotiation already discounting yourself, let them do that for you, and ask them how they got to their numbers. You want it to seem like you're doing them a huge favor by working below your expected salary.

    Ah, yes, the Trump negotiation.

    This is very silly and unless we just work in very different industries I don't think your advice is grounded in reality. I've hired for positions in these numbers. If you came out with a preposterous number I'd just write you off as a bad fit for the position and continue interviewing.

    The Trump negotiation is to start very high and push higher. Not at all what I'm talking about.

    Frankly, I don't know how you hire, but it sounds like you just want to hire a sucker. If a company is looking for the best talent, they will not write someone off for giving a high number when they were asked to suggest their own salary. It is expected. That's why negotiations exist.

    There is a difference between a company that is truly willing to negotiate on salary, and a company that just uses this question as a filter to create a quicker hiring process. You sir fall into the latter. Not my industry at all. The op should consider which of these two types fits the description of the company he is applying for.

    Mr. Fusion on
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  • Mr. FusionMr. Fusion Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    MechMantis wrote: »
    Can say at the low end of wages as a hiring manager that if you spit out a ridiculous number, we just move on.

    Frankly, at the low end of wages, where the ROI for an employee doesn't have nearly as much potential, the only reason to ask for a salary at all is to give the interviewee the opportunity to shoot themselves in the foot. Doesn't surprise me if you just move on at all. Would be nice if HR weren't dicks and just put out an explicit dollar amount, but HR is there to serve the company, not employees.

    I assume the OP is not applying to a job where he would be the equivalent of a burger flipper in his industry.

    Mr. Fusion on
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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    My advice is to take everyone but Fusion's advice. The fact that anyone with a different opinion is "looking for a sucker" or a "burger flipper" should speak volumes for his credibility.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    There are two lines of thinking and they are both correct depending on circumstances and ability.

    Mr. Fusion's position is the correct decision if you know what you are worth, know what you can get with other companies and have options. Also this assumes negotiating skill. At the higher end you negotiate from this stance. I garuntee if Fusion Spool or I enter a negotiation we are coming in knowing what we are able to make, because nobody wants to have to bring someone up to 115 when they are looking to pay 80.

    The other perspective assumes lesser negotiation skill and is reactive, essentially taking their offer and adding to it, it is a weaker position unless you can't afford to say no (which is valid)

    As for "tricks" like walking out or radio silence, or pausing. I've interviewed a lot of people and most managers have, you don't think they understand the silence as a negotiation strategy. I creepy smile them to see if they'll crack a smile during the silence. assuming a low information HR person is the one making the salary decision is not useful.

    This site has great advice.
    https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-negotiate-salary-37-tips-you-need-to-know

    zepherin on
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  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    I disagree really strongly with Mr. Fusion's advice.

    My recommendations require you to know what your target salary is ahead of time. In hiring, they're going to have a salary range already in mind. You're going to know what your target salary is. Their offer has no impact whatsoever on what the lowest salary you'll take is, so you always want them to go first. There's a chance they'll have a higher salary in mind that what you were going to ask for, so you don't want to accidentally undercut that. However, assuming they come in at a lower offer than you wanted, you just very firmly state your offer, why it's appropriate (with research and your own value to the company), and then you negotiate off of that. If they can't meet it, well, we're assuming you know what you're worth so you go find your salary elsewhere. All of this is a negotiation tactic reliant on you being an in demand skill set and a strong employee, though. If you don't know what you're worth, or you need the job more than they need the employee, then you'll have to negotiate a different way.

    In situations like I describe. You're a senior software engineer. Your target salary is 120k. The offeror may have 120-140k in mind for the hire, in which case you don't want to say 120k, because they may open up around 130 if they're impressed with you. If they offer 100k, you simply come back with your target, why it's your target, etc. You can then negotiate vacation or perks or whatever off of them if they can't go above, say, 115k.

    Dead wrong. If you negotiate this way you've been leaving money on the table.

    Your target salary is not the same as the salary you suggest for the position. If your target salary is 120k, you might recommend instead a range of $140-150k. This will blow their hair back, but they are unlikely to tell you to fuck off right on the spot. When they think you're crazy, you can ask for what they think is fair. Real negotiations do not end at the first suggestion of an unreasonable offer.

    Keep in mind, if you give a salary range they will always target whatever the minimum number is in that range. Likewise, if a job offer states a salary range upfront, you should always target the maximum number of that range.

    If you ask for your target salary of 120k, they could counter and say how about $115k? Well, then what? Is this the beach you want to die on? Are you going to walk away from the job over a measly $5k? Probably not, you'll take the job, and maybe ask for a few other perks, but at the end of the day you're making $115k. You could of course, hold firm and reiterate that you think $120k is fair, and probably get that. However, the more firm you hold to that target, the less chance you have of getting any amount over that. If they know you think $120k is fair, they have zero reason to go over that.

    You probably could have been making $130k and still had the same perks.

    And staying silent is not being an asshole, it's negotiation. You have plenty of opportunities through the rest of the interview process to show you're not an asshole. However, if from the first negotiation you show you could be taken for a ride they will never respect you. Don't come to a negotiation already discounting yourself, let them do that for you, and ask them how they got to their numbers. You want it to seem like you're doing them a huge favor by working below your expected salary.

    Ah, yes, the Trump negotiation.

    This is very silly and unless we just work in very different industries I don't think your advice is grounded in reality. I've hired for positions in these numbers. If you came out with a preposterous number I'd just write you off as a bad fit for the position and continue interviewing.

    Is 140k a preposterous number if your target is 120k?

    zepherin
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    Ladies and gentleman, thank you for all the good advice. I really appreciate the time you put in to help me.

    I replied back to the recruiter and expect to hear back sometime this week. I promise to update the thread with the result.

    Thanks once again :)

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    To echo what others have said and my recent experience: If you go too high, they'll just screen you out of the process as "overqualified". The only time big number negotiating works is if you're the only candidate, which is basically never short of certain executive or extremely technical positions. HR should have a range they're looking to hire in, and you can usually get them to divulge it if you talk to them a bit as most aren't scored on how low you go in the range, they're scored on how good a fit you are and how long your tenure is in the new company. Get the range and go towards the high end of it.

    143999NightDragon
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited May 2017
    As a former hiring manager, when we got obscenely high demands relative to ones resume we would generally close the book on that person.

    Particularly if that person accidentally requested a salary higher than my own out of hubris

    Negotiation is also a reflection of ones character.

    Unless you're some highly specialized talent with a unique work history then you should probably just come up with the number you really want and add 5-10%, and be confident in this number, and reject offers that insult your needs.

    The key here is having the fortitude to reject a bad offer.

    With respect to the original question, you should, as you have, deny these requests. It's borderline unprofessional to ask these questions of applicants, they do it because they can and it benefits them greatly to do so.

    Jasconius on
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  • Mr. FusionMr. Fusion Registered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    As a former hiring manager, when we got obscenely high demands relative to ones resume we would generally close the book on that person.

    Particularly if that person accidentally requested a salary higher than my own out of hubris

    Negotiation is also a reflection of ones character.

    Unless you're some highly specialized talent with a unique work history then you should probably just come up with the number you really want and add 5-10%, and be confident in this number, and reject offers that insult your needs.

    The key here is having the fortitude to reject a bad offer.

    With respect to the original question, you should, as you have, deny these requests. It's borderline unprofessional to ask these questions of applicants, they do it because they can and it benefits them greatly to do so.

    Would you close the book on that person if they gave you an obscenely low offer relative to their resume?

    zepherin
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Mr. Fusion wrote: »
    Jasconius wrote: »
    As a former hiring manager, when we got obscenely high demands relative to ones resume we would generally close the book on that person.

    Particularly if that person accidentally requested a salary higher than my own out of hubris

    Negotiation is also a reflection of ones character.

    Unless you're some highly specialized talent with a unique work history then you should probably just come up with the number you really want and add 5-10%, and be confident in this number, and reject offers that insult your needs.

    The key here is having the fortitude to reject a bad offer.

    With respect to the original question, you should, as you have, deny these requests. It's borderline unprofessional to ask these questions of applicants, they do it because they can and it benefits them greatly to do so.

    Would you close the book on that person if they gave you an obscenely low offer relative to their resume?

    It doesn't matter how you think about it philosophically or opinion thereof, the reality is that it's pretty standard to screen people out if their demand offer is too high as rarely do you only have 1 person in the final round.

    Burnage
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    As a former hiring manager, when we got obscenely high demands relative to ones resume we would generally close the book on that person.

    Particularly if that person accidentally requested a salary higher than my own out of hubris

    Negotiation is also a reflection of ones character.

    Unless you're some highly specialized talent with a unique work history then you should probably just come up with the number you really want and add 5-10%, and be confident in this number, and reject offers that insult your needs.

    The key here is having the fortitude to reject a bad offer.

    With respect to the original question, you should, as you have, deny these requests. It's borderline unprofessional to ask these questions of applicants, they do it because they can and it benefits them greatly to do so.
    I think we are getting wrapped up in definitions.

    Obscenely high demands is relative.

    I think the point we are going with is that you need to know what you want and what you are worth, and reject bad offers. I think this is what you Fusion and I are going for.

    There is also a difference in negotiation strategy if you can afford to say no. There are situations when you cannot afford to say no (trust me I've been there), and you want them to put down a number first, because them putting down a number first removes ambiguity and allows for more of a meeting of minds.

    Or if you are simply bad at negotiations. I mock negotiate with my mom before interviews because she is terrible at negotiating (I also reworked her resume). And it really helped her out, the company created a position for her and give her what she wanted. "She was the most qualified candidate to ever interview there."

    I'm pretty much negotiating every day for something, with vendors, subcontractors, with clients, potential employees, potential clients, with coworkers bosses. Negotiating change orders, close outs, punch lists, It's a learned skill, most people only end up doing it when they are interviewing for new positions (7-10 times in their lifes). Where I worked previously I had the pleasure of learning how to negotiate from a person who was better at it than anyone I have ever seen.

  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited May 2017
    A quick update:

    The hiring manager called me today to say "Congratulations, can't wait to have you on my team."

    I told him about the communication I had with HR and that they haven't gotten back to me since our last email exchange and he said he would like to discuss it tomorrow if I have time to have lunch with him. I told him I would be happy to, so I guess we'll be negotiating tomorrow. Sucks that I cannot do it over email or phone but oh well.

    I probably will have another update tomorrow. Thank you all once again.

    Basar on
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  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    good luck Basar!

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
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  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    I really wish I would have seen this thread earlier.

    I'm tech lead at a silicon valley startup. We're on the smaller side, but still. I don't have a budget, but I do make recommendations to the CEO about who should get what salary, and have some idea of how this whole process tends to work.

    It's probably too late for this advice, but still.

    The thing that matters most for us is what the market rate is for your responsibilities, city, and experience. We pay within a standard deviation or so of the mean based on that information. We use payscale.com to get this information.

    We are really transparent about all of this at my company. We want to make sure people can't be sniped because they're making below market, and we want to be, you know, kind and fair employers.

    There was some discussion above about information asymmetry in terms of the salary want and the salary the company is willing to offer. That's kind of true, but not really. The most important information is how much you are worth on the open market -- and thankfully that information is quite public these days. Go make a payscale.com account and put in your experience, the job title you're looking to fill, and the area you're searching in. It'll give you back a distribution of salaries. You'll have a precise idea of how much you're worth.

    In any kind of negotiation, you can just say "I'm looking for $SALARY, which seems to be the fair market rate for a $TITLE with $YEARS of experience in $AREA." It's an excellent place to start.

    Melkster on
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  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    Minor update:

    Not much happened today. Apparently my future manager invited me to a friendly lunch for casual conversation rather than work/package related stuff. I asked him about it and he said that the two people who actually prepare and get approvals for compensation contracts got the flu this same week so they'll probably have it ready first thing next week.

    What kinda caught me off guard was that he told me to be ready to negotiate because HR will probably start with a number much lower than my market value. He gave a couple of tips about where they are most flexible, etc.

    So at the end I feel a lot more comfortable about negotiating when I get to deal with HR. I'll update again as promised.
    Melkster wrote: »
    I really wish I would have seen this thread earlier.

    I'm tech lead at a silicon valley startup. We're on the smaller side, but still. I don't have a budget, but I do make recommendations to the CEO about who should get what salary, and have some idea of how this whole process tends to work.

    It's probably too late for this advice, but still.

    The thing that matters most for us is what the market rate is for your responsibilities, city, and experience. We pay within a standard deviation or so of the mean based on that information. We use payscale.com to get this information.

    We are really transparent about all of this at my company. We want to make sure people can't be sniped because they're making below market, and we want to be, you know, kind and fair employers.

    There was some discussion above about information asymmetry in terms of the salary want and the salary the company is willing to offer. That's kind of true, but not really. The most important information is how much you are worth on the open market -- and thankfully that information is quite public these days. Go make a payscale.com account and put in your experience, the job title you're looking to fill, and the area you're searching in. It'll give you back a distribution of salaries. You'll have a precise idea of how much you're worth.

    In any kind of negotiation, you can just say "I'm looking for $SALARY, which seems to be the fair market rate for a $TITLE with $YEARS of experience in $AREA." It's an excellent place to start.

    Thanks for the suggestion, really appreciate that. Unfortunately I am not based in the US. I'll still check to see what I am worth in the U.S. though :)

    Cheers.

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Your future manager is a good person.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    Update:

    Well, I finally got the offer.

    It's been an anxious 2 weeks since I last heard from the HR contact who told me that he would get back to me very soon. He emailed me this morning to ask if I am available for a call in the afternoon. We had the call a few hours ago and it was a short one as I expected. We basically went over the numbers and benefits over the phone and he told me that he would email me the details so I can think over it and then we can discuss it at my earliest convenience.

    Overall, I am pleased with the conditions as the total compensation is a 50% bump over my last job. On the other hand, a much larger portion of total compensation is based on incentives (40% on previous job vs. 55% on this one). This is a serious concern for me as my country's economy is extremely volatile and IT is the first budget item many companies (my customers) would most likely let go in a crisis bigger than the one we have right now. And he told me the 55% is fixed for everyone in my role.

    In addition to that, to follow up with my manager's advise, I want to use the signup bonus as my pawn and let it go if I can get a slight increase in base salary and number of RSUs.

    What's the best way to respond to this email? Should I be straight forward and ask for what I had in mind like: "I had this in mind..., what do you think?" or should I be justifying what I had in mind such as: "Well, as you can see, cost of goods / cost of living here has increased x, y, z % in the last 3 years due to volatile economy and I am afraid my compensation will not cover those increases, etc., so I think W is a better number, etc."?

    Any tips? Thanks.

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

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