View Full Version : Negotiating with a potential employer

03-03-2012, 01:27 AM
I read a report awhile ago that indicated that (one of the reasons that) women tend to receive lower pay is because men negotiate higher salaries while women tend to just accept whatever they are offered.

In my case that is definitely true. I was informed that I should be receiving a formal job offer on Monday and I'm wondering how I should go about the negotiation process if they offer pay lower than I want. I have in mind a baseline I will accept but I'm going to push for something between 2,000-5,000 more than that. If I have to accept the lower (or my baseline) then I would like to negotiate more benefits. Is there some kind of etiquette in this process? How do you do it tactfully?

Employer: Ms. A. We are willing to offer you 30,000

what would I say at this point if I want 32,000-35,000?

How do you hold out without potentially losing the job?

Is it plausible to accept the lower rate but set yourself up for a raise in 6 months to the higher rate?

Is it appropriate to ask for any and all agreements in writing?

03-03-2012, 01:40 AM
Asking for more money is easy. If they offer 30k, just say something like "...thank you for the offer. However, I had a different number in mind. I was looking for around 35k. I would really love to work for you. Is there any room in the salary?" You can also negotiate for other benefits like more days off, a bonus, etc.

They will either say they have to talk to someone or they will say no upfront. If they say no, the ball is in your court as to whether you walk or not. Don't think of it as holding out. You are making a decision based on your personal requirements.

I would NOT try to "set yourself up" for a raise. Unless you get something in writing (rare to not going to happen), you are not guaranteed anything and they can come up with a bs reason to explain why you won't get the raise. It comes down to trust.

My best advice is to know a number you absolutely have to have and then stick to that. Always try to get more but don't be afraid to walk if you have to. Of course, if you're desperate...

03-03-2012, 02:10 AM
great advice, thanks

03-03-2012, 02:27 AM
usually they wont tell you what they are paying but will first ask you what you want. basically in salary negotiation, the person who mentions a number first is the one who has lost.

you first need to research what similar positions are paying in your city and then make any adjustments depending on your experience. you also wantto have an idea of what someone else with that same position made in that position. there are tons of sites online where you can find that (indeed, salary list, glassdoor, etc). just do a google search for the company name and salary

so here's what i usually do (already having in mind a range i want taking into account my research)

employer : what are your salary expectations?
Me: the position seems like a great fit and i'm willing to negotiate my salary and benefits. how much were you willing to offer?

if you're lucky they will tell you now what they are offering. if they dont tell you the rate and once again ask you how much you'd like, you can, depending on the rapport you have, get cheeky. my last job i sorta tricked them into revealing the absolute max salary they were offering.

i had a great rapport with this person who was going to be my manager and we had similar senses of humor. we were both keeping our cards close to our chest, so when he threw the question back to me

him: how much compensation would you like?
me: well i would like $250K.....:-))
him {o well we can't quite pay that much, but i can pay you x.

I accepted X because it ended up being 5k more than the number I would have originally came out with.

if that tactic doesnt work, i still wouldnt suggest coming out with a specific number, you basically want to give them a range. of course dont do it in such a way that it creates hard feelings on their part that your playing hardball.

if they cant give you what you want and you still absolutely love the job, you CAN suggest an evaluation of your performance after 3-6 months with purpose of potentially increasing your salary. i did this when i switched careers and the new place was hesitant to pay me what initially wanted since i was so green in the field. after 6 months i got my evaluation and the salary raise.

i've never not accepted a job because the salary was too low because i'm never surprised by the salaries. the first thing i do in the interview process is research the company, so i'll already have an idea what to expect range wise. i basically use the interview process as a way to not only get to know the company but also to start convincing people that i'm worth the higher end of their salary range.

for instance i'm interviewing for a position now. i know the salary range the offer. the mid point of that range is a little less than what i'd like, so i definitely want to go in at the upper range. so during the interviews i make sure to not only let them know i can perform the requirements they have listed, but i also wil be bringing in tons of extra skills that aren't required but will be useful (ie the position i'm interviewing for doesnt manage others, but i've been giving a few examples here and there about how i have mentored and help develop junior staff members). that way if we get to the salary negotiation stage, i've already laid out the ground work for saying i'm worth the upper end of your salary

ETA: and you definitely want to get any of the extras you've negotiated in writing. if they are going to evaluate you for a raise in 3 months then get that in your offer letter, if you've negotiated a few extra days vacation, being able to work a few days a month from home, etc.. any of that stuff that isnt offered to every other employee you want to get in writing. mainly because people quit or get fired and you dont want to be in a position where you have to prove something that was only agreed to by word of mouth

03-03-2012, 03:52 AM
I recently did this but they employer laid everything out as far as how much the job paid. I asked if there was any room for negotiation with the salary.

03-04-2012, 01:49 AM
hmmm weird, I see my post was moved

I recently did this but they employer laid everything out as far as how much the job paid. I asked if there was any room for negotiation with the salary.

what happened after you asked?