Hi all, I wanted to hear of some past experiences and/or techniques that have worked well. After being out of the market for a while, I am about to encounter some comp negotiation once again. Thanks as always.

anytime i’ve had to negotiate a salary, it’s either with respect to a competing offer or with the payscale of my current job, combined with my understanding of what “market rate” is. i know this is not very specific as far as negotiating tactics are concerned, but i just wanted to say that the easiest way to negotiate is to have something tangible like an existing/competing offer to leverage

refer to my earlier posts a few weeks back. I negotiated a car lease on a new Infiniti G. I’ve been the negotiation table a few times. You just have to be able to identify the value added as a result of your employment. If you can quantify it…even better. In my case, I know the owners of my firm would be royally screwed if I left. It would take them months and it would be a huge setback for them to have to train someone else to do 1/5 of what I do. So…i have a little clout when asking for things. In addition, my circumstances probably are a bit different b/c I work for a smaller firm. But…my advice would just be…know what you are worth and be able to show why you are worth it and why you deserve what you are asking.

much respect coming from a fellow Infiniti G driver…though i bought the 06 coupe. Just got an oil change for $40 at the dealer…what a “deal”

In this environment, if you’ve been out of the market for a while, go easy on the negotiating. Get the job, if the numbers where disproportionately below market given that you’ve been out for a while, take it with the undertanding that you expect a significant adjustment next year when you prove yourself, and if it doesn’t come, look for a new job while you have one. (What I did last November and need to address whne its time for promos/raises/bonuses in early 2008.)

RCG In the interview discussion about pay try and explore other potential areas of value to you. This is about negotiation and if you can extract from them something that is of high value to you but low(ish) cost to them … BINGO everybody feels the negotiation was successful. And that’s a good basis to start on with your employer. I’ve no idea of your personal circumstances but you could try and negotiate some of these. If the employer can palm these expenses off to different budgets they may have latitude to give you what you want. But ultimately … if they want you they’ll pay up. If there is another spod who will do it cheaper … Anyway, just some suggestions:- Healthcare Childcare Travel costs Interest free / cheap loans Moving Costs inc. short term rent Signing Bonus Pay for CFA or other training or education eg MBA Pay for other professional costs (eg subscriptions / dues) Car allowance Phone (inc. personal use) Computer Subsidised lunch Gym Clothing allowance In different jobs I have managed to receive / negotiate all of the above (the clothing allowance was when I worked in operations).

great posts. As a clarification, I meant I have been out of the job market due to the fact that I have been employed by the same firm for 5+ years. Sorry for the confusion. Thanks Loxley. I do get some of those things at my current firm, laptop, phone, wsj, cfa fees, and haev been thinking how I can bring them up. Will they be like man this guy is a penny pincher? Or are these valid check items to bring up in discussion? If so, how? Thanks.

If I were in your position I’d wait until I was offered a job before negotiating total remuneration. Depending on what level you are interviewing for, this is a very powerful ploy. It suggests you are more interested in getting the right position than simply the bottom line. Whilst still in the interview process if they ask you for salary expectation I would say something nebulous like: " Well … I’d obviously like you to match my current compensation, with an appropriate premium to … " (move / take on more responsibility / whatever) Insert as required Then when you get the offer say something equally loaded like : “OK … as an initial point to begin negotiation - that is a start … I assume I will receive all the obvious stuff like laptop, phone, wsj, cfa fees etc?” That way they can’t try and throw these in at the end as sweetners to the deal. Instead it’s effectively the minimum bet to play at your table. One final point - depending where you are with your life, keep an option on things that you don’t necessarily value now e.g. childcare or moving costs - they may be quite useful in a year or 18 mths … And if things are tight on the other side of the table perhaps a manager who really wants you - but is having trouble stumping up the $ to get you - may have some wiggle room to be creative with other / next year’s budgets. Good luck and enjoy it - if you don’t ask you’ll never get! And, if you can, grow a pair. Soon after uni I had a job on a one week trial. The boss wanted me to comeback and carry on with some stuff I’d been doing. I said that I wouldn’t without some form of increase in value. No Way Jose I was told. I left on Friday evening without saying anything other than goodbye. 6:50am on Monday my boss phoned me up to tell me I had a 25% pay rise (unfortunately from a very low base!). Unfortunately, where once I had principles (balls & a Devil-may-care maverick attitude), I now have responsibilities (kids and a nice house with a mortgage ) …

Thanks. Great points. Especially since I do have all those things you mentioned…I of course would like ot see them again in next gig.

One factor to consider is the size of the company, and size of group you work in. Virtually all of the soft (non base/bonus/upfront and maybe relocation) items in Loxley’s post will not be negotiable in a big firm. There will be standard polcies that dictate these things. You should ask upfront for a list/description of employee benefits. Smaller companies may have more flexibility on some of the items, but unless you are in a very unusual situation, there may not be that much room for them to customize things for you. Those soft items are really more of a factor when you have 2 competing very similar offers, and need to nail down the exact value of perks that each company provides to assess the true value of the overall comp.

Thanks guys. Did get some full offers and wil be calling back to ask for some increases. Bonuses seem OK…need more info on future payout structure. Will throw the soft items…i like that term…in there as well. Thanks

Hi Loxley, great tips and nice hearing from you again. I’ll be bookmarking this post!

hi guys, just wanted to give everyone an update…especially those that are bookmarking this lol… Got a higher comp from my of my offers…didnt from the other. The latter is still the higher and I think best overall gig so I am going to go with it. They stated they have a policy of best foot forward offer and not much in the way of negotiation. Thought they would tack on at least a few more bucks but it was very competitive from the outset so I see there point. Don’t think they woudl hold this against me once I’m in…I think everyone owes it to themselves to negotiate.

Congrats RCG - at least you know you tried your level best to not allow yourself to be sold short … a good basis to start your new position on. Per ardua ad astra Loxley

Quick question since I may be at the offer table here soon. Can firm negotiating result in an offer being pulled and pushed to the next guy who was interviewed? I’m sure this is an extreme case, but does it or can it happen?

If they are torn between 2 candidates and you’re the only one pushing in negotiations I don’t see why not.

Generally they offer; you request a counter; they either 1. accept your counter, 2. produce a counter-counter, or 3. repeat the original offer. As Sims says, no guarantee that they won’t take a fourth option: yank even the original offer. Personally I’ve never seen that done.

That makes breathe easier. So its in every candidates best interest to counter and push for a little more. I didn’t know the risk level of an offer being backed away.

Yea that was a bit of a worry too…but I think if its pulled the company isnt the best place to work anyway… Unless you ask for like double or something

I should caveat this – I haven’t been in a lot of competitive applicant situations (on either side of the table). You should wait a bit to see if others chime in on Sims’ side.