Salary Negotiation

Discussion in 'The Classics 97.3' started by Prime_sl, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. Prime_sl shitlord

    Prime_sl
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    71
    Ratings:
    +0
    So I just got a job at a company my friend started working at a month ago. He got his offer in January and I just got mine a week ago to start in August. I knew what he got offered so I knew what to expect, and my offer was identical to his, as from what I heard they pay all new hires the same rate. There was also a signing bonus, and when I looked my friends was a few k higher than mine. I told the HR guy that the signing bonus was lower than expected and he said its a new policy but he will look see what he can do about it.

    I am not terribly concerned about the difference, and the salary is still high, but if possible I would like to get the extra money. Since I already mentioned it to the HR guy, is there anything more I should/could do to get more money? Is it worth it to say that the signing bonus is a key feature and I wont take the job without it even though that isn"t true?

    Any HR/business people know the best way to get the bigger bonus, or should I just be thankful I got a job?
     
  2. Zeste_foh shitlord

    Zeste_foh
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    You must woo them.

    They need wooed.

    Build something out of wood.
     
  3. Jones_foh shitlord

    Jones_foh
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Well, could you live without the job if they walked away from the deal if you play hardball? It"s a lot easier to negotiate a higher salary/benefits when you have nothing to lose. I"m kind of surprised your friend offered to show you his salary/bonus as most people protect that information. It"s not like you can tell the HR person that you know your buddy is making more because you shouldn"t know that information.
     
  4. Shonuff Well-Known Member

    Shonuff
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    4,355
    Ratings:
    +239
    You mightcarefullytry to get more. You need to listen to their tone of voice as you talk to them. If they start to sound irritated, back off. They haven"t offered you the job, and as I"ve been told by recruiters, a guy that goes too far in trying to get pay is considered inflexible (as in not being a team player).

    The last time I got an offer, the signing bonus was 10k lower than what I wanted. I asked about it, and was told that there was company wide policy that there was a cap on signing bonus. I tried the whole "based on my background and the average pay for someone with a graduate degree from my school" spiel. But I"d gone through four or five interviews, and beat out thousands of other applicants, and the pay was in the ball park. My recruiter reminded me that while I was the guy they picked, there were other guys in the final stage they could have picked. And he told me I should consider the offer strongly, or they might go back to some of the people in the final round. He also sounded irritated. I definitely got the vibe from how he was talking to me that he wanted me to work for him, but I was pushing to the point that he was getting pissed off and would just go to #2.


    I think I got them to come up $2,500 out of the 10k. But I wasn"t going to walk away from the job, it was a big step up from where I was, in terms of pay, prestige and responsibility, and it was going to open up other lucrative assignments.

    The way the economy is now, if something is in the ballpark of what you want, and you would like to do it, don"t pass.

    P.S. Never let an employer know you know what someone else makes. In some companies, you can get fired for even comparing salaries. One company I worked at, it was a written policy that you"d be dismissed for it, because they know that if your friend makes 3% more, you"ll argue with the employer, and you"ll argue with him.
     
  5. Daelos Guarding the guardians
    DONOR

    Daelos
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    183
    Ratings:
    +23
    Why shouldn"t he know that information?

    I"m serious... it may be a cultural thing, but I"ve worked in the UK and now in Norway, and you may not go around revealing your salary to the world, but I"ve never had people insist on keeping it secret, either.
    If the subject is mentioned in conversation among friends, most people are quite happy to say what they earn.

    And I am quite prepared to go into a Yearly Review with my manager and ask why Joe Bloggs makes $200 more than I do, if we add comparable value to the business.
     
  6. Pren_foh shitlord

    Pren_foh
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Because it can be a terminable breach of protocol at most places.

    Picture this scenario: Guy A gets hired by company X for job Y at pay Z. Guy A tells Guy B how awesome it is. 6 months later, Guy B applies for the same job as Guy A, but gets offered pay Z-n, and because he knows someone else was offered more, goes and asks the internet for advice on how to get more money from company X.

    Edit: Also your scenario is pretty much why they don"t want it to happen. There can be any number of reasons, not excluding blatant discrimination, for people to get paid different amounts for different jobs. The idea is it protects good workers by allowing them to be paid more without harassment, protects the company for doing it, and protects managers from harassment for raises based on other peoples" performance. And helps them hide the fact that they pay black women 1/2 the amount that white men get.
     
  7. Daelos Guarding the guardians
    DONOR

    Daelos
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    183
    Ratings:
    +23
    I am picturing that scenario.

    And I can"t see anything wrong with it.
     
  8. Shonuff Well-Known Member

    Shonuff
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    4,355
    Ratings:
    +239
    As I said in my above post, I worked for a company where it was a written policy that comparing salary would result in discipline up to termination. No manager wants to explain why a co-worker is more qualified. And everyone thinks they are better than everyone else.

    Now that I own my own business, I see where they are coming from. My top guy makes up to $30 an hour. I have guys that just start learning their trade that make $11 an hour (right now, the going rate for a general laborer in this economy is $8 an hour). We are a specialized type business, and it takes years for you to learn the skills to even be productive in what we do. The top guy has worked for the company for ten years, and has been trained in everything. I don"t even need to be there every day, because he can do it all. The bottom guy"s been there a week, has no training, and can"t do 10% of what the top guy could do. If the top guy is sick and I am not there, we shut down for the day. If the bottom guy is sick, we reshuffle personnel and don"t lose anything.

    And the bottom guy expects to make exactly what the top guy does, will argue with me, and the top guy, and it causes a whole bunch of arguing. He really thinks his week"s worth of experience is the same as the guy who can do all the different labor responsbilities, maintain the equipment, and do estimates, sales and talk to customers.

    I know its an extreme example, but people have such huge egos that they can"t stand the thought that their buddy might be more qualified. And I"ve had employees try to glom onto the top guy just to get more pay. I don"t care how many beers you guys drink together after work - you have alot to learn.

    Its gotten to the point that I"ve told my employees that if they discuss someone else"s pay, they are fired. Cause if I don"t do it, I am spending all day arguing with the employee, and they are arguing with their direct supervisor. I am not a fool, I pay 50-100% more than what they can get in the market right now. But jealousy makes people do stupid things.

    Last year, I fired my secretary over this. She tried to tell me she was in the same league as the guy making $30 an hour when all she did was answer phones. She tried to convince me she was running the business when I wasn"t there. When I said no raise, she started acting crazy, asking for her job description and being a bitch on wheels. When I told her I expected her to have a good attitude, because she talked to customers, she said she would not have a good attitude when talking to customers, and I canned her ass. I bet she wished she had kept her mouth shut. I just got a letter from the government telling me her unemployment benefits ran out, and that she had to apply to the federal gov"t to get more.

    And alot of that came from the fact that she really saw herself as an equal to my Manager. She never did the work a day in her life, and she for sure wouldn"t be able to put prices on anything for customers. Her ego made her an equal to him, when she was really three rungs lower than him. And she determined that since I was being so unfair, she was going to yell at the top of her lungs at me everytime she saw me, and she was starting to be rude to customers.

    To me, that is the problem with comparing pay. Its more trouble than its worth.
     
  9. Daelos Guarding the guardians
    DONOR

    Daelos
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    183
    Ratings:
    +23
    I recognise why keeping this information confidential is beneficial to an employer, but to the employee who is trying to estimate his value the information is a valuable tool. The relationship is after all a trade, and almost always the employee is at a severe information disadvantage.

    (I happen to work in a field where I know exactly what I cost the company and exactly how much cash I bring in every month, which puts me in a more fair position in negotiations).
     
  10. Shonuff Well-Known Member

    Shonuff
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    4,355
    Ratings:
    +239
    And when you have employees that ignore how much cash, and tell you they deserve it because they are "close" to this person, its a huge headache for the boss.

    I"ll put it to you this way. Before I trained a guy to be the Assistant Manager, if my head guy was sick, we"d be unable to give accurate estimates to customers. He misses a few days, and we have to shut down until he got better.

    My new secretary is on vacation right now, so I"ve forwarded the phones to my house and I"m playing videogames. A phone call comes in and I hit pause.

    That"s the comparison between the two jobs, yet the previous secretary tried to convince me that both jobs should be paid the same. Sometimes, I"m not sure I even need a secretary.
     
  11. Evelys_foh shitlord

    Evelys_foh
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I would imagine that with the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passing, it would be a lot harder to get away with firing due to pay discussion, even in a right-to-work state, without a successful wrongful termination suit.

    I"ve always been the type to freely discuss what I make, but then again, I can keep in perspective why some people make more than me in my same position. At my last job, I pulled in around $49k/yr, while a guy hired after me pulled in $55k/yr.

    Now, this guy is a friend of mine, and I know his background -- not only was he a pretty decent Linux admin, he could cover on the Windows side of the house as well when needed (I can"t), and he had a good 3 or 4 years experience more than I did. So while we did the same job and I outproduced him most of the time, he was able to negotiate a higher starting salary due to his experience, and his versatility made up for the output disparity in the metrics.

    That was fine with me, but then again, not a lot of people have that sense of perspective. I ended up leaving when I picked up my RHCE and my company was unable to promote me or give me a raise -- but I never once mentioned his salary to my manager during those negotiations.
     
  12. tjac_foh shitlord

    tjac_foh
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    It is indeed a cultural thing. In the U.S. the status quo is that everyone plays coy, secretive games with salary information. It ensures that private employers can keep abusing and discriminating against employees.
     
  13. Shonuff Well-Known Member

    Shonuff
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    4,355
    Ratings:
    +239
    If you can"t see the other side, obviously, you"ve never managed people before.
     
  14. t0nic_foh shitlord

    t0nic_foh
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    There is legitimate business reasons for why two individuals of the same title should not have the exact same salaries as no two candidates or employees bring the same benefits to the table even if they have same title/position.

    Anyway back on track..

    You can push for whatever you want OP. You should negotiate based upon what you bring to the table (past experience, evidence of above average results, certain skills etc) but do not negotiate based upon "My friend makes X so I want to make X". You need to demonstrate how your skillset will make the company money and how that translates into you being worth more.
     
  15. Eomer Well-Known Member

    Eomer
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    5,471
    Ratings:
    +255
    The vast majority of my employees are hourly and paid on a sliding scale based upon a set journeyman rate, so it"s mostly irrelevant for them. They all know how much each other makes based upon their experience (fourth year makes 80%, starter makes 55%, foremen/supers make 105-115%).

    But for our salaried staff it"s typically negotiated. And during those negotiations I would certainly take a dim view to my employee using someone else"s pay rate as a negotiating point. First of all because I do think less of people who will openly discuss their salary with others. And second because it puts me in the uncomfortable position of having to directly compare employees to each other, in front of them. It"s just in poor taste and a shitty negotiating standpoint. I certainly wouldn"t fire someone for doing it, we have no policy in that regard, but it"s well known at least in Canada that standing around the water cooler comparing salaries is not a good way to impress your boss, and it may make you look greedy, nosy, or several other adjectives. It"s frowned upon, even though everyone does it to one extent or another whether with co-workers, or friends in related industries etc.

    Using comparables in terms of industry averages, cost of living increases, general economy, and even better offers from elsewhere are all better places to negotiate from.
     
  16. Shonuff Well-Known Member

    Shonuff
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    4,355
    Ratings:
    +239
    And just wait until you tell that employee about their negatives and see what happens. Joe makes that much because he"s on time, has a good attitude, always works hard, and does what is expected. You are the polar opposite of him. You tell employees the cold hard truth, and they lose their minds. You might be in the same company as Joe, but you aren"t even in his league as far as productivity.

    And yet, some employees don"t care. Joe has busted his ass, continues to busts his ass, and always delivers; but they do just enough to get by, have lousy attitudes and they expect to reap the same rewards.

    Huh?
     
  17. Evelys_foh shitlord

    Evelys_foh
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    This. Like I said, I may know my coworker makes more than me, but when I present it to my manager, I"m going to point out the fact that my reviews show that I am an above-average worker, and that the average salary in the area with my certifications and experience is X amount, so I believe that I am worth a certain amount more than that, assuming that amount isn"t something ridiculous, like asking for an increase over 8% or so.

    It"s the same when I negotiate for a promotion.

    The trump card, however, is an offer letter from another company. You have one of those with a better salary than you"re currently making on it, and then you"re negotiating from the position of power. My last employer, after turning down my raise/promotion requests without that letter, immediately offered me a 10k raise and guaranteed promotion to stay with the company when I gave my notice with an offer letter attached to my letter of resignation. Had we not already been set on moving out of San Antonio (really, both the husband and I hated it there), I probably would have taken it -- but I didn"t get that offer until I proved to them that I was ready to walk and had a better-paying opportunity waiting for me.
     
  18. Evelys_foh shitlord

    Evelys_foh
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Here"s my question for you, as someone who"s had direct reports, but not hiring/firing/pay authority. If this guy is/was a bare-minimum half-asser, especially when you"re looking at a labor market that has a ton of excess workers that would kill for the type of job you offer, why would you even tolerate it if he did go nuts about it and wasn"t willing to continue to put in the same effort for the same salary?

    I mean, I"m the type of person that likes to show up 15 minutes early so that I can get some coffee and make sure that I"m ready to work at my start time, and I stay until my tasks are done, as long as the amount of work is reasonable (and I haven"t had a problem with that yet in my career). If that means I leave 30 minutes late, oh well -- there will be slow days where I can take a long lunch, take off early, or work from home. Nothing pisses me off more than a coworker that I rely on that watches the clock and slacks off.
     
  19. Shonuff Well-Known Member

    Shonuff
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    4,355
    Ratings:
    +239
    There"s no way to compare yourself to another employee without looking like a douche and jeoparding getting put in the "not ready for promotion" bin.

    I agree that the offer letter from another company is > all. Its just a rule of negotiations, that your position of highest power comes from having alternatives, and the better alternative (BATNA - best alternative negotiated agreement) you develop, the better you off you are. This way, you get to find out your company"s true plan for you. They either value you, or they don"t. If they don"t, you can go to the other company (hopefully they treat their employees as well or better).

    The only problem is the offer letter from the other company that isn"t real. How many people have lost their current job for not being loyal, and their greener pasture doesn"t exist. If you negotiate this way, you are better off loading a gun to your head with a round in it, and playing Russian Roulette.
     
  20. Shonuff Well-Known Member

    Shonuff
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Messages:
    4,355
    Ratings:
    +239
    My mentality changed over time. In the past, when I worked for corporations, I had people work for me, but didn"t have hiring or firing ability. In that case, all you can do is try to counsel people on their behavior, and if that doesn"t work, you can go to whomever has hiring/firing/pay decisions over that person and directly/indirectly air your grievances. I"ve gotten people fired under me by just casting the non-performer in a negative light, in an indirect manner by asking questions. "Mark hasn"t met this quota, I wonder if it because of his professional demeanor?" Then they ask what you mean, and then after you coyly trying deflect several times, you let it fly like Mussolini as to why the employee sucks. After all, they asked you, right ? Over my years in Corporate America, I became very skilled in getting people fired that weren"t right for the company. There"s only one guy I was never able to get canned. That might sound a bit harsh, but in corporations where there is a matrix structure, and someone has multiple reports, you have people that are forced on you, and they just suck. And since they work under you and contibute to your department"s numbers, its your ass or their. I choose for them to get canned, not me.

    But to more directly answer your question, I left Corporate America to buy a business. The previous owner had people that he like that weren"t necessarily earning their pay. I put up with it at first, but know that I have more seasoning, I have no problem telling someone they need to perform or they are fired. On the flip side, we do niche landscaping, and it takes 3-5 years to get someone fully trained. My asst manager just told me that he wants to move to Alabama because his wife is pressuring him to be closer to family. He"s got five years experience, and there is no one I feel is ready to be #2. If he leaves, I might actually have to do a nation wide search to find someone qualified enough. Doing that and then moving them to me won"t be cheap. Right now, his wife is moving and he"ll stay on. He"s making way above market, and he knows he"ll get half the pay somewhere else.

    Since some of the guys have so much experience, it costs me less to counsel them then to fire them. And for the most part, I have a good crew, and they very rarely half ass it. I usually only have to put my foot up their ass part of the way. I"ve weeded out the "weak sisters." Where I have problems now is how they deal with customers. For instance, the guys are on a job, the customer starts complaining, and the crew leader gets a little too pissed off.