new job offer, less salary?

jasper_60103December 15, 2005

I have received a job offer for a technical professional position. Problem is, it's about 4% less than my current salary.

I think its a great co. and opportunity. The position is very similar to my current job and even some extra responsibilites.

I would like to accept the position, but not for a pay cut. The base salary could be offset a little by a bonus program, but thats based on co. performance (and no guarantee). Also, the benefits are comparable to what I currently have.

FYI. They know my current salary because its on the job application. Also, commute time, distance, traffic and other stuff like that is the same.

Anyone delt with this type of situation? Had any success? I'm thinking this is an initial offer and theres room for negotiation. I just never receive an offer before less than my current salary. Maybe its just a sign of the times.

Anyway, looking for some successful tips and advice in salary negotiation. thanks,


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My experience is that there's always room to negotiate. You are in the catbird seat right now: they've gone through whatever hoops they must to make you the offer; you're the candidate they want; if you say no, they have some work to do to make an offer to someone else.

So you can negotiate. You can mention that you think this job is a great opportunity, but that you're surprised that a job that takes advantage of your experience and even requires some extra responsibility on your part pays less than the job you now hold, and ask if there any room to improve the offer?

Remember that they don't have to pay you just in dollars. Maybe they can't play with the salary, but they should be able to offer you other things, like additional vacation time, or maybe to pay some insurance premiums for you, or to give you an amount of money for additional education (if you think you'll use it), or (depending on the level of this job) give you a company car or something. If all else fails, you can ask for a review in three or six months or such, with an adjustment to your salary at that time.

Whatever you do, make sure you get it in writing. Make sure it is part of your offer letter, even if they have to reissue it. Without that, you really don't have anything you can count on.

I have used this strategy successfully in the past, at my present employer (at which it seems everyone comes in at the same grade level, regardless of applicable experience) and with one of my ex-wife's employers (who offered her what she was making at her then-present job, but which would have been a pay cut after paying for parking downtown; we asked them to gross up her salary to pay for parking, and they agreed).

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 12:51AM
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Hi Steve.
You make some good points. It really was a tough interview too. I had to grow through 3 sets of panel interviews. I feel I'm a pretty strong candidate for this position. I'll follow up Monday and see if they'll sweeten the deal. Thanks for the tips.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:44PM
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Well...and this is the tough one for people to answer...ummm..err...

Are you sure you're working for what you're worth NOW?

I've often dealt with this where I get a great candidate that was doing a great job at his last place, but somehow had been hired at a very inflated rate there.

Now, I have a range to work with, but if it's way out of whack, I just can't stretch that far.

But, one thing I believe is that even if you get people at cut rates, they won't be loyal. I'm not saying that you should pay them a premium over competitors, but honestly...if they get you to accept that offer, do they really think you won't jump shift for any offer that comes along?

You'll see that a lot when the market is flooded, but not right now.

FYI, I'm a technology director for a large law firm and I interviewed a guy just this afternoon!


    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 6:43PM
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actually I'm not sure how my salary compares in todays market. In the past, my salary was always at the very low end of the pay scale. But the last 5 years, the economy has not been kind to technology companies.

Anyway, just to update. They weren't willing to negotiate, so I had to decline the offer. Not just because of the salary, but when I compared the entire pkg (salary + cost of benefits + other) with what I currently have. It just falls too short.

Thanks for your comments.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 2:40PM
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