Subscribe

Forum

Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Welcome to the newly redesigned Science Careers Forum. Please bookmark this site now for future reference. If you've previously posted to the forum, your current username and password will remain the same in the new system. If you've never posted or are new to the forum, you will need to create a new account.

The new forum is designed with some features to improve the user experience. Upgrades include:
- easy-to-read, threaded discussions
- ability to follow discussions and receive notifications of updates
- private messaging to other SC Forum members
- fully searchable database of posts
- ability to quote in your response
- basic HTML formatting available

Moderator: Dave Jensen
Advisors:   Ana, PG, Rich Lemert, Dick Woodward, Dave Walker
Meet the Moderator/Advisors

Re: Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Postby Rich Lemert » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:29 pm

It would make things simpler if this were enacted at the federal level, but companies are already handling a lot of things that are state law. I'm sure they'll figure out a way to deal with it. I'll have to go back and look into it more, but I'm wondering what happens if an offer is generated through e.g. a company's Chicago HQ for someone being assigned to their Mass. offices.

As for your "loophole", I would advise candidates to consider this a sign that they should reconsider whether or not they want to work for that company. If they're going to play this kind of a game, what other games are they willing to play. They can ask all they want, but all they're going to get from me is "my understanding is that the going rate for someone with my background in your part of the country is in the range of $ xx to $ yy."
Rich Lemert
Advisor
 
Posts: 2590
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Postby D.X. » Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:09 am

Hi -

A couple over-arhcing Points.

I agree with Dave, that if you start sharing salaries among Peers, the consequences are quite negative and there is no positive outcome for doing that. There are a few influencing factors, such as Initial negotiated salary, employee tenure (i.e makes no sense to compare to someone who is 5 years in the Team due to yearly increase, bonuses, etc.), and experience differences etc. etc. Don't waste time here.

There are plenty of on-line resources to get a pulse on what we in the industry call the "Fair Market Value" (FMV) of the Position. Usually HR departments will have conducted a market benchmarking excercise, in order to snap a FMV to positions which serves a Basis to define the employer's value for the Position (i.e. competitiveness of the package). I advocate here the opportunity to talk to recruiters and build a Network with them, they will know.

In General in the bigger Companies, they will have an assigned Budget to the Position and the wiggle room to give an offer can at some times be very narrow, may +/- 3 to 5% for the assigned Budget where the salary is linked to. To go beyond that upper limit of wiggle room, and you will Need alot of negoation and sufficient view from the Company that you are of Talent to give an offer beyond thier defined threshold. I.e the hiring Manager will have talk to finance and HR. This is rare, and in genearaly, the need for you speicific offerings must be superior compared to other candidates.

Yes, companies will try to shoot under more than the upper Limit right? So enter negotiating. There are other Points that you should be Aware of, i.e. differences of salary/package between big pharmas and the American biotehcs/mid-size pharmas (the latter tends to be higher and better in my country). So in this example, if you're coming in from the latter and looking to go a big pharma, it could be your salary expecations is much higher than thier Budget and upper Limit of wiggle room, or is matching very closely to that of the hiring manager, or even benefits you have maybe be much better than the big pharmas and that of the hiring Manager, so HR will Screen Motivation based on that as well (they know what they're dealing with among the various companies, ie. they are well up on thier market insights). So just a tiny example of things to be Aware of, where one will have no control. I spoke to an HR Person a big pharma a few years back, the mentioned they gave up trying to recruite from certain companies as they knew they could never be as competitive, compensation wise, they could only offer experience and so called "leadership opportunties" (or as I like to say, do more at lower salary with fancy title with Company "brand" as some higher calling value).

Alot of employers will ask the salary history question mainly as gauge to see if they can afford you or to see if expectations are aligned. The better question I like instead is more on what is the salary expectation. Here most companies have thier threshold as I mentioned. They'll happily walk away if you are not interested in their offerings or if there is a mis-alignment. Unless one is such an amazing Talent. So in my opinion, the candidate should have thier BATNA as well. Remember negoation is not all about salary.

You should know very early if the salary expectations are aligned, so you have no suprises later on.

In genearal I don't advocate being low balled in Terms of salary and I don't advocate one should take a low ball salary, however, contextualized into newly minted graduate looking for a first Job or a Person looking to to a lateral move to develop further, maybe these are times the experience obtained will out weigh the offered salary in a very short to mid-term horizon, i.e you will be much more valuable and competitive 1 to 2 years in.

So know a bit about what's going on the other side, sometimes, you're dealing with a buracracy, politics, SOPs, finance Systems (aka Budgets) and HR departments who have their KPIs (usually cost savings per hire objective). Things you will have no control over.

this can be different in smaller companies where probably there is no benchmarking and in genearal their salary offerings is probably no so market or evidence based but more their own perception of value and their operating Budgets. So probably more wiggle room here on upper and lower Limits on both candidate and employer sides.

Good luck.


DX
D.X.
 
Posts: 1170
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:29 pm

Re: Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Postby Parker » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:46 pm

Some employers leave no shortage of opportunities to make it feel like you are getting screwed over, which is a shame because then the employees always have one foot out the door. The reason employees get mad after they find out their team mates salaries is because they felt like they were deceived due to a lack of transparency and lopsided negotiation practices. We are thrown a random number and expected to be just happy that they honoured us with a job offer. Well I've walked away from jobs when I felt like there was a lack of transparency, even though their offer was more than I'm making now. I will never know whether I made the right decision or not. But I felt like there was no transparency in the process and I got the distinct sense that I was getting screwed over (maybe falsely or maybe accurately, I will never know). For example, it is common in Canada to not even advertise salary ranges in the job ad so if you can't find out such information from somewhere else, you are completely in the dark. If I feel that the process is fair and I understood their metrics, it would make everyone a lot happier. But some employers don't see it that way. Well it is their loss!
Parker
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:08 am

Re: Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:16 pm

Parker wrote:Some employers leave no shortage of opportunities to make it feel like you are getting screwed over, which is a shame because then the employees always have one foot out the door. The reason employees get mad after they find out their team mates salaries is because they felt like they were deceived due to a lack of transparency and lopsided negotiation practices. We are thrown a random number and expected to be just happy that they honoured us with a job offer. Well I've walked away from jobs when I felt like there was a lack of transparency, even though their offer was more than I'm making now. I will never know whether I made the right decision or not. But I felt like there was no transparency in the process and I got the distinct sense that I was getting screwed over (maybe falsely or maybe accurately, I will never know). For example, it is common in Canada to not even advertise salary ranges in the job ad so if you can't find out such information from somewhere else, you are completely in the dark. If I feel that the process is fair and I understood their metrics, it would make everyone a lot happier. But some employers don't see it that way. Well it is their loss!


Parker, that's a "chip on the shoulder" commentary, and unfortunately the way it works out is that you will be the one who has the loss. You'll lose out on offers, lose out on opportunities, if you don't "get" how it works. Salaries are not put into ads. If they were, it would be with the strangest intention. Not to make things clear, but to put a low-price into the ad and see if they can "snag a bargain."

Really, its not all that unethical how it works. Companies don't put the salary into the ad because they want to review all interested parties, with zero attention paid to anything except finding the right person for that job. Then, when candidates surface, and they look good, they'll interview them and in that interview ask about their present earnings. Just assume that you are entering a negotiation, and take it from there. This back-and-forth is just a fact of life, nothing unethical!

Dave
"Failure is a bruise -- not a tattoo." -- Jon Sinclair
User avatar
Dave Jensen
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 7898
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Postby Rich Lemert » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:06 pm

Then, when candidates surface, and they look good, they'll interview them and in that interview ask about their present earnings.


What do their current earnings have to do with anything?

The only thing the company needs to know is whether or not the candidate's salary requirements are consistent with the range they are prepared to offer, based on the candidate's background and experience and the going rate in their geographical area and industry. After all, a person's current salary often says more about his or her current employer than it does about their actual expertise.
Rich Lemert
Advisor
 
Posts: 2590
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:29 pm

Rich Lemert wrote:
Then, when candidates surface, and they look good, they'll interview them and in that interview ask about their present earnings.


What do their current earnings have to do with anything?


Rich, I think you and I have argued this point before. Current salary has NOTHING to do with it if it's a postdoc, because that's not applicable. "I'm presently in a postdoc, and that wouldn't have anything to do with it." Thats a valid response.

But of the two questions, 1) What is your present income? and 2) What do you need to make to take this job? --the only valid question is the first one. You can't legitimately ask the person what they "need to earn" or what their "expectations" are. So, answering the first question (present earnings) is expected to be a non-issue. You can reply and then ask a similar question of the employer, "What is the range for this job?"

Dave
"Failure is a bruise -- not a tattoo." -- Jon Sinclair
User avatar
Dave Jensen
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 7898
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Postby Rich Lemert » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:53 pm

You're probably right that we've gone around on this before.

I'm still waiting for someone to present me with a valid argument to justify your first question - for anyone, whether they've been a postdoc or have twenty years of experience. Even if you ignore the "anchoring" effect introduced by giving the first figure, all you're really doing is asking "how much do you think your current employer values you?" Maybe they don't, and that's why you're on the market. Or maybe you have other concerns (an aging parent, for example) that are making salary a lesser concern. Saying "I'm targeting this range" cuts to the chase without introducing a lot of extraneous b.s.

Whenever this topic is discussed in other forums, responses generally fall into two camps. Recruiters all seem to say they need the information, while job seekers agree that it's no one's business but their own. When pressed to justify their demands, the recruiters either say "our clients demand it" or "I need it so I can tell how much you're worth to my clients." The problem is, what really determines what a client is worth to a company is his or her ability to solve the company's problems, and that can only be judged by looking at their skills and abilities.
Rich Lemert
Advisor
 
Posts: 2590
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Postby Nate W. » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:53 pm

I have always followed the advice that it is always best to delay any salary negotiation (or answer any questions about compensation) until after all the interviews have been conducted. Traditionally, a company will select a candidate and make a written offer. Then the negotiation often begins.

However, in recent interviews, I have noticed that companies no longer follow this protocol. Often and adamantly, a HR representative, not the supervisor with the knowledge of budget, will expect candidates to partially negotiate compensation before the interviews take place. Despite a candidate's best effort to deflect salary questions, this person often expects an answer to both questions about salary expectations and history. Thus, my questions are:

Why have companies changed their tactics on salary negotiation?

Why are HR so adamant in having these questions answered before the interviews take place, especially if they don't know what the budget is for the position?

In using this tactic, don't they realize it will only potentially perturb both parties and sour the rest of the interview?

If a candidate wasn't selected based on qualifications, wasn't it a waste of time to get these questions answered beforehand?

If the company has a first offer best offer policy, why ask these questions beforehand?

Some academic employers have departments known as wage and compensation groups that set salaries and they can often overrule the supervisors on salary offers even when the offer is well within the budget. What do these departments do and why should they have so much power in salary negotiations?
Nate W.
 
Posts: 495
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:48 pm

Re: Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Postby Dave Jensen » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:07 pm

Rich Lemert wrote:You're probably right that we've gone around on this before.

I'm still waiting for someone to present me with a valid argument to justify your first question - for anyone, whether they've been a postdoc or have twenty years of experience. Even if you ignore the "anchoring" effect introduced by giving the first figure, all you're really doing is asking "how much do you think your current employer values you?" Maybe they don't, and that's why you're on the market. Or maybe you have other concerns (an aging parent, for example) that are making salary a lesser concern. Saying "I'm targeting this range" cuts to the chase without introducing a lot of extraneous b.s.

Whenever this topic is discussed in other forums, responses generally fall into two camps. Recruiters all seem to say they need the information, while job seekers agree that it's no one's business but their own. When pressed to justify their demands, the recruiters either say "our clients demand it" or "I need it so I can tell how much you're worth to my clients." The problem is, what really determines what a client is worth to a company is his or her ability to solve the company's problems, and that can only be judged by looking at their skills and abilities.


It's all great to live in an ideal world, and so forth. We have so many "This is the way it should work" posts on this forum.

I don't live in that world. I live in the world where the employer will NOT PROCEED with candidates unless they know something about present comp. Giving them that information may also be accompanied by reasons why that salary doesn't matter (as in your examples) but the fact remains that most companies will remove people from their early consideration who play games with this very legitimate question. No questions asked -- "You don't tell one of my people what you earn, you're out of the process."

Sure, we can try to get the real world to change, as that law in MA is attempting to do. But as I said in an earlier post, all that will do is corrupt the process, ensure you get a low-ball offer so that the company can then legally say, "Tell me about your current compensation." I don't like it either, but this is the way that employment works.

What's the purpose of the forum, to tout the ideal world? Or to tell it like it is? I see it as being partially about trying to change things for the better (we do that here Rich) but also about ensuring that those entering the job market know how it works, today, in it's ugly side as well as in an idealized future.

Dave
"Failure is a bruise -- not a tattoo." -- Jon Sinclair
User avatar
Dave Jensen
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 7898
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Can I negotiate an offer after verbal acceptance?

Postby Rich Lemert » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:58 pm

But as I said in an earlier post, all that will do is corrupt the process, ensure you get a low-ball offer so that the company can then legally say, "Tell me about your current compensation."


But then, why would someone want to work for a company like this? They've just demonstrated that they consider their employees interchangeable commodities rather than human beings to be treated with honesty and respect; what are they going to do if they manage to get you on board?
Rich Lemert
Advisor
 
Posts: 2590
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Science Careers Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests