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Janeway

Do people negotiate salary anymore?

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Do people negotiate salary these days? This is for a professional job (software). Or do they just take what was first offered?

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I think it depends on the field, but as far as I know it still happens. Software is one of those fields where it still goes on, at least  what I understand from a few friends in that field.

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Depends on the job.  You should always try, but most fortune-500 companies don't allow it.  You come in at a certain grade, and everyone in that pay grade starts at that salary.  There is no penalty for trying, but there is a huge monetary penalty for not trying if it is allowed.  It can affect your whole career. When you're asked salary requirements in the interview respond with, "I'm much more concerned with finding the right fit," or some variation, simply politely refusing to discuss it.

 

DH's company doesn't allow negotiation, but actually deducts points from the interview if you don't respond with what I said above.  Something to do with understanding boundaries.

 

In the mean time, use the internet to find the average starting salary for that degree of experience in that job in that are.  Whatever they offer, ask for 15-30% more, keeping the average in mind.

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Salary negotiation is still common just like negotiating home prices. Some HR won't budge though so it could be the first offer is the final offer or HR would take another candidate. We know people whose salary negotiations were rejected and they decided to stay put in their current job instead of changing companies.

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Bf's co-worker is the only guy on their 20ish-person team (software) who didn't negotiate. He didn't know he could!

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My employer has a pay scale and the grades each have a salary band.  A job has a grade and you have to be really exceptional not to start at the bottom of that salary band.  You move up one rung each year until you hit the top of the salary band in year five.  Then any increases are inflationary only unless you can get the job re-graded (difficult) or you move job.

 

It's strangely soothing.  I just interviewed and was given a new job within the organisation, and I knew exactly what the pay would be.

Edited by Laura Corin

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You can and should always try to negotiate but some bigger companies have very tight bands based on the coding of the job in their system.

 

What you can do if salary is fixed is negotiate for work hours and vacation time. We insist that DH be allowed to work 4 ten hour days instead of 5 eight hour days and only be on call on Fridays for meetings that cannot be moved or the occasional work travel. That drastically improves our quality of life.

 

Second we ask for increase vacation time in lieu of extra pay. It effectively works out to more money paid for the time worked but it's something they can do much more easily when the pay structure is rigid.

 

If they cannot meet us on any of those points and the job isnt out of this world phenomenal in the overall compensation package then we definitely consider that a strike against them. The 4-10s, in particular, make SUCH a difference in our lives and in his work quality (he does better with focused longer blocks of time) but tend to make little difference in the day to day running of the office. Three day weekends every week give us a lot of freedom for trips, medical, home construction projects, etc.

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Dd negotiated her last job. Got a promo and a raise.

 

This one, small new company. . . She told the recruiter what she was willing to accept. Got a promo, and a raise.

 

She's a techie in ops.

Edited by gardenmom5

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Dh always negotiates (environmental engineering/ consulting) but if they won't budge on salary, he always goes for extra vacation weeks (has never been turned down on that)

Edited by Hilltopmom

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Yes. My husband and brother have both negotiated salary, extra vacation, and a sign on bonus in the last couple years.

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Oh and my sister in law just negotiated for more pay and fewer hours with her current company. Another company was trying to recruit her away and that's what she told her boss it would take for her to stay.

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My dh has always negotiated everything, not just salary.  Stock options, vacation, and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember at the moment.  He's been doing it for over 30 years.  A lot of times he doesn't get what he wants, but he wouldn't know unless he asked (well, his 'asking' is more like demanding, IMO, but that's another story .... )

 

My dd, otoh, begins a federal gov job soon and there was no negotiation for that.  Pay scale is set for everyone.  But benefits are pretty good.

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You can and should always try to negotiate but some bigger companies have very tight bands based on the coding of the job in their system.

 

What you can do if salary is fixed is negotiate for work hours and vacation time. We insist that DH be allowed to work 4 ten hour days instead of 5 eight hour days and only be on call on Fridays for meetings that cannot be moved or the occasional work travel. That drastically improves our quality of life.

 

Second we ask for increase vacation time in lieu of extra pay. It effectively works out to more money paid for the time worked but it's something they can do much more easily when the pay structure is rigid.

 

If they cannot meet us on any of those points and the job isnt out of this world phenomenal in the overall compensation package then we definitely consider that a strike against them. The 4-10s, in particular, make SUCH a difference in our lives and in his work quality (he does better with focused longer blocks of time) but tend to make little difference in the day to day running of the office. Three day weekends every week give us a lot of freedom for trips, medical, home construction projects, etc.

 

With my DH's current job, salary is negotiable, but vacation time absolutely was not. He lost vacation time in changing jobs. 

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Depends on the job.  You should always try, but most fortune-500 companies don't allow it.  You come in at a certain grade, and everyone in that pay grade starts at that salary.  There is no penalty for trying, but there is a huge monetary penalty for not trying if it is allowed.  It can affect your whole career. When you're asked salary requirements in the interview respond with, "I'm much more concerned with finding the right fit," or some variation, simply politely refusing to discuss it.

 

DH's company doesn't allow negotiation, but actually deducts points from the interview if you don't respond with what I said above.  Something to do with understanding boundaries.

 

In the mean time, use the internet to find the average starting salary for that degree of experience in that job in that are.  Whatever they offer, ask for 15-30% more, keeping the average in mind.

 

I'm in HR in Fortune 500 and this isn't' true.  Jobs are posted as certain grades, and you negotiate within that grade.

 

So for example.    You can apply Data Analyst III , a job that makes $78,000 - $98,000.  We'll offer $80,000 and can go up a small amount. 

You don't go in saying "I will accept if it's made into Data Analyst IV" because that mucks up the whole team structure and the level of people who answer to the hiring manager.

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Depends on the job.  You should always try, but most fortune-500 companies don't allow it.  You come in at a certain grade, and everyone in that pay grade starts at that salary.  There is no penalty for trying, but there is a huge monetary penalty for not trying if it is allowed.  It can affect your whole career. When you're asked salary requirements in the interview respond with, "I'm much more concerned with finding the right fit," or some variation, simply politely refusing to discuss it.

 

DH's company doesn't allow negotiation, but actually deducts points from the interview if you don't respond with what I said above.  Something to do with understanding boundaries.

 

In the mean time, use the internet to find the average starting salary for that degree of experience in that job in that are.  Whatever they offer, ask for 15-30% more, keeping the average in mind.

 

The jobs my dh has had within very large companies have the pay grades, but they are a range. You do not automatically have to go in at starting salary for that pay grade. He has started in the middle and the top. The bummer with coming in at the top of the salary within your pay grade is you have to move up to another pay grade in order to get an increase. However, many times they will use bonuses to make up for that.

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You can and should always try to negotiate but some bigger companies have very tight bands based on the coding of the job in their system.

 

What you can do if salary is fixed is negotiate for work hours and vacation time. We insist that DH be allowed to work 4 ten hour days instead of 5 eight hour days and only be on call on Fridays for meetings that cannot be moved or the occasional work travel. That drastically improves our quality of life.

 

Second we ask for increase vacation time in lieu of extra pay. It effectively works out to more money paid for the time worked but it's something they can do much more easily when the pay structure is rigid.

 

If they cannot meet us on any of those points and the job isnt out of this world phenomenal in the overall compensation package then we definitely consider that a strike against them. The 4-10s, in particular, make SUCH a difference in our lives and in his work quality (he does better with focused longer blocks of time) but tend to make little difference in the day to day running of the office. Three day weekends every week give us a lot of freedom for trips, medical, home construction projects, etc.

 

 

That is all fine and good to demand you get what you want or walk, but when you are in a competitive field and they can just say, "Well, we will take Tom then, he agrees to the offer without stipulations" you don't tend to say, "You must meet this requirement or I won't take the job" because there is no other job.

 

And I am finding age plays into things as well.  I got 100% of jobs I applied to 25 years ago.  I am now NOT getting those offers I used to get.  I would say it is something else, but the only thing different is AGE.  DH is also my age.  His firm recently hired someone aged 58.  It took a long time to convince them to go ahead and hired him.  They hired him as a temp for several months, with no benefits.  Then they told him he would be laid off (well, not really, since he was temp), then they called him back.  He FINALLY got hired on full time.  But they discussed his age in the negotiations several times (not to him) and it was a deterent.

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My DH negotiated some when he got the job he is in back in 2005, but it was negligible really.  They wouldn't budge much.

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I'm just going to throw out there that in addition to negotiating salary, vacation time, flex hours, work from home, there are many more options for negotiating. All of those should be considered as part of the overall package. DH has negotiated health insurance premiums, prefunding an HSA to cover the (high) deductible for entire families, company cars or a car allowance, monthly train/metro tickets for commuting costs, a smart pass and monthly gas allowance for car commuters, internet service at home for people who work from home. Devices, obviously, phones and laptops, and phone service if applicable... that's all that comes to mind at the moment, but I'm sure there's more.

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So for example. You can apply Data Analyst III , a job that makes $78,000 - $98,000. We'll offer $80,000 and can go up a small amount.

You don't go in saying "I will accept if it's made into Data Analyst IV" because that mucks up the whole team structure and the level of people who answer to the hiring manager.

My husband did that with his current employer. He went in with the official title of engineer to keep the senior engineers from vetoing the hiring. A senior engineer actually said he would veto all senior engineers hiring and the company practice peer interviews so everyone has to agree to hire. However his pay scale was that of senior engineer from the first day of work there.

 

I had the external title of consultant for my 3rd job just to keep the senior engineers happy but was put on the pay scale of a senior engineer. Else the seniors would regard me as a young upstart and nitpick. My job scope was wider than theirs covering finance, operations as well as technical.

 

Both companies are in the top 20 in the Fortune500 list.

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My husband works in IT and he negotiated as well. For both salary and benefits (vacation days). However, in both instances he was already employed and happy with his cuurent job so he had the ability to negotiate with nothing to lose.

Edited by tdbates78

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My husband works in IT and he negotiated as well. For both salary and benefits (vacation days). However, in both instances he was already employed and happy with his cuurent job so he had the ability to negotiate with nothing to lose.

 

don't let lack of employment stop you from negotiating.

 

dd was laid off  and looking for a job both times she negotiated, to a higher salary and promotions.

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And I am finding age plays into things as well.  I got 100% of jobs I applied to 25 years ago.  I am now NOT getting those offers I used to get.  I would say it is something else, but the only thing different is AGE.  DH is also my age.  His firm recently hired someone aged 58.  It took a long time to convince them to go ahead and hired him.  They hired him as a temp for several months, with no benefits.  Then they told him he would be laid off (well, not really, since he was temp), then they called him back.  He FINALLY got hired on full time.  But they discussed his age in the negotiations several times (not to him) and it was a deterent.

 

age discrimination is alive and well.  

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I just remembered that a former coworker of my husband's was hired straight out of college. He somehow negotiated for his rent to be paid for a year and to also have a company car assigned to him. Most people had pool vehicles. His salary wasn't all that significant for his position, but he was creative in getting a little extra.

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Dh is a executive level pharmaceutical chemist.  He always negotiates.

 

I'm an executive assistant.  I never have, but I've also been hired through agencies most of the time. 

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Salary often isn't negotiable but options, vesting schedules, and bonuses tied to hitting performance targets typically are.

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Negotiate vacation time, too.  This is what experienced people always seem to forget--they are starting over with just two weeks, which is brutal.

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You can always try. I've always worked for colleges or the federal government though, so things are more rigid that way.

 

When I was hired by the federal government they brought me in as a Physical Scientist, GS-14 Step 1 and refused to negotiate. That actually was very good, all things considered. It was a GS-13/14 position. I was coming in from ten years of university research.

 

I can tell you at the college level where I've been they ALWAYS come in low. Budgets, you know. When I started 19 years ago, they were bringing every adjunct in as an Instructor. I negotiated for an hour, even bringing in documentation, and got in as an Assistant Professor. Given how promotions after that are based primarily on credits taught and good reviews, it is critical to come in as high as possible there. At that time, the only other adjunct in my department at that level had been an adjunct for over a decade.

 

I do a lot of work as an independent contractor, and there it really depends. One client is very rigid, but has consistently raised my rate over the years. They won't negotiate. The other one I work for has been very willing to negotiate as I've done different kinds of projects for them.

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Depends on the job.  You should always try, but most fortune-500 companies don't allow it.  You come in at a certain grade, and everyone in that pay grade starts at that salary.  There is no penalty for trying, but there is a huge monetary penalty for not trying if it is allowed.  It can affect your whole career. When you're asked salary requirements in the interview respond with, "I'm much more concerned with finding the right fit," or some variation, simply politely refusing to discuss it.

 

DH's company doesn't allow negotiation, but actually deducts points from the interview if you don't respond with what I said above.  Something to do with understanding boundaries.

 

In the mean time, use the internet to find the average starting salary for that degree of experience in that job in that are.  Whatever they offer, ask for 15-30% more, keeping the average in mind.

 

But isn't there a range? Each job would have a pay grade but you don't typically start at 100% of your pay grade. So, if the job was rated to be $80,000 and you didn't have a ton of experience, you might start out at 85% of the recommended salary and you'd slowly work up to 100%. 

 

I would think that negotiations would relate to advocating for closer to 100% of the pay grade - by letting the employer know why you would warrant that amount. 

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Dh has always negotiated salary and perks/benefits.  He's currently in the process of doing so with the company he already works for!

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I think salaries are going back up and those who have made it through the last 10 years need to start asking for raises.  My dh company just interviewed some new grads for IT and they are being offered $65K to $85K with zero experience and some of them are getting better offers elsewhere.  They even offered to pay for the masters degree for some of them in addition to the high salary and some of them still got better offers elsewhere.  The new grads also want a "cool" office environment.  They want the snack bars, the trendy decorating and happy hour drinks at work.  I do think it's now reasonable to make a few demands salary wise for those who have been in the workforce for 20 years and weathered the recession considering what the 22 year olds are being offered.

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I think salaries are going back up and those who have made it through the last 10 years need to start asking for raises.  My dh company just interviewed some new grads for IT and they are being offered $65K to $85K with zero experience and some of them are getting better offers elsewhere.  They even offered to pay for the masters degree for some of them in addition to the high salary and some of them still got better offers elsewhere.  The new grads also want a "cool" office environment.  They want the snack bars, the trendy decorating and happy hour drinks at work.  I do think it's now reasonable to make a few demands salary wise for those who have been in the workforce for 20 years and weathered the recession considering what the 22 year olds are being offered.

 

My dh works in a federal govt building. Part of the cafeteria turns into a bar from 4pm-7/8pm, M-F. It's been that way for DECADES....

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I've worked at smaller companies that did negotiate, but none of the huge companies I worked at allowed it.  DH's household name company flatly refuses to negotiate too. I'm under the impression that this is due to previous discrimination lawsuits - ie: men are more likely to negotiate than women, so men get paid more, and when women figure that out they sue for discrimination and win.  And because DH's company promotes from within rather than without, and at a certain level of promotion everyone gets profit sharing, I'm under the impression every single hire or promotion starts at a certain pay grade and you automatically start at the lowest salary of that pay grade.  Even raises are based on a mathematical formula from the points you score during your employee reviews.

 

One thing they do allow, however, is if you are qualified for several positions, they can steer you towards one that is a higher pay grade and involves relocation - relo packages come with huge cash bonuses and are somewhat negotiable.  If you live very simply you can also choose a cash bonus in lieu of company paid relocation - which could easily be in excess of $30k.  They also "find" jobs for spouses if desired - which means that a great number of people in certain departments (marketing, forecasting) are all spouses who have a great job in some otherwise economically depressed areas.

 

Tech may be different than financial or engineering because there are still a limited number of people with a certain set of skills. When you speak of entire groups of hires that can make in excess of $100k simply for having mastered a specialized programming language you can pretty much write your own ticket.  The most dramatic example I heard recently was in SAP programming & training.

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Dh has always negotiated salary and perks/benefits.  He's currently in the process of doing so with the company he already works for!

 

 

The best way this works for DH's company is for him to go interview, get another offer, then come back and say, "This company offered me this amount of $$$$.  Can you match it or should I go to the other company?"

 

Otherwise, negotiations internally won't get you very far.

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The best way this works for DH's company is for him to go interview, get another offer, then come back and say, "This company offered me this amount of $$$$.  Can you match it or should I go to the other company?"

 

Otherwise, negotiations internally won't get you very far.

 

That's been a big part of it over the years.  It gets results!  He's actually left for other companies, and then gone back a few years later when the original company has upped their offer higher than he'd been trying to get.

 

In his current position, he knows exactly how much he makes for the company, both in terms of dollars and in the general business sense.  Being able to point to the consistent increase from Year 1 is a pretty strong position!

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That's been a big part of it over the years.  It gets results!  He's actually left for other companies, and then gone back a few years later when the original company has upped their offer higher than he'd been trying to get.

 

In his current position, he knows exactly how much he makes for the company, both in terms of dollars and in the general business sense.  Being able to point to the consistent increase from Year 1 is a pretty strong position!

 

Yeah, Dh has that on his resume, well, specific deals he has gotten for the company.

 

Unfortunately, he is currently paid pretty near the top of what he can get in his position, and moving up would require a LOT more hours/work than he is wiling to do right now.

 

And, because he is so "expensive' for his company, they are inclined to hire fresh out of college rather than pay his salary.

 

We are in a good spot, don't get me wrong, but with a possible lay off, we are concerned.  We cannot afford our current house with my salary alone (education salaries stink here!), although I suppose we could refinance to a 30 year and still stay.....maybe......

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I've worked at smaller companies that did negotiate, but none of the huge companies I worked at allowed it.  DH's household name company flatly refuses to negotiate too.

 

it can depend greatly upon the dept manager (and their higher ups), and who does the actual hiring.  if hr does  - forget it.  they have no power.

 

dd's in IT. (in a typically male job.) her last employer is a multinational household name corporation, very high up on the fortune 100 (she was in three different groups). . . . . . for her last group, she negotiated with them before starting.  she got a raise and a promotion over what she was initially offered.     - her new job is a huge (shiny) promotion, and a decent raise  - they gave her the salary she asked for.     

 

,

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The best way this works for DH's company is for him to go interview, get another offer, then come back and say, "This company offered me this amount of $$$$.  Can you match it or should I go to the other company?"

 

Otherwise, negotiations internally won't get you very far.

 

dsil tried that with his last (very big) employer.  he'd just changed depts when an outside employer with whom he had applied *finally* got back to him. they offered him waaaay more for his dream job.  he asked his boss for 1/12 of what he was offered to stay here, and they refused - but he had also only been in that particular job a couple months.  so, they moved.

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Yeah, Dh has that on his resume, well, specific deals he has gotten for the company.

 

Unfortunately, he is currently paid pretty near the top of what he can get in his position, and moving up would require a LOT more hours/work than he is wiling to do right now.

 

And, because he is so "expensive' for his company, they are inclined to hire fresh out of college rather than pay his salary.

 

 

I'm only realizing now how I should probably discuss with my kids how diffeet industries and positions work... and maybe learn more myself.

 

My teens are all looking at careers that would have an income ceiling. Theoretically, dh's does not. (I mean, it does, but it'd be in wealthy people numbers that I can't take seriously.)

 

We don't particularly want the kids to go into his industry, though.

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The best way this works for DH's company is for him to go interview, get another offer, then come back and say, "This company offered me this amount of $$$$. Can you match it or should I go to the other company?"

 

Otherwise, negotiations internally won't get you very far.

Of course, I think that's really the only way to do it unless your skill set is very rare.

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it can depend greatly upon the dept manager (and their higher ups), and who does the actual hiring.  if hr does  - forget it.  they have no power.

 

 

Depends. At the company DW works for, HR does the hiring, which meant that her salary negotiations meant that it took a lot longer to get hired, because HR didn't have the authority, and blah, blah, blah, but, eventually, she did get more than what they initially offered (and more than HR said the limit was of what they could offer). 

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My dh is constantly hiring programmers. He requires applicants to state their salary requirements and bases his offers on what they state. Certainly, plenty of people price themselves out of a job, but he doesn't ever work from a set "this job pays x dollars/year", but rather "a person with these skills and this much experience is worth x dollars to me". He doesn't negotiate much after he makes an offer, but may be willing to up vacation, slightly  increase pay, or offer a bonus for a certification, etc. He would never want to hire a person that wasn't completely satisfied with their compensation package. That would make them likely to leave and after going to the trouble of hiring, he wants people to stay!

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