What do you do if you get lowballed on salary?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
So I get an initial offer from this company.

First I give them a range, you know, the lowest salary i'll accept and the highest i think it'll go.

And when they give me an offer it ends up being almost 5G's lower than my low number...

Am I buying a car or getting a job?

2004 and i'm haggling for more money?



  • Reply 1 of 13
    Without knowing if you started at Dr. Evil's outrageous "one million dollars" already... If your number is the odd one and they're pulling you back to rational, that's one thing...

    If you listed your minimum acceptable figure within reasonable range for your industry and experience level and they still lowballed you by $5k without explanation or alternative compensation (like better holiday), it sounds like they're undervaluing you, but it's possible they were presuming you had haggle room built-in.

    I might be insulted, but it would depend on the gig and the numbers.

    How's that for fence-straddling response.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    You have to sweat them a little. Tell them that you really need a certain salary, and that, while you want to work for them and are hopeful that they can come up with the money, you'll hold off on any other offers while you give them time to consider whether they can meet your range.

    Salary negotiations are poker. And honest-to-god, if you don't think they're offering enough, be prepared to walk away from the offer. Your raises will be a percentage of your salary.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    toweltowel Posts: 1,479member
    Why would you give them a range? I've never applied for an actual job (student for life here), but if someone told me they would work for between $35k and $50k, why wouldn't I offer him $30k? I'd just ignore everything above the low end, and negotiate from there. Is this common practice among interviewees? It seems to require far too much good faith from potential employers ("He'll just said he'll take the job at $35k, but he just looks so darn cute in that tie, I think I'll offer $50k!").
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Once they give you a job offer, you can negotiate salary with them. They can say no, but they can't take back the offer and give it to someone else, until you decline the position.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    my boss and i worked out a nice little deal. i went from intern to real person a little while back; beforehand, of course, we discussed the salary. boss assured me that 55k would not be an issue {the company is like a multi-gazillion dollar business, and getting any other programmer in here could easily add 10 or more k onto it}. after waiting for the bullshit paperwork to go through the various channels, i finally got the official job offer letter with, you guessed it, 50k. i took it, since going from pittance per hour to anything salary-wise is a huge step, but if i dont get atleast 5k as a bonus in bonus season then i'm definitely going to be fighting for a huge raise. i know i can get more from them, and even better i know i've earned it.

    you might try to see if they can make it up in other things (ie, signing bonus or other bonuses, time off or something). you can try hard-facing them and saying "wtf, bitches. i said x dollars MINIMUM. now you sons of fucking cunts have pissed me off. add 15k to ur number and i'll consider working for you." perhaps without the profanity, if ur looking at a very conservative company. imo, if u really can't work for what they are offering, then you shouldn't be overly concerned with playing hard ball and possibly pissing them off. worst case scenario, thats the best offer they give and u decline. theres other companies out there. of course, if ur haggling over 5k, when the principal amount is >100k or so, i say suck it up.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member

    Originally posted by jesperas

    Once they give you a job offer, you can negotiate salary with them. They can say no, but they can't take back the offer and give it to someone else, until you decline the position.

    Sure they can, they simply rescind the offer. There are plenty of way to sugar coat it that would make their lawyers happy. Not that that's going to happen here.

    Negotiation is almost required here, just accepting the lowball offer sends a potentially bad signal that you can be run over with abandon. That would only occur if the firm had a bunch of asshats in charge, but you never know. Reasonable negotiation can also work to your favor by showing you have a spine and brain--you might get something and some karma with it. Playing too hard to get will empty the same karma well in a hurry. Good luck with the tightrope walk.

    In the future though stay away from labeling a range. Avoid giving any salary number up front if possible. Keep you numbers handy though, you will need them if pressed, the hirer really has all the cards.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    You made the mistake of giving them a range. You should have highballed. Right now, it's going to be hard for you to go back and start again, and what might have been a good idea would have been to make an over-dramatic double-take at the low balled salary, and try to make the employer embarrased for even suggesting such a low figure.

    I would suggest making up an excuse that you have an offer from another company, and see if you can work something out.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    Walk away. Any company that goes lower than your lowest range wants to use and abuse you. Why give the management a performance bonus for the hard work you'll be expected to do while you're fresh and young?
  • Reply 9 of 13
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    A few questions you need to ask yourself:

    1.) How long have you been looking for a job?

    2.) Are other companies interested in you?

    3.) How long can you wait before taking a job?

    Right now we're heading into the end of the year. Many companies (besides Retail) go into Hiring Freezes through the end of the year and might not lift them until Mid-January.

    My Dad has been looking for a job for a few months now and it's rough out there. This is not the same job market it was a few years ago and employers know it. If a company thinks they can get you at a fairly low price, they're going to do it because they know that if you're not interested, someone else is.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    o-maco-mac Posts: 777member
    The range I gave them was a little higher than the mid-range of the stats I found online. Yo, the parachute book is excellent. Read it if you have the time.

    What I did was I made my low number the high number on what I thought the mid number would be in their minds. And there was nothing unreasonable with the low number. if anything it's in mid-range of what the stats said on salary.com...

    And to top that, the numb er that they offered me wasn't even significantly higher then what i'm making now as a temp...

    As a matter of fact, I should have countered with an even higher number after they lowballed me like that...

    What's even more funny is that most of the people I worked with were lowballed the same way when they signed on to this place...

    Why do these companies have to do that? Why do they have to treat their enployees like garbage? I mean, let's start off by screwing with our employees morale...hahahahahaah
  • Reply 11 of 13
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Because they can and everyone that works there has taken it. If what you say is true it is probably a place to avoid unless you are desperate or soon to be so.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    ijerryijerry Posts: 615member
    I always have a lowest price in mind when I bid on any job/contract. I usually go above that by about 10-20 grand, depending on the agency. They typically lowball by (you guessed it) 5 grand, so I still typically come out ahead by 5-10 grand than what my lowest offer would have been. I think they expect you to highball them, so they lowball you, but in the end it should all wash out if you raised your value high enough up front, but not too much to not be considered. I have compromised with some companies that get their funding from other agencies by taking a hit for the first six months, in order to re-coup that in the last six months when funding will be readily available though.

    Good Luck!!
  • Reply 13 of 13
    in this economy, you take the job anyway i'd imagine
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