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Rahul PandeyTech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei

What's Best To Negotiate

As you think about what components in the offer to negotiate, you should consider:

  1. Where do you have the most alignment with the company? For example, reducing the "clawback period" for your signing bonus from 1 year to 3 months is unaligned since the company wants to incentivize you to stick around beyond 3 months. On the other hand, doubling your equity package is more aligned, since your comp will go up if the company does well.
  2. Where can the recruiter best help you? Generally, a recruiter is powerless to adjust things like 401(k) match or performance bonuses since they're standardized across the company. However, recruiters are able to adjust salary or equity, especially if you are willing to make trade-offs between them.

Another dimension to consider is that equity is riskier than salary, so, therefore, it should translate to a higher potential reward. Stock options and RSUs fluctuate in value based on the market.

If you're ok with the risk tolerance, you are likely able to get more equity vs salary, e.g. increase your equity $20K/year vs salary $5K/year. This is an obviously good trade for a Big Tech (FAANG) company, which will have a fairly stable stock price.