Taro Logo
Profile picture

Negotiation Q&A and Videos

About Negotiation

"Should I negotiate?" Answer: “Is water wet?” It's not often just sending a few emails can literally make you thousands of dollars. It’s worth a shot.

Negotiating an offer for a Staff role at a Series B -- the recruiter said they were making an offer but only gave me a range

Principal Software Engineer at Taro Community profile pic
Principal Software Engineer at Taro Community

Hello! I'm in the final stages of my interview process at a few companies. I heard two days ago that I'd be getting an offer from a public company and just today a Series B company said they were going to extend an offer. (I have 30 minute chat with a Series A CEO tomorrow and an offer seems likely) The Series B company today gave me their comp range for Staff, but did not make a specific offer. The recruiter asked me to come up with what I wanted my comp to be now that I know the band for Staff. It felt odd not getting a specific number.. but I suppose I can consider for the purpose of negotiation that they are offering the top of the range and I can negotiate from there? The recruiter did say I was their best interview (!) so I feel like I have a fair bit of leverage here to potentially get an offer well above the stated band.

This is a bit further complicated however by the fact that I disagree with the methodology the recruiter used to value their options & tokens. I.e. if I agreed with their valuation the TC at the top of their range is what I am targeting, but according to my calculations the TC at the top of the range is 35% too low. So I'd probably need them to double the equity/token package to make this worthwhile. The top of the range for base is also below my base target, but not that dramatically. . . more like 5%.

Am I better off asking for a Sr Staff leveling or just ask for comp that's above the band for the Staff title? I imagine bands are more strict at public companies than they are at a Series B.

Finally, I'm wondering what people think about adding acceleration & severance upon termination w/o cause as a negotiation lever. Given the volatility of the cryptocurrency market I am concerned about job security in this role, so some security that would be provided by an acceleration upon termination clause in my contract would help me swallow the somewhat low base & illiquid equity that they are offering. Do Series B companies ever provide that to non-VP/C-level hires?

Show more

Big Tech Contract Position Offer

Data Engineer at Financial Company profile pic
Data Engineer at Financial Company

I received an offer from a Big Tech company for a contract Data Eng role. Whoot!

While I'm happy to have gotten the offer, I'm nervous about it being a contract role and in particular I'm nervous about the nature of the team.

My mentor told me to reverse-interview the hiring manager:

His message to me was:

Ask: I’d like to get a better sense of what I’ll be working on and how that work fits in with the rest of the team - I’m curious what lead to the need to open up this role?
Then based on what they say, you usually follow up with where do you see this position and work fit in after the initial 6 months.

So he says to ask the hiring manager about:

  1. what work I'll be doing
  2. how the role opened up
  3. possibility of extending or converting to FTE

I'll add my own question which is how much am I working solo vs. with others? In my convo with the hiring manager, he indicated that this role is to maintain Paid Marketing Pipelines which the team he manages is not focusing on. He said there's a lot of work to be done cleaning up tech debt, which involves migrating SQL pipelines scheduled with Airflow to dbt. That sounds like bread and butter Data Engineering, although it's definitely not the cool and shiny work.

I have 5 questions, 2 here and 3 in the first comment because of the character limit:

  1. Any other quick thoughts about what to ask about? There are lot of great questions , , and questions like and . I plan on going through those, but if there's anything I should def ask about, it'd be great to know!
  2. In talking to the Hiring Manager, should I negotiate before or after Reverse Interviewing? My mentor says to negotiate after learning more about the role which seems intuitive to me as I want to make sure I want to accept it before negotiating. But Gergely Orosz says very much the opposite . What gives?
Show more

What's the best time to ask for a raise?

Senior Software Engineer at Series C Startup profile pic
Senior Software Engineer at Series C Startup

Hey folks,

I'm currently facing a tough decision - whether to ask for a raise at my current company. I am unsure if it's the right time to do so or not. Here's a little context to help you understand my situation

My timeline in the company:

  • In 2023
    • I joined the company as a Sr SWE II (L4)
    • I joined the company nine months ago on August 23'
    • I made it to the second review cycle of the year (mid-October), and I got a "Consistently meeting expectations." My manager then said that he was very impressed that I managed to get so much done in that short time and that he could see strong signs of a Staff Engineer (L5) in me.
    • I shipped the most important project in Q4, 2023, on time. I even ended up as the technical lead of that project (the Staff engineer in that project got pip-ed, but that's another story)
  • In 2024:
    • I mentored a Sr SWE I (L3) on her first project as a lead.
    • I'm the lead of the web working group
    • I'm interviewing candidates almost on a weekly basis
    • I'm one of the owners of the Design System initiative
    • I just got a "Consistently exceeding expectations" in our current review cycle. I've been praised for how easy it is to work with me, my technical quality, my communication skills, and my thoughtful PR reviews. And that I should keep working on my influence across the organization.

How things are right now:

  • My previous manager quit to join another startup, and I got an interim manager (we're hiring another manager for my team)
  • I ended up talking about salary adjustments with my previous manager the other day (there, I didn't ask for a raise; it was just a casual conversation). He told me that the company does a compensation review every January and that I wasn't considered for the one that happened in January 2024 because I didn't join earlier than July 2023.
  • The next performance review will happen in mid-Oct 2024.
  • I will be leading a new tiger team (6 engs) until the end of Q2.

Questions I have right now:

  • Is this the right time to ask for a raise?
  • I've never asked for a raise.
  • I know for a fact that an L3 has a pretty similar (<5%) salary to me, and I know that another L4 has a >5% salary than me.
  • Should I wait until I finish this new project, the next performance review, or my first anniversary?
  • We're in the hockey stick growth stage.
  • I also really like working here, and the market has been bad lately.


Show more