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Negotiation Q&A and Videos

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"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.

Should I mention offers I turned down to my boss?

Data Engineer at Taro Community profile pic
Data Engineer at Taro Community

It's performance review time, and I want a nice raise and bonus just as much as anyone else.

Standard procedure for getting a raise seems to be making the case for yourself: keep track of all your accomplishments during the year so you can present them to your boss when asking for a raise/bonus. Simple enough. I'm prepping that list of things right now.

It's also been the case that this past year I turned down 3 offers that each would have paid me more than my current gig - between 20% and 40%. Now, even though I'm underpaid at my current gig, it's also the case that I'm compensated for that by it being super chill - no deadlines, lots of latitude on what to work on, a nice WFH arrangement (1 day in office a week), and pleasant coworkers.

My question is, do I mention that I got the offers in addition to mentioning the things I'd accomplished over the year? There's an element of "hardball" in that, but maybe it's not a bad move. I guess the phrasing of it is the key. So instead of saying "I've got other offers, give me more money or I leave", it's "I really like working here and with you. So much so that I turned down other companies that were offering decently more. Can you see what can be done to raise my compensation?"

Finally, I'm aware that the best way to ask for a raise is :
"I really enjoy working on this team. I want to do more to increase my impact and empower my teammates - What are the steps I need to take to get to that next level?"

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Should I take an offer right now when I’m in the interview loop for potentially higher ones?

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

I received a written offer from a Series A startup for a FE role over the weekend. I really enjoyed interviewing with some of the team members I met and the Hiring Manager seems to really care about the team and believes in the product. During the initial interview, the HM told me the salary window for the role is 140-195k based on experience and interview performance. After I completed all the interviews, the recruiter told me the team liked me and asked if I would take 140k and stop interviewing elsewhere. The recruiter reminded me that I mentioned months ago that I said 140k was the minimum I would accept for base salary (this is true, I reluctantly gave in and provided a number).

I’m currently working on a take home project for a FE role from a Series D startup that is in an industry I am interested in. I am scheduled to submit it and have the final interview round this week. This company's recruiter said, based on my resume, the anticipated salary range for the role would be 165-175k.

I asked the Series A recruiter to get closer to the potential Series D offer range so we agreed on 155k. Later I received the written offer and the title is for Senior Staff SWE. I was surprised to see that title paired with the 155k base salary (no signing bonus or other cash benefits. Options are on the table but that is just paper money at this stage). For context, in my last role I was a SWE I at a FAANG adjacent company and have 2-3 years of experience (half of that in Big Tech).

I'd like to get advice from the community about how to assess this Series A offer. Startup titles are generally inflated but even so the salary that is presented to me does not align with the title they are giving me. I live in a HCOL area.

If I do get an offer from the Series D company, I've been advised by another more Senior peer with startup experience to take an offer from a Series D company over Series A because the risk of company failure is lower and I will receive more support as a mid-level SWE.

I'd appreciate any insights and questions/topics I should consider to help me assess this situation. Thanks for reading this far :-)

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How to negotiate my offer with TikTok?

Entry-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community profile pic
Entry-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community

I made it through 3 technical rounds at TikTok (2 Coding, 1 System Design) and had my HR round recently. The HR round was a negotiation round. I don't know if I handled it well. I am hoping that Taro can give me some insights or advice. For leveling, I have a little under 2 YOE at Amazon but I got laid off in April.

Here is a summary of the HR meeting:

Question: What level are you expecting?

Answer: I am expecting mid-level because I have good experience at Amazon and I did well in the interviews. HR made some comments about why I am not a good fit for mid-level said but said that the leveling will be set after this meeting.

Question: What other interviews do you have?

Answer: I have 2 early stage interviews lined up next week at Big Tech. I declined to reveal the companies. I said that I would cancel the other interviews if I got a strong offer from TikTok. I mentioned one of the reasons that I want to work at TikTok was the scale. HR said that if the other companies are Big Tech they would have similar scale. I didn't know what to say to that. I have other reasons for wanting to join TikTok but I didn't mention them in the meeting.

Question: What compensation are you expecting?

Answer: I dodged the question and said "I will consider any strong offer from TikTok." The compensation discussion went on for a good 10 minutes and I kept dodging the question. HR got upset after a while because I didn't give any numbers. I said that maybe we can have the compensation discussion after the level is set and then we stopped talking about it.

Question: Asked about RTO, Visa status and when I can start.

HR said they will get back to me early next week.

Given the market conditions, I bet they have several other candidates lined up for this role. Maybe some of them made it to the HR round and they negotiated less than me (level, low-numbers) so maybe they will take them instead.

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How to communicate with HR and EM when they didn't include for the appraisal/promotion cycle?

Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community profile pic
Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community

Hey there, for context, I completed my first year as Software Engineer.

I joined the company because I was in dire need without checking the company culture, following which I was not satisfied with the designation. I then started to look out for a job.

I got that offer after 4 months of joining with 33% increase in the salary.

When I told my EM he was willing to talk to the HR and match the salary but then the Head of the department didn't promote my role in the light that others in the team will think and ask why in 4 months I got my role upgraded.

The leadership conveyed that I might get the designation in the 6 months appraisal cycle.
In the appraisal cycle they denied my promotion saying my salary doesn't match the orgs designation and they don't know what to do.

I was not happy with the decision and since I didn't had any offers I kept working for the organisation hoping I will get it in the 1 year cycle.

Now I didn't get the review form for 1 year appraisal cycle. I think they will say in the lines of because your salary was revised at the 4 month you are not eligible for this cycle.

Though I don't feel my designation is the right one. But I have some other responsibilities as well like family, commute etc. I'm losing my motivation.

I need help in crafting effectively to EM and HR so that they consider my role and some appraisal so that they inline my career in the organisation else juniors will have a higher role in front of me.

From today I have also started looking out for other jobs, but I don't want to hurry in making decisions.

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Dealing with "This offer is the best we can do for this level"

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

Context:

  • Opportunity:- A month ago, I interviewed at a recently IPO'd startup for a senior SWE position and did well.
  • Uplevelling:- The interviews apparently went so well that they suggested I was a good fit for a staff SWE position on the team and made a verbal offer for that.
  • Subsequent Downlevelling:- The actual offer was delayed by 2-3 weeks only for the final offer to be a senior SWE offer.
  • Compenstion Issue:- The final offer is a bit (~10%) lower than all my current offers on all compensation components (cash, stock, sign on). Also, I'm still awaiting a couple of more offers that could be even better paying ones.
  • Recruiter Constraints:- The recruiter stated that this is the best offer they can do for the senior SWE level. This might be true given the ranges available on Glassdoor but I'm not too sure since there was only 1 data point available.
  • My Opinions:- I really liked the team, the manager and the kind of work for this opportunity. But I don't want to leave out on a meaningful amount of money being offered by other opportunities.

Questions:-

  • Assuming that the offer is genuinely at the top range, can I still attempt to negotiate given that the team believed I'm suitable for a staff SWE uplevelling?
  • If I should negotiate, how do I approach it given that they've stated it's the best they can do?
  • Do companies offer compensation beyond the high-senior SWE but below the low-staff SWE ranges to good candidates?
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Optimizing for career growth vs money.

Senior Software Engineer at N/A profile pic
Senior Software Engineer at N/A

Hey there 👋 For context, I quit a toxic job 2 months ago and I'm back in the job market.

I just finished an interview process with a company I really like, I think it checks almost all the boxes:

  • Company size (Series C)
  • Culture
  • I'll join the team that will be on the spotlight for the next 18 months -> My job will have a major impact.
  • I would be able to work on React Native if I decide to (I'm a frontend engineer w/ React expertise)
  • I think that I can reach staff level in about a year or two there.
  • People I interviewed with are superb.
  • Fully remote.

I expect to get an offer from them on Monday (I'm writing this on Thursday night). I know that because the recruiter called me today to touch base and to tell me that things went good! The problem with this company is that the salary is more on the lower side...but it's still on the range I have in mind.

The dilema is that I'm just starting to interview with other companies that pay 50% more, but finishing interviewing with them will take me at least two weeks...and the company I'm getting the offer from probably won't hold the offer for that long.

I have a few thoughts / concerns that I'd like you to help me sort out / discuss:

  • I'm thinking that it would be wise to optimize for career growth, I probably could get a better job if I manage to do great things in the company I'm getting the offer from. What do you think? The salary is not as high as the other companies, but it's good money. (FWIW, I live in a low-cost-of-living country)
  • I was hoping that I could negotiate a better salary with this company if I had other competing offers, but I got nothing, and I wouldn't get any other offer by next week. Do you have any tips about how to negotiate a better offer even when I don't have the leverage of a competing offer? I understand this might not be possible. I feel that I did a really good interview process though, so maybe I could use that as leverage.
  • I really like one of the "slow companies", but they've been just dead slow. I interviewed with their CTO and he said that they will kick off things immediately...but that hasn't happened. Should I ping him? I feel that they should be the ones making the next move, but I'm not 100% sold on that idea.
  • The other companies are just fine, honestly, their pay is what makes them more attractive.
  • Not sure if this is relevant or not, but I'm 36, I wonder if I should spend my 37-38s working for the company that pays less than the others while chasing career growth.
  • I have a good runway, so if don't end up with an offer from any of those companies, I'd be just fine for another 8-12 months.
  • I live in Latam, so it's hard to get 100k+ offers, it's not like I have a pool of options to choose from.

Thanks for reading! 😁

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