This is the third in a series of four letters.
In order to evaluate David's job offer correctly, CareerLab conducted an executive compensation study which told us what comparable salaries, bonuses, benefits, and relocation packages were being offered by similar size companies, in similar industries, in the same geographic area. Our analysis revealed that the offer was somewhat low. In addition, there was no severance in the packagea negative, since the job was risky. Equity opportunities were not spelled out clearly, nor was the relocation package. And David had not seen a copy of the non-compete agreement.
We told him we thought we could negotiate this offerin other words, get more. One of the things one can determine by negotiating is how the other side responds when pushed. Do they clam up? Get hostile? Become aggressive? Withdraw and pout? Or do they come back in a business-like way trying to reach agreement.
What is their style? If it's hostile and beligerent, look out. Working for them might not be such a breeze. The honeymoon might end quickly. As one of our clients, Ed Tauer said, "They never treat you better than when they're trying to hire you."
Since David had another potential job offer developing in the backgroundalbeit somewhat slowlyhe decided to counter by asking for everything he wanted. The football reference at the end of the letter derives from the fact that the Super Bowl was only a week awayand "going to the Super Bowl" implies making it big.
I generally recommend accepting a job offer first, and then negotiating key points second, not
the other way around. "I'm accepting the offer, and looking forward to getting started, but I have some concerns about the relocation," is far different that, "I need $65,000 for relocation or I won't accept your offer."
2200 North Forsythe Road
Los Angeles, CA 89900
January 13, xxxx
Dear Mr. Lando:
I am very excited about the offer you extended on January 13, XXXX, and look forward to accepting it. I feel very confident I will make a very significant contribution to the growth and profitability of ABC Manufacturing over the short and long term. The terms you have described are acceptable, with a few minor changes.
First of all, your offer mentions a confidentiality and non-compete agreement. I would like to see a copy of the actual agreement. In consideration for signing the agreement, I propose a one year severance package to be implemented if my employment is terminated for any reason other than cause. The reason for the severance is twofold: (1) as compensation for signing the non-compete, and (2) because of the inherently risky nature of the job.
In performing due diligence on this offer, I talked with a compensation consultant about comparable salaries in similar businesses in Orlando. Companies the size of ABC Manufacturing typically pay $115K base, plus $30K bonus, plus $30K potential bonus. Based on this, I'd like you to consider a $100K base salary. The bonus you have extended, while not a guarantee, is still workable-and I believe we can reach ambitious goals. If you have questions about the market study, I'll be glad to have you talk to Michele Tabor, the compensation expert.
As far as relocation is concerned, the $1000 per month for up to six months works fine. We agreed that if I move my family to Florida, ABC Manufacturing will pay 50% of my relocation costs, including real estate commissions and closing costs, and I will pay the other 50%.
During my interviews we discussed stock or other equity participation in the company, and with your agreementassuming the results are thereI would like to put a stock plan in place that is acceptable to everyone over the course of the next year.
Mr. Ronald Lando
January 15, XXXX
In exchange for these concessions, I'm prepared to deliver results quickly:
David R. Willford
|David put this on the fax and held his breath. Was it too aggressive? Even though he was working on a second opportunity, it was developing slowly. He didn't want to lose this offer. Walk this way to see what ABC Manufacturing came back with.|