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notes by Adam Sullovey

web & mobile application developer
practicing in Toronto, ON

Getting Hired & Salary Negotiations @ ExploreTechTO Meetup

Getting Hired & Salary Negotiations @ ExploreTechTO Meetup

TribalScale hosted us for Let’s Make A Deal: Insiders’ perspectives on Salary Negotiations in Tech

Getting hired & negotiating a salary/benefits package

  • Ideally this isn’t an adversarial relationship. Work with recruiter to both be happy
  • Skills that matter?
  • If you can’t get experience mentoring or leading at work, find it somewhere else.
  • Interview stuff:
    • You can talk about what you want to learn, to work on.
    • Be human. Check if you are making assumptions about other humans during this process
    • HR might get soured of you talk about salary before anything (skills, personality, goals)
  • Compensation is more than salary. Everything is negotiable eg:
    • signing bonuses
    • relocation bonuses
    • education costs
    • extra time off
    • personal project time
  • In a competitive situation, can you justify being $5k more than another applicant?
  • Hiring manger might be negotiating on your behalf inside the company.
  • Salary bands are a thing at organized companies. Less organized companies might not have them
  • HR does not need to know your current salary. Refocus conversation on your target salary. Know what you want to make at the new position.
  • For salary references:
    • PayScale is ok
    • Glass Door is ok if there are enough data points
    • LinkedIn has salary tool
    • Practise talking about money with friends if it stresses you out
  • Working with placement agency or external recruiter? Let them sell you. They know sales well.

Can you tell a story about how everything you’ve ever done has lead to the interview at this company?

Asking for a raise

  • Be ready to sell yourself!
  • When to talk about raises?
    • As soon as your uncomfortable about salary. You might never be comfortable taking about money, so don’t wait.
    • You asked for a raise? Experienced manager might be relieved to know what you are thinking. Other managers might be scared too.
  • Companies on the ball will review salary bands and market salaries once or twice a year and see who’s salaries are an outlier.
    • Were you offered a raise? It is OK to say ‘let me think about this is for a few days’ or even come back after agreeing to a raise to re-negotiate
  • Whatever the raise talk was, send a follow up email so you have requests for raise in writing
  • Stock options in lieu of raise? Know what options are. Know about events that dilute options. A lack of transparency about the value of options is a bad sign
  • What happens if manager disagrees with your reasoning for a raise?
    • Opportunity for manager to make a plan to get you to that raise. It might be a sign the manager has failed to provide feedback earlier.

Closing notes

  • When negotiating salaries and benefits, think about what you really want and why
  • Communicate like a human
  • Carrie Gallant has a negotiations framework
  • Don’t wait for people to pick you out. Sell yourself, it will feel great when it works

Check out this Meetup →

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