Events

Negotiating Your Compensation Package - Women In Big Data x TalentSeer Live Panel

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TalentSeer

on

July 31, 2020

TalentSeer and Women In Big Data co-hosted a live panel discussion on "Negotiating Your Compensation Package" on July 22, 2020. Career coaches and leaders in tech & business shared powerful negotiation techniques, real-life experiences, and career insights for the tech industry. Over 200 tech professionals across the globe participated in the event.

Our Speakers

  • Marie Goodell: Marketing Executive and Consultant
  • Lorry Tang: Head of Talent Development, TalentSeer
  • Tina Tang: Co-founder & Chair of Women in Big Data; Head of Global Innovation Marketing Strategy and GTM @ EY
  • Sunita Sharma: Founding Member of Women in Big Data, Mentor, Author; Big Data Specialist @ AWS
  • Regina Karson (Moderator): Board Member & Chapter Director of Women in Big Data; Technical Marketing

[View speaker bios here]

Key Questions Discussed

  • Why Is It Important to Negotiate?
  • How to Prepare for a Negotiation [Watch video]
  • How to Ask for What You Want?  [Watch video]
  • When and Where to Negotiate Your Job Offer [Watch video]
  • How Do You Counter Accept or Decline an Offer?
  • Resources & Tools for research [Watch video]
  • How to Get a Raise at Your Current Company [Watch video]
  • How to Negotiate a New Job Offer if You Were Laid off [Watch video]
  • Should You Tell Your Current Salary in a Job Interview [Watch video]

*View blog appendix for more questions answered by the panelists

Watch Full Event Recording

Negotiating Your Compensation Package - Women In Big Data x TalentSeer Live Panel Recording
Negotiating Your Compensation Package - Women In Big Data x TalentSeer Live Panel Recording

Download slides here.

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About TalentSeer

TalentSeer is a fast-growing Tech talent partner in the U.S. providing integrated talent acquisition, market research, and employer branding services. With an engaged tech community, an innovative recruiting approach, and deep domain knowledge, TalentSeer has helped with 150 partners across autonomous driving, internet, finance, retail, and healthcare industries to build strong engineering & business teams.

Check out our job seeker page for career opportunities and resources

Need help recruit top talent for your team? contact us at service@talentseer.com

About Women In Big Data Partnership

Women in Big Data is a 16K+/6 continents global organization aimed at inspiring, connecting, and championing the success of women in big data. The partnership has a particular commitment towards organizing exclusive events that facilitate career advancement in AI for underrepresented groups.  We believe that starting this type of conversations, learning from each other, educating ourselves, and keeping an open mindset will help more women to transition into and grow in AI and Big Data fields and bring more diversity into the tech space. Read the blog to learn more about TalentSeer's initiatives on diversity and inclusion.

Additional questions answered by panelists

Question: How should you prepare and respond when the person on the other end of the phone shuts down the negotiate right away (i.e. no room for negotiation)? Who should you benegotiating with? The HR person or the hiring manager?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

Negotiation may begin before the1st interview, when a recruiter (HR or hiring manager) asks you about your expected salary range. It’s important to do your homework,investigating salary ranges for the position, years of experience &location (see list of Websites in Appendix of presentation). Know what your bottom limit is & feel comfortable to turn down a job offer if it doesn’t meet that expectation.  

The next time to negotiate is during the interview process; perhaps after a 2nd interview.  This is the time to inquire about company policies. This is time to ask questions about items that are important to you,such as:  “What is your company’s policy on bonuses?  On stock options? On health benefits? On vacation time? On travel? On continuing education or tuition reimbursement Etc.).  Use the template (in Appendix of presentation) to identify your top 3 or 4 items, so that you can counter-negotiate if made an offer.

The next time to negotiate is when a verbal offer is made.  Typically,you will receive a verbal offer with a base salary. At this time, it’s important to ask what level the base salary is based on. This information lets you know whether your salary as at the top of a band range, or at the low end of the band range.  When possible, try to negotiate a higher job range with a base salary at the lower end of that range so that you have time to grow in that position.

During the verbal offer, you also want to ask bonuses (% of base salary, frequency), stock purchase plans and/or stock options, matching 401K, insurance, etc.  After you’ve received answers to these questions, thank the person (recruiter, HR or hiring manager) for the offer,and ask how long you have before an answer is required.  Take at least a day to think about the verbal offer before accepting.  This allows you to analyze the offer and consider whether or not you want to counter offer.

Once you get a formal offer letter, it is not the best time to negotiate. I would suggest that you only counter-offer at this time if something else came up (e.g. you received an offer from another company etc).

I’ve never experienced being shut down when offered a job.  If the person who is making the verbal offer doesn’t know the answer to a question that I’ve asked, then I might discuss whether I should speak to someone else ifneeded.

Who you speak with can vary from company to company.  Sometimes, it’s are recruiter (who is working on your behalf); sometimes, its HR; sometimes in the hiring manager. Typically, the hiring manager has the most influence, buthe/she may not be able to budge base salary which is defined by HR policies.

 

Question: Many rolesI applied to asked for a salary range very early in the process (before an offer and sometimes before interviews). How do you handle that?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

Do your homework.  See the list of resources in the Appendix and search on salaries for the position (title, experience), years of experience,degree, and geographic location. Look at more than one source so you get an average across many sources.  Be prepared to share your expected salary range.

 

Question: How should you negotiate equity at startups / what are typical equity asks by level?

Answer by Lorry Tang:

In the past several years, we have worked with more than 200 tech startups. For most of the cases, we see the following pattern: founding team members: ~1-2% stock options; Pre-A members:~1% stock options; A round members: ~ 0.1-0.2% stock options; B round members:~0.01%. However, equity at startup offers could vary greatly depending on the industry, the stage, the compensation strategy of the startup, also the role this position plays in the whole team. When negotiating equity of a startup offer, it is important to first have a careful and reasonable calculation of the future stock valuation together with the startup. Make sure that you understand the rationale of how the startup came up with the future valuation. If there isa gap, communicate with the startup clearly and politely about your expectations and your rationale behind it.

At the same time, make sure that you also convey:

1) your ultimate goal is aligned with the goal of the startup

2) how increasing your compensation would be beneficial to the startup itself in the long run. During startup offer negotiations, chemistry can play a bigger role compared to other well-established companies. Therefore always reinforcing that your goal and the startup goal are aligned is critical.

Question: When the HR person asks for the desired salary/benefit from the applicant, is it a good strategy to ask about the salary range they offer instead of answering the question directly?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

There are different views on this topic. If I’m speaking with a recruiter, I’ll ask about the salary range,so as to not waste my or his/her time. If I am responding to HR (or hiring manager), I share my desired base salary when asked.  Because I’ve done myresearch, I feel comfortable that I am not going to leave money on the table.

 

Question: Will interview performance tied to where you getplaced (level within job designation). Also will it get you negotiating power?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

Possibly. If you do very well in the interview, the hiring manager is going to work hard to bring you onboard.  The hiring manager may be able to influence HR to bring you in at the top of the salary range & offer other options (e.g. bonuses, stock, time-off, etc.).

 

Question: Is There a good way to negotiate base pay and stock when within the company? I didn’t negotiate when I started 4 years ago. I got a good increase and a couple promotions since I started but I know from my friends-colleagues that my stock compensation is still far off.

Answer by Marie Goodell:

Once you’ve accepted employment with a company, it is very hard tore-negotiate base pay and/or stock options. If you do want to try, here are some ideas:

- Research base salary and total compensation for similar jobs in your company & your geographic area.  Document any disparity to demonstrate the difference.

- Highlight why your performance and skills benefit your manager, your organization and the company. Demonstrate The value you bring to them.

- Ask for support in addressing your salary / stock inequality. (Realize that it might take years to reach parity & that you might have to settle for slight increases over a period of time).

- Bring this up during your annual review period, as its more difficult to change compensation mid-year.

- If you are unable to negotiate a change, consider how much you like your job; assess what other benefits you are receiving from the job (e.g. experience, flexible working hours, etc.).  If you are still unsatisfied, consider looking for a new job as that is when you’ll see the greatest increases.

 

Question: What’s your advice for the women in a role for quite sometime? since the advice I received was “ tell the manager you would quit, you would then get the compensation you wanted/ show competing offer to manager” . but I feel that it’s ethically wrong and has huge impact.

Answer by Marie Goodell:

Never offer an ultimatum (e.g.you will quit), unless you are ready to walk out the door on the same day.

 Having said that, if you are unsatisfied with your current compensation package, looking for jobs outside of the company is useful.  If you do receive an offer from another company, it is o.k. to let your manager know that you’ve received the offer and are considering taking it.  It is o.k. to let your manager know that you still like your current job, and that if the company can match or exceed this offer, that you would be thrilled to stay. I have known several people who have done this, without any major repercussions.  It is not unethical or wrong.  However, in some cases, it may have a negative impact, as your manager may feel that you have one foot out the door.  This is something you’ll need to consider if you decide to go this route.


Question: 3 years back, I had a bad experience with a big cloud provider company. 4 interview went very well and hiring mgr. informed things are going well but then onefinal / important messed up everything.. instead of interviewing on what I havedone, he kept asking about he knew (none of those topics I had put in resume)and I knew I didn't do well... In the end, I was not offered... How to handle these situations?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

A useful technique is the STAR method. If You had problems in your previous (or current role), it is best to address ithead-on when asked about it. But you can turn it around to your advantage.   Describe the situation, the task required,the action you took and the result. Perhaps the action you took led to disastrous result. That’s o.k. Describe what you learned from the experience;describe actions that you took to rectify the problem; describe how you would do it differently based on your past experience.  

 When I first worked at IBM, we learned about this quote from Thomas Watson: “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s Quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all, you can be discouraged by failure– or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can.Because remember that’s where you’ll find success. On the far side of failure.”

By owning our failures, we have the opportunity to learn & grow. And That leads to greater success.

 

Question: How broad a range is to board…and which is better: board or narrow?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

When you do salary research,you’ll see the low end, mid-point & high-end.  Depend on your experience, I recommend suggesting a range between low end & mid-point +$5 to 10K above, ormid-point to high-end (+5 to 10K above). If you check multiple sources, you’ll start to see the overlap &you’ll know when you are asking beyond the scope of what will be offered.  Go for the higher end; be willing to accept slightly above mid-point; and walk away from anything that is below low end –unless you are getting something else that is really valuable to you (e.g. full payment for MBA).

 

Question: Are you using the medium range or upper range per the market research

Answer by Marie Goodell:

It depends on your experience.  Many women underestimate their qualifications; many men exaggerate their qualifications.  But your experience / qualifications do impact your request.  I stretch, and typically ask for the upper range because I believe in my ability to deliverBut if I had absolutely NO experience in a job that I applied for, I would settle for less.

 

Question:  About not to share the current salary. And how to approach it.

Answer by Marie Goodell:

If someone asks me what I Currently make, this is how I answer.

“My current salary is not applicable to this job opportunity.  I am qualified for this role because of <X,Y,Z> and I believe that I can help your company solve <this problem>. Based on my experience and market research, I am interested in a salarybetween <mid-point to high-end>. Of course, should this be a match for both of us, than I like forward to discussing with you the entire compensation package.”


Question: how to negotiate with recruiters offering less than market value, giving weak business in covid scenario as an excuse?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

Covid-19 may be changing market value. Salaries are impacted by supply& demand. When there are fewer qualified candidates, companies pay more.When there are many qualified candidates, companies may pay less especially because they are trying to keep the business up & running despite the financial impact caused by the pandemic.

It’s important to research whether market rates have changed in your line of business, your geographic area,your position.  If salaries are lower,and you really like the job, you could negotiate a re-evaluation of your salary in 6 months to 1-year after the market stabilizes. I know one young woman, who added this to her offer letter, and she did renegotiate after 6 months.

 

Question: How to ask increase in current company?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

- Research base salary and total compensation for similar jobs in your company & your geographic area.  Document any disparity to demonstrate the difference.

- Highlight why your performance and skills benefit your manager, your organization and the company. Demonstrate The value you bring to them.

- Bring this up during your annual review period, as its more difficult to change compensation mid-year.

- If you are unable to negotiate a change, consider how much you like your job; assess what other benefits you are receiving from the job (e.g. experience, flexible working hours, etc.).  If you are still unsatisfied, consider looking for a new job as that is when you’ll see the greatest increases.


Question: A question that might not be tightly related to negotiation. Is every bodyworking from home now? how long do you think it will take for us to work back in office please?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

Many companies are still having employees work from home. I suspect this will remain the case until there is a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus.

Question: Is it ever a good idea to accept offer/ negotiate at a lower level/title than the one offered since companies like Netflix lays off people if you do not deliver at your level. Is it a good idea to be at a lower level and do a better job or beat a higher level and do a mediocre job?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

If you do not feel qualified fora job, then I would recommend that you seek a job at a level that you are qualified for.

 

Question: Is itok to answer the range when being asked your expectations? What is the best wayto answer this question to make you get the higher end of the salary?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

Yes.  Based on your research (and your experience),the bottom range of your expectation is what you are willing to settle for andthe top end is what would make you deliriously happy.

 

Question:Sometimes right at the beginning (before interviewing) the HR goes over the salary range. So not much room to negotiate. What do you say when they lay it out at the start?

Answer by Marie Goodell:

If a recruiter or HR describes the salary range before you interview, then that is the salary range. If it’s too low for you, then it’s probably not the right job for you.  Check to see if there are other openings available that better match your talents.

 

Question: I just came to the U.S. I applied about 200 via LinkedIn, but there's rare reply.Could you share me some tips where and how to apply.

Answer by Marie Goodell:

This is a good question for atopic like Networking. Perhaps WiBD and/or TalentSeer and provide links to resources.

Answer by Lorry Tang:

We will create a video to explain how to network for job search. Stay tuned.

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