How can I renegotiate my salary in light of this job posting?
January 2, 2013 11:48 AM   Subscribe

How can I renegotiate my salary in light of this job posting?

Asking for a friend:

"I've worked for 4+ years for an inside sales company. This year my performance review was fine, but the raise was minimal to "help keep costs in check" and I was told I would have to now pay for healthcare it was more like an anti-raise.

Another person in my work group, who does the same job as me, was recently fired. Today they posted for his position on some job sites. Not only am I, 4 years later, at the lowest pay they mention in the job posting, they also talk about bonuses and incentives I do not get. So they have money to spend on an employee, just not me!

I feel lied to in regards to my low raises and irritated they will be hiring a new person who makes more than I do, but I generally enjoy the rest of my job and as the sole breadwinner for my family, I can't just quit.

Do I bring this up with them? Do I apply for this job?"

Thank you!
posted by haplesschild to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Apply for the job.

And for others.
posted by Etrigan at 11:51 AM on January 2, 2013 [19 favorites]

Is it possible that they were less than honest in your review?
posted by Autumn at 12:01 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Apply for the job, for sure. Bear in mind, however., that they may well have been less than honest (or at least misleading) in the job posting.

A salary range of "X to X + 10,000" in a job posting can often turn into "Well, actually, the position pays X" in an offer. And being theoretically "eligible" for bonuses and incentives does not necessarily mean that those bonuses and incentives will ever actually materialize.
posted by dersins at 12:11 PM on January 2, 2013 [5 favorites]

It is important to realize that what other people get paid does not change your salary.

If you feel you are being paid too low, you are paid too low regardless of what other people make. You can ask for a raise even if you are the highest paid person on the staff. Of course, your employer has every right to decline, especially if you couldn't command a higher salary at another company.

An employer should pay you either the least amount of money necessary to keep you at your job, or, if that number is too high, pay the costs associated with finding someone else to do your job. If you want to make more money, tell your employer you won't stay at your job and make the costs associated with someone else doing the job very high.
posted by saeculorum at 12:17 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Being optimistic, it might be that operations and HR are not on the same page. His boss needs to make budget and cuts costs where necessary. When cutting budgets, it can be easy to ignore the market expectations of salary. You need to shave 100k, and salaries/benefits are your biggest overhead. When trying to hire a new body, suddenly HR will step in and say "this is what the market expects if you want competent applicants."

Less optimistic: Did you recently have a shake-up in management?

I feel this is a shady thing they'll do to reset the corporate culture. Weed out enough old-timers and bring in new people who don't have the expectations of long lunches, or other perks. You can't lay off everyone. It causes too much disruption, but you can make it encourage the old staff to look elsewhere.

Apply for the position. Talk to the boss about keeping your salary in line with market expectations. You like the job, and you have specialized knowledge and experience that makes you more valuable than a new employee.

Also apply for other positions.
posted by politikitty at 12:25 PM on January 2, 2013

This happened frequently in the 1980s during the Reagan defense buildup, and again during the 1990s dot com bubble.

Bottom line: Do the best you can on the job and make them reward you, but also realize that the purpose of a salary is to be the lowest possible amount of money that the company pay to get a task performed adequately. If they don't pay you what you're think you're worth, it's time for you to test the job market.

If it is a larger corporation, chances are that part of the formula for raises is how well you're doing compared to others within your job classification. If you stay at your current salary and they hire someone else to do a similar task at a higher salary, chances are you will outperform them and get a bigger raise during the next appraisal cycle.

Life sucks that way, get used to it. If you're going to spend time in the corporate world, you will find these little inequities frequently. You'll also find that sometimes they balance out. Or not.

This is my view as an employee of a large corporation, and honestly, I work for one of the better ones.
posted by Doohickie at 12:38 PM on January 2, 2013

Yup, the hardest thing in the world to do is to negotiate a salary after being hired in. It's worse for sales because they think that the better you are, the better your commissions, so that you're in charge of your own raise. (I promise, I've heard it.)

So apply for that position, and paper the world with your resume.

And remember, you are loyal to yourself first, and the company comes in a distant 7th.

You work for yourself, and if you want a raise, your first and only option may be to find a better job.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:51 PM on January 2, 2013

> It is important to realize that what other people get paid does not change your salary.

It can. My boss at EvilCorp was pissed when he found out that I, a new hire, was making about as much as he was (it may have been more; this was thirty years ago, so my memory is vague) and he went to his bosses and said "Hey, you can't be paying me X while you're paying this guy Y, that shit ain't right" (or words to that effect), and they gave him a substantial raise.
posted by languagehat at 12:53 PM on January 2, 2013

I have experience similar to languagehat's. When someone was brought on after me at a higher wage but with less relevant experience, I got a substantial raise... and I didn't even have to point it out. My boss initiated that conversation with HR. This can happen if the formula for automatic pay increases at a particular company doesn't match up with wage increases in the industry or economy as a whole. I'd check out glassdoor or and see if you are being underpaid, and then discuss that with HR, bringing evidence of your job performance and a case for how you deserve more money.
posted by emkelley at 1:37 PM on January 2, 2013

My point was that languagehat's boss and emkelley didn't become underpaid when they found someone else with a higher salary - it's that both of them were underpaid before they found out as well.

In other words, the OP friend's reasoning to their management should not be "I found someone who is paid higher than me, therefore I'm underpaid", it should be "I'm underpaid per the market". The former reasoning can be responded with, "well, the other person has quality x and y that you don't", whereas the latter is less defensible.
posted by saeculorum at 1:43 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

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