Did I Just Receive a Low-Ball Salary Offer?

by Brian Skory

A low-ball salary offer is one that’s way below your minimum acceptable level. 

I want to present two real-life examples of our candidates receiving what could have looked like low-ball offers.

Candidate A

After a long round of interviews, Candidate A finally received his offer. It was a bit low. When I called him the next day to see where he stood on it, he informed me that he went with another offer that was higher. My client’s response was, “Well, I wasn’t entirely expecting him to go with our first offer. I’m surprised he didn’t give us a chance to counter!”

Candidate B

After reviewing the specifics of the role and the company he was applying for, Candidate B determined that he wanted to be submitted at a $110K salary. Our client really liked this candidate but didn’t feel that his skills and experience warranted $110K in their organization. They asked me to extend a verbal offer at $100K, to provide their rationale, and to find out if he would accept. 

So, here we have two different offers, both low, and with two entirely different approaches from the client regarding salary negotiation. Client 1 is fully expecting to engage in a negotiation and Client 2 is not.

From the candidate’s perspective, they have no way of knowing which position the client is coming from. Choosing whether or not to negotiate the salary then becomes a roll of the dice that could either work in the candidate’s favor (Client 1) or end the conversation (Client 2). 

This is a perfect case study that highlights the value of working with a good recruiter. A good recruiter would likely be familiar with Client A’s penchant for the “check first to see if we can get them at a bargain” approach. And as such, the recruiter could work with Candidate A to negotiate a better salary. The only reason this didn’t occur in this scenario is because Candidate A’s other offer was for $30K more, and Client 1 couldn’t have come close to matching that. It was an easy decision for Candidate A.

A good recruiter would also have been familiar enough with Client 2 to know that they valued their salary formulas and were not going to budge on that $100K offer. However, our recruiter would also know that Client 2 truly values their employees and is committed to their career growth, and that if Candidate B had the wiggle room to go with a $100K salary that this would be a great career opportunity for her.

Our recruiters at Stout System work hard to develop and maintain these types of relationships with our clients and to help candidates navigate the sometimes rough waters of their job offers. I can’t guarantee that working with a good recruiter will result in the highest possible salary for your offer, but working with a good recruiter should definitely provide insights you don’t get when you go it alone.

As always, if you are looking for new opportunities in the tech industry, feel free to browse our IT job openings or contact us.

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