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Today, I got my verbal full-time offer (good salary + bonus) downgraded to temp-to-perm, with a 6-month review, after a day of my giving them references to contact.

Needless to say, I'm a bit disappointed and asked for a bit of time to decide. I have until the end of this week to give them an answer, as they claim that there is another candidate whom they might offer my position to, if I decline.

How should I proceed? Should I try and negotiate?

It's a strong company with great earnings, so I know they're not short on cash (it's not a start-up). However, I'm unsure now whether I would fit in well with the manager and his group, given my status of temp-to-perm, when originally I was discussing a direct hire offer.

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    What other prospects do you have in the pipeline? – Patricia Shanahan Sep 18 '18 at 23:25
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    Are you willing to take the temp-to-perm? Or is it definitely a no-go? – DarkCygnus Sep 18 '18 at 23:25
  • @PatriciaShanahan none, but they don't know that, since I told them I was being considered elsewhere, a place that they respect. but, that didn't change their minds, unfortunately. The place where I am being considered at ... has been moving very slowly, so no offer / rejection yet. – Jalapeno Nachos Sep 18 '18 at 23:29
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    @JalapenoNachos can't know if they will be vicious. Given this is a professional situation, and is also business, negotiation is natural part of it, so you are in full rights to try renegotiate (as they did to your offer) – DarkCygnus Sep 18 '18 at 23:33
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    You may not be able to renegotiate back to immediate perm but you could probably negotiate a higher salary during your probationary period. This might be the best option for you as it gives you six months to try out the company risk free. If it doesn't work out, you have a great explanation to give future employers--"my contract was up." – AffableAmbler Sep 19 '18 at 1:27
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However, I'm unsure now whether I would fit in well with the manager and his group

Think about how you could increase your confidence that you would fit in with the manager. Then try to move forward on that. For example, perhaps another talk with the manager would ease your mind. Perhaps a talk with some of your potential peers who already work for this manager could help.

You already felt that this manager was being rude by asking for your references before making an offer. Hopefully, you are able to get your head around that occurrence.

And it seems the manager isn't quite sure about you yet. Offering a temp-to-perm job makes it easier for both sides to give up on the other. I personally would never accept a temp-to-perm job. I've always felt that if both side weren't 100% confident, then it wasn't the right place to be. But then I've never been in a desperate situation.

In my experience, fitting in well with your manager is the single most important predictor of success and happiness in a job. An often-repeated saying goes "You don't quit your job, you quit your manager."

If you can't get to a comfort point with the manager, that doesn't bode well for your job at this company. Make sure you keep your other prospects moving forward until you have completely decided on this one.

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How should I proceed? Should I try and negotiate?

You should proceed first by considering the counter-offer they gave you.

If it is ok for you then proceed to take it, if not then it seems you may have to try negotiate it back to perm, or try to ask for some other benefits that compensate for the downgrade of the offer. Have in mind that they may not be willing to change their counter-offer, case in which there are few things left to do if you still don't want it...

... if this happens I hope that you have other job options considered, as one should always try to have more than one prospect offer. If you have, and some of those offers are more beneficial to you then consider taking one of those instead, and politely decline this one.

If you don't have other options I strongly suggest you try to seek some alternative offers, that way if your re-negotiation fails and you are sure you don't want the temp-to-perm you have other options to explore.

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