Long story short, a recruiter contacted me through LinkedIn about a position that he thought I would be interested in. I was thrilled after reading the job description along with finding out who the company was, because it was something I am most passionate about among other things. However, one of the first things I noticed was that their headquarters was in such a high cost of living state and I would be moving from the Midwest. So, I immediately got the salary and relocation discussion kicked off during the first phone call with the recruiter. He told me he would recommend the higher end of the salary I was requesting, due to my experience and that my dollar amount for relocating paid in advance would not be an issue.
I had a 50 minute phone interview with the hiring manager which when I brought up the relocation package he just stated they do offer one. I flew out there a week after the phone interview and the first thing I do is go to lunch with the hiring manager and a few other people on his team. Of course, I was not going to bring up the relocation package question in front of everyone nor did I realize I would not have another chance to talk to him while I was out there since I was interviewing for the next three hours with various departments (HR was absent from the office that day). However he did make it a point to let me know I was the most qualified person to interview for this position that has been open for over a year now.
The offer came in and I was beyond disappointed due to both the salary and relocation package being so far off from what the recruiter and I discussed. I was upfront and laid out my expectations for salary and relocation during the first phone call with the recruiter. The relocation package/sign on bonus that was offered will leave me paying $15k out of my own pocket and the salary was $8k less then what I told the recruiter I would take.
I countered offered with $10k relocation paid in advance but kept the salary at what they offered. I am worth more that what they offered but this is a position that excites me and I see told term growth. Now the recruiter is getting irritated with me. When I submitted my counter offer he shot back that a family of 4 moved from the East Coast out West for the same salary package I was offered and they had no issues. I stated it was either he was unemployed and desperate or living next to a beach in S. Cali with his family was his incentive. Location means nothing to me, this is about the position available, so I will not financially burden myself relocating to such a high cost of living area. Also, after going through the divorce I did a couple of years ago, I will not put myself somewhere that could put my personal financials at risk which is why I want the money up front. All this was communicated during the first phone call with the recruiter. Their counter offer comes through and the recruiter stated that I would not be able to negotiate a higher salary anymore because they just hired another person who has 15 year of experience (to my 12) and he has a master’s (preferred not required) and like the family guy this person also accepted the same offer I was given but now I have double the sign on bonus.
I know the recruiter is there for the employer, but I laid everything out clear as day during the first phone call we had. Now 3 weeks later, after the phone interviews and flying out there, I feel like he is wasting my time.
My question is, what is the next step in this negotiation or is this where I decline the offer and walk away? They came up $5k on the relocation but I need it beforehand which he knew, and I will still be eating $10k to relocate out there for a low salary, but I have too much passion to make it about the money.