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I apologize if this has been asked before but I was unable to find any related questions.

Before I accepted the current job I got to know exactly how much another candidate who interviewed for the same role was offered. It was several thousand pounds more than what I then accepted when I joined the company, but I didn't think too much of it since he had slightly more experience and a CV slightly more suitable to the job description and this felt reasonably fair.

Half a year or so later I now feel a bit more confident about my role and I'm making a pretty good job according to my line manager. I also feel that whatever experience gap there might have been between the other candidate and me will have closed up in a few months, which is when my salary review is coming up.

I'm now considering my negotiating tactics. Of course my first approach will be along the lines of 'look, I performed really well based on XXX so I think I'm worth a bit more than what you're paying me'. I think this is the better and healthier approach. I don't want try to twist anyone's arm since the job and the team are both great and I don't want to spoil the relationships with my superiors. But I do have a nagging feeling I deserve a bit more especially if I've done well by the time the salary review comes up.

My question is: if the usual tactics don't yield the results I'd like, is it worth resorting to using the information about the offer given to the previous candidate during my salary negotiation? Is it worth trying to be honest about it and just say that this feels unfair and that for a proven track record I deserve at least as much as they were willing to offer someone with comparable experience without one?

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is it worth resorting to using the information about the offer given to the previous candidate during my salary negotiation?

No.

Firstly, the offer may be considered confidential and disclosing your knowledge may get someone (including you) in trouble for mishandling confidential company information.

Secondly, comparative negotiations are almost always a loosing proposition. You need to compare the value of person X to your own value and you would have to have a lot of hard data to back this up. Maybe person X has a few certifications or key patents or speaks 8 different languages? Showing conclusively that you are of the "same value" like someone else is almost impossible and easily deflected.

Finally, negotiations should always be about your role and your value regardless of what happens with other people. It's perfectly okay to bring in the "market rate" but including specific other people is not useful.Instead focus on your achievements and business results (not the work, but the outcome!).

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  • The candidate is an acquaintance and I'm pretty certain he doesn't speak 8 languages or have patents in his name. Although you make a good point - I don't have much in terms of hard data and this approach may be easy to deflect. On the other hand, I wouldn't imagine it's in the company's interest to make employees feel they are valued unfairly? – larabender Aug 31 '19 at 14:23
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    Oddly, if you make your company feel, that you feel you are being treated unfairly it might have the opposite effect that you want. – Donald Aug 31 '19 at 18:04
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    @larabender: of course the company wants their people to feel fairly compensated, but everybody's definition of "fair" is different. If Alice and Bob make the same amount, than chances are both feel that this is unfair since Alice thinks she is way more valuable than Bob and Bob feels he's much better than Alice. – Hilmar Sep 1 '19 at 20:26
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with being honest. If you have reliable information on what they are prepared to pay for a role, then use it if you want to. Weigh up the people and all the pro's and cons but don't desist because you're scared.

Negotiations are an important part of a career, there are no hard and fast rules.

My strategy would be to ask for a bit more. Then if they come back with something along the lines of it's outside the range. I'd call them out on it with my knowledge of their other offer. If they start being dishonest, I nip it in the bud quickly and politely. Which lets them know I'm neither stupid nor intimidated.

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