I got a job offer from one of the big 4 with a lower salary than I expected (25% less than what I earn currently). knowing that I can accept up to -10% compared to what I earn, because the position and the workplace are very interesting, what is the best way to negotiate? Do you think sharing my pay slip is the best approach to convince them?
This will sound too obvious, but they may have simply taken whatever number you said, and took approximately 15% off that.
Regardless, you have 2 problems
- They think you're willing to settle for less than the actual amount
- Possibly, you may have given the impression that you don't care about money
Changing their impression of your best-alternative
- Tell them you have received another offer, at exactly 100% of current salary (which is true in a way).
- Give them some kind of reassurance that you're not just jerking them around - say that you find the work at their company more interesting and are excited about joining (also true).
Changing their impression of not being interested in money and/or not being willing to stand your ground
- Rather than convince them your personality changed, and that you're not the nice guy/gal they fell in love with in the interview, an alternative trick is to introduce another invisible character who is telling you what to do. Yes, really. This unseen character will play the part of the bad cop. The equivalent of "let me go check with the manager" or "let me go home talk it over with my spouse" when buying a car.
- So in this case, say you spoke with an experienced mentor (make up e.g. a former boss who who works at X, don't give a name, 2 sentences max). The mentor advised you to take whichever offer is the best salary, the conversation with them opened your eyes, and their advice is precisely what you will now be doing. Because you like this company better, you are hoping they can beat the 100% number by at least +XX ... Believe it or not, this kind of nonsense can work.
As a final note, your reaction to any excuse about budgets or standard levels of pay should be very polite disbelief. Maybe a "yes yes of course, very understandable", painfully-fake-smile-and-nod, and then reiterate "but here's where I am, and here's what I'm looking for". If they're big-4, in whatever industry, then by definition they can afford the same salary that anyone else is paying.
I appreciate the offer but the absolute lowest I'm willing to go from the $100,000 I initially proposed is $90,000. Thanks!
Obviously don't send that unless you're prepared to continue the job search.
You could send the paycheck stub but I feel like that's providing information that they simply do not need. It's kinda like telling your employee what you intend to do when putting in a time off request instead of just putting in the time off request.
Like if you establish a pattern of providing excess information early on then what are you going to do when you want to take time off to interview at another company? In that scenario your options are:
- all of a sudden, decline to tell them your plans (which, in and of itself, could look suspicious since it's a break from the norm)
- lie to them and tell them that you're going to a doctors appointment when you're in fact going to an interview (and apparently a lot of people think even a white lie is a terrible thing)
Assuming you haven't discussed numbers before.
- Read up on the negotiation and package strategies for your specific company, for example: https://fearlesssalarynegotiation.com/apple-salary-negotiation/
- Make sure you fully understand the package (benefits, equity, bonus, 401k match, etc) and make an "apples to apples" comparison.
- Send them an "opening" note. "I'm super excited about the role and the company but this offer is a very significant pay cut compared to my current compensation. How can we work through this?"
- Take your next step based on the answer: Could be "Too bad, so sad", "What's your minimum number?", "let's review all the details of your package and not just focus on base", etc.
If you have discussed numbers before and the offer came in low despite of that, you can try the same approach but it's unlikely to work.