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During the negotiation process, after I get a formal offer, is it okay to list out current compensation, benefits with current company with those of new job offer and send it to new company's HR? So basically what I want to do is, justify why I am asking more perks or salary or other compensation benefits by saying that - this is what I have currently and what you are offering is less than that.. so I need so and so increase from the initial offer. Is this a right approach? Of course, I am going to sugar coat all this and be professional about it. Are there any other ways I can accomplish this, or is it good the way I mentioned?

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  • You're good as is – kolossus Sep 24 '12 at 12:57
  • There are lots of ways to accomplish this. None of them are right for every situation. While this is not an off topic question this seems likely to devolve into a list question which is not constructive. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Sep 24 '12 at 13:00
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    You should refrain from indicating what you currently make. This is your own internal low ball figure, the figure that you would accept, if they showed no willingness to offer you more. – Donald Sep 24 '12 at 13:14
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Based on the fact that they have already made an offer to you which is unacceptable (I think this is a key element of your question), I see some value in listing very specific details about your current compensation. I know this opinion differs from some others here, but I've had quite a bit of success in negotiating with clients (I'm a recruiter) after an unacceptable offer is made by giving every detail of a candidate's compensation package and comparing it to what is being offered. Companies are often, in my experience, very responsive to this if you are a valuable asset to the new firm.

If you lay out specific details it becomes a very simple 'apples to apples' comparison for the hiring company, and they then know they have to do better or match it in the very least. Generally speaking, the more specific you are the more likely they will be to have a target to aim for. If they can't match something like your vacation days due to a corporate policy, it is pretty easy math to put a dollar value on a vacation day. The same 'apples to apples' can be used for other items such as their contribution to benefits for 401k or other perks that differ from your current position.

Where it gets a bit sticky is in a couple situations:

  1. The math could expose that your current package isn't as great as you think if you go into great detail. Let's say estimated work hours are 40 hours at the new company but 60 at your current firm. If the company making the offer is wise, they will factor all this in.
  2. If there is an area that the new company outshines the old, particularly in a hard to quantify area. Example: Your current employer is publicly held, but the new firm is offering you stock options in a private firm, that is hard to quantify and could expose your feelings about the company (if you put little value in those options, it could be construed as a lack of faith in the firm). Opportunity is another. If your current firm is not growing but the company making the offer is expanding, how do you put a dollar value on opportunity to grow?
  3. Once you put a dollar figure on your current overall package and the offer being made, you still need to find middle ground on what a reasonable increase is (or whether you would take a lateral).

I would start by saying you are looking for an X% overall raise, and then lay out all the numbers for them. If they want to provide that, there are only a few that they will be able to adjust in most cases (salary, bonus, stock perhaps). Good luck.

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I think your approach sounds fine. You don't need to justify your conditions (rate, perks, benefits) - you just need to be clear that you are firm on those conditions. Or flexible, if you're flexible, of course.

You could justify your conditions very easily - "I currently earn $X so I want at least $Y etc" - but they will understand that's how it works. Justifications normally happen when the conditions aren't very reasonable. If they ask why you want what you're asking for - which indicates they might not be completely happy with the conditions - then you can give your justifications.

I like to think of it this way - when an employer or client makes an offer or counter offer, they don't normally justify it with "we paid the last guy $X so we don't want to pay any more than that" or any other reason. If they do try to explain their offer, it's normally because it's a low offer. And similarly, you'll only be expected to explain your offer it they think it is too high!

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Since they know you are currently employed, they should know they need to offer competitive salary and benefits. I don't think you should indicate what you are currently getting if you don't have to. Go over their offer and make a counter-offer for what you want (You may want more than what you are getting.). If they think you are too high, you can indicate it is close to what you are currently getting.

Find out what parts of their offer are negotiable. Let them know you can be flexible in this area if they're willing to work with you. Sometimes a company can't offer to pay more of your healthcare or include life insurance, but they may be able to give more vacation time.

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  • I would agree with Jeff. You should not indicate how much you are currently making. You should indicate what salary you would accept. There is a subtle difference between the two numbers, one is what you are currently making and the lowest salary you would accept, the other is the salary you hope you make by leaving your current job. You should negotiate what terms work for you. You might choose to take a small cut in salary for things like ( health insurance, life insurance, additional vaction time, ect ). – Donald Sep 24 '12 at 13:13

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