A recruiting agency offered me a job at a given rate. Two successful job interviews took place with the company and the outcome was very positive. However, after realizing my qualifications, the company totally changed the job description and added a lot more responsibilities. I told the recruiting agency that I'm very interested but I'm not comfortable with the low pay for the new tasks involved with the job. I'm waiting to hear from them (last interview and communication with the recruiter was two days ago).

Do you have any recommendation on pursuing negotiations?

  • 3
    Definitely call the recruiter for an update. You've possibly weakened your position a bit by originally applying for a job and salary you're overqualified for, but it sounds like they're keen to hire you for your extra skill-set. Has the company just expanded the role after the interviews, i.e. without interviewing you on the extra skills though? You could suggest meeting them again to demonstrate those skills and prove you're worth the extra.
    – Rup
    Apr 13 '16 at 13:49
  • At the first interview, I mentioned my experience in other areas that will really benefit them. These were not mentioned in the job description. At the second interview they came up with an additional project without mentioning pay. I can help and agreed with the new project. I felt it wasn't my place to mention pay directly to the company, but did so with the recruiter. True, I applied for a job I'm overqualified for, but they understand I have a lot more to offer. I imagine there will be delays since they have to negotiate with the company. I will contact the recruiter. Thanks for the help!
    – Claire
    Apr 13 '16 at 14:16
  • 1
    Was this for contract or full time employment?
    – Xavier J
    Apr 13 '16 at 16:22
  • Nine-month contract potentially leading to full-time employment. No benefits for 9 months.
    – Claire
    Apr 13 '16 at 16:59
  • Less responsibilities, less work load. The answer is maybe. The point is getting paid fairly for the tasks accomplished I guess. But after proving myself, there's always room for re-negotiations. Thanks for the thought-provoking comment!
    – Claire
    Apr 14 '16 at 0:28

Thanks for responding in the comment section as to whether this is for full-time or contract employment.

I've done contract work (mostly) on and off for about 20 years now. One rule of thumb is that whatever you offer in the beginning as your hourly rate, you're usually going to have to suck it up unless the responsibility level is drastically different. One example of a higher responsibility level might be you being hired as a developer, but being asked to function as the team lead or manager. Generally, if it's just a few more tools to use each day, you're not going to get anywhere with the argument, because you're being paid by the hour.

This brings me to point #2. Don't low-ball, because you'll get stuck, as with this!!! If your skill in the market would get you, say, $75/hr in most places, then don't even bother offering yourself up for a gig paying only $50/hr unless you're desperate and you can keep cool about making less-than-market. Sometimes, recruiters won't even bother if there's a huge variance between their offer and your normal rate, even if you're pressing for it -- because there's likelihood that you'll quit and get a job with your normal rate anyhow. Contracting takes a lot of nerve and patience.

  • 1
    Great comments, nice lesson learned (it's my first time with a recruiter). I'm a long-term kind of person, so if I like it I won't quit. At this point the company offered to "buy me out" after an initial period, which still has to be determined. I hope they can come to an agreement. After all, this is a trial period for both the employee and the employer. Thanks for taking the time to respond! (PS: Are you French?... referring to your name. Moi je suis francaise.)
    – Claire
    Apr 14 '16 at 0:36

From the question this is a totally different job from the one you were applying for. This is really a judgement call on your part, but so far you have done the right thing by saying you are unhappy with the amount.

You need to work out whether the possibility of not getting the job is outweighed by the obvious benefits of getting paid more. I have turned down jobs which wanted to give me more responsibility than I was comfortable for the amount paid. To me it's not so much the skillset I'm worried about, because it's been rare for me to actually do exactly what was on the job description anyway 100% of the time. It's more about the responsibility. If I'm to take over responsibility for a whole section of work, or start a new project that they didn't have the human resources to do previously, I want to get paid more because I'm in the firing line if things get tricky and I want the authority to get things accomplished and the pay to go with it.

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