I'm working with a staffing agency on a full time position with a company and I feel like I'm going to get the position. I gave the staffing agency recruiter a salary range of 65-70k, but later found out from the staffing recruiter that the company has budgeted 80k for the position. At the same time I have a different offer for a contract position and they're willing to pay 45$ an hour (94k a year). I'm leaning toward the full-time position (considering the benefits and short commute).

My question is: Should I re-negotiate a higher pay from the staffing recruiter?

  • Here's the important question: have you accepted any offers from this company yet? Have you agreed to a salary? You're not telling us exactly at what stage of the negotiations you're at. – AndreiROM Jan 5 '17 at 20:19
  • I haven't accepted any offer from the company yet, and the offer would come through the staffing agency recruiter. During our discussion i gave a range of 65-70. My question is when they staffing recruiter makes me the offer which i think will be in the range i made, can i re-negotiate to bring it up? Considering that I have another offer from a different company. – user1913771 Jan 5 '17 at 21:12
  • You need to consider how long you have to make a decision on the offer you have already as well. You don't want it to rot. I would recommend approaching the recruiter first and let him know you have one, to get the ball rolling. At that point you can also let him know how much you now want. It's less painful for the recruiter to do it that way. Otherwise, you're basically rejecting an offer. Better to approach the subject before the offer's made. And then if they aren't receptive, you can take the offer you have. – Chris E Jan 5 '17 at 21:20
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    @MattD that $24k difference assumes that the OP works 52 weeks a year for 40 hours a week. Each week of time off that the salaried job offers is nearly $2k of that difference, figuring 3 weeks PTO/sicktime and 2 weeks holiday results in only $84.6k - and that's potentially without any other benefits that the OP might be missing (401k, healthcare, etc). – enderland Jan 5 '17 at 23:07

You're in a very strong position since you have an offer on the table.

As long as you haven't accepted any offers you can do what you want. You may piss off the place you are currently but nobody here can answer the likelihood of that. Also, only you can decide if it's worse the risk. They could just say "never mind" or they may not even be planning on converting you to full time.

So here's what you've got, according to your question:

  • An offer for a position
  • A feeling but no offer

If it were me, I'd let them know immediately you have an offer on the the table and it'll take 80k for you not to accept it. Don't give them much time either.

A promise without an offer is nothing, literally nothing.

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  • The other lesson I feel should be learned is: when discussing pay, whomever gives numbers first loses. If at all possible, try to avoid giving a salary range you're willing to work with. Tell them you'd be willing to negotiate salary/rate if an offer is extended. Do your best to make them come to you with a number instead of you going to them. – MattD Jan 5 '17 at 22:44
  • @MattD Giving a number first can be a good strategy, provided that you have done your research and know your worth. Problem with not giving a number first is the employer has much less pressure to provide a number than the employee does. – mcknz Jan 5 '17 at 22:54
  • @mcknz No, that's not a "good strategy". It's a bad strategy that has a small chance of producing an acceptable outcome. It has a huge risk of leaving money on the table if you go below what the company is willing to pay. If the company says the first number, the applicant has higher chances of a better outcome. – nobody Jan 6 '17 at 14:21
  • @AndrewMedico True that's a risk but what if the company simply refuses to give a number? See workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/183/… – mcknz Jan 6 '17 at 17:48
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    @mcknz if a company refuses to give a number, I'd be thinking they're intentionally trying to be cheap, afraid that revealing a number will cause them to spend more than they want to. I'd high ball them. If I was really looking for 90ish, a company that actually says we need number first would get 110k. If they immediately bail then I don't want to work for them anyway. At a minimum it should cause a counter. – Chris E Jan 6 '17 at 17:56

Since you haven't actually committed to these people you may still negotiate, yes. However, be ready to potentially have this offer withdrawn. If you're ready to potentially give up benefits, paid vacation time, and a short commute, then here's what you should do:

Go back to your recruiter and tell him very politely that you have another offer on the table, and that you feel that a slight bump up in pay would make you far more likely to accept their offer over the other one:

Hi, insert name here. I'm very excited to have gotten your offer! Thank you for your trust and consideration. However, I've also received another offer for, I'll be honest, significantly better pay. I have to admit, I would much prefer to work for you guys, however I'd love it if you guys could bump up the offered amount a little bit. I apologize for throwing you a curve ball, but please let me know if that would be at all possible within the next 24 hours or so. Thank you very much!

On one hand, they already have their hearts set on you, so you have a pretty decent chance of simply getting the extra 10K. On the other hand, some people may think that you're being disingenuous by changing the terms this late in the process, and either reply with a "take it or leave it", or simply retract the offer altogether.

At the end of the day, it's one big gamble, but you're in a pretty good position for it.

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  • That's 10K extra, not 5K extra. Still within budget, apparently, but not exactly peanuts. – TonyK Jan 6 '17 at 0:01

I have no idea why you would indicate a top end of 75 and someone would even consider mentioning 80 in any way, shape or form unless they're wiling to consider paying you more.

Like all salary negotiations, you may be asked to justify your counter-offer. Is it possible the compensation lags in some other area or the workload and requirements are more than you were initially lead to believe?

If this recruiter works for the hiring company, they need to learn how to keep their cards closer to their chest. A good head-hunter would be asking for 80K for you.

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  • I believe any staffing company gets a cut from the salary offer for placing you in the job, but I think a 10K+ cut is way too much. – user1913771 Jan 7 '17 at 16:19

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