February 27, 2022 • Carreer
- I envy people that know their worth and have gone through salary negotation. I have never negotationed on an offer.
- I’ve seen extreme differences in sign-on bonuses from people that ask for it/ask for more. It feels like one-off budgets are very easy to get approval for.
- Peers at the same level at Meta were able to negotiate 5× my sign-on bonus.
- A company that made me a very competitive offer gave me no a sign-on bonus but an equivalent hire was able to negotiate a 50,000 USD bonus.
- From my understanding, base salary is harder to negotiate. You need to get competing offers or at least have a good understanding of the market.
- Chances are that small increases are possible. A lot of recruiting handbooks also leave the hiring managers a small buffer for maybe 5%. If there's a huge discrepencey to what you want (15%+) it’s likely not going to work out, though.
- Ideally you have a counter offer. This depends a bit on the current market situations though, right now it’s going to be hard to get a lot of offers.
- Stock is the wild west. At public companies (especially FAANG) it’s an easy vector to negotiate for an increase, but at startups, comparison is very hard.
- I have seen equivalent hires getting a 50% difference in stock options.
- At Meta, initial RSU grants could vary quite a bit, however what really mattered were refreshers. I was able to double my initial RSU grant in the first year by getting a high performance multiplier.
- At startups, regular refreshers are not very common but I have gotten ad-hoc refreshers based on good performance.
- The biggest learning was to never work for a company without getting any form of equaity.
- My current suggestions:
- Always go into negotations. Focus on base salary but also ask for a sign-on bonus. Companies are much more likely to give significant increases in the sign-on bonus.
- In the worst case an offer is retracted. If this is the case: Good for you! You just avoided a toxic company culture.
- If possible, check salary of peers (talk to other engineers, levels.io, Blind). A lot of recruiters are also transparent with their salary ranges if you ask them.