Negotiating pay with new employer

Hi Everyone,

Anyone who read my previous post "planning on giving two weeks notice" knows I'm on the hunt for a new job. Little did I know my intent is pretty transparent at work.

Well, today I was approached by "Bob," and Bob is someone who is 2 steps above my boss in the hiearchy of things.  He asked me if I was planning on leaving the company b/c he could sense that I was.  Long story short, he said he wants to keep me here with the company--- whether that means moving into a new role or helping me progress in my current one.  I explained to him the kind of work I'm interested in getting involved with and he said he would speak to his boss about such an opportunity.  Although he is not my direct boss, he could very easily be someone that I report to.

However,  I am expecting an offer letter from another company in the very near future. My questions are:

1) In the event that my current employer comes back with a counter offer, how should I approach my potential emplorer about upping their offer?

2) Since I will most likely get the offer letter during the time my direct boss is on vacation, is it okay to give Bob my two weeks notice and let him address the other opportunities he said he would look into? I consider him someone who I would report to in my bosses' absence. Or should I wait for my boss to return and tell her directly and they can both discuss among themselves?

I know it seems a bit impatient of me to not just wait an additional week for my boss to return, but I'm very eager to give my notice asap.  I want to take a week off before starting my new job and don't want my new employer to be waiting too long.

Thanks for all your help in advance.





  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You have not said where you really want to work. Do you want to stay where you are? Do you really want to leave? Do you not care? The answer to all of your questions really  hinges on where you want to be. If you are playing one employer off of the other simply to get more money, then you should be fully prepared to work either place. If you are "bluffing" about staying at your current employer (or leaving), then you will most likely end up getting burned. As far as the extra week, seems like many of the folks responding to your previous email agreed that getting a week of vacation would be nice, but honoring your responsibilities to current and former employers is more important. I would advise you to do it the right and honorable way. Pick who you want to work for, be honest and good luck!
  • Hey, the owner of our company never matches an offer from another employer to keep an employee.  He feels if an employee is looking for another job--and found one--he or she basically isn't happy here.  He feels that if an employee feels underpaid, he or she should bring it up here before looking for another job.

    We are pretty small, so if someone wants a fast track in pay and career advancement, most likely the employee would be better off elsewhere.

    Hopefully you have considered all aspects of the move. So maybe you should just jump ship.

  • I have to second the sentiments of HR36 here.  I assume you don't intend to do this, but your message gives the impression that taking that week of vacation is nearly as important to you as deciding where you are going to work. 

    I also don't think it's a good idea to go back to the company from which you expect an offer to try to get them to "up" their offer based on your current company's new-found willingness to keep you.

    Obviously, there are too many other dynamics involved--such as your history with the company, why you felt the need/desire to start looking elsewhere in the first place, how you've been treated and compensated, etc.--for anyone but you to decide between these employers.  But I second HR36 in suggsting that "playing one employer off the other simply to get more money" is likely only going to turn off your potentially new employer and quite possibly your current one.

  • Generally speaking, the conventional wisdom--for whatever value you may place on that--advises against accepting a counteroffer from your current employer.  Statistically, a majority of those who accept counteroffers end up leaving their employer within a year anyway--and not always by their choice.  Think about it--your employer knows that you were/are dissatisfied and chose to look elsewhere.  To many of them, that makes you "damaged goods."  How likely are they to promote you in the future in light of that fact?  Your direct supervisor may resent you because your dissatisfaction casts him/her in a poor light (i.e., having dissatisfied employees in his/her department).  Whether that's true or not, how rosy is your next review likely to be?  Will some resentment at your aborted departure come into play, consciously or unconsciously?  Rejecting an offer from a potential new employer may also cause resentment and could even result in a bad name for you within your industry or field.  You may look like you "used" the new company simply to leverage your current employer without any intent of ever taking a job with them--wasting their time and resources in the process.  In short, all sorts of dynamics come into play.

     If you are genuinely unhappy in your current position but think you would like the opportunity proposed by your supervisor's boss, then evaluate what he is offering compared to the offer letter you receive, and make your decision based on their respective merits.  But I would not recommend letting him know that you have received an outside offer if you plan to stay, nor would I go back to the new company and negotiate with them based on a counteroffer from your current employer.  In short, accept the offer that is superior (in all respects), but leave the other party out of negotiations or the explanation for your decision.

  • instead of trying to play them off of one another, you can simply try to negotiate a higher starting salary with your new employer - this is completely acceptable. it seems to me that you don't want to stay where you are, so it may be better to move on. that's only a choice you can make. i personally would be uncomfortable playing one er off of another, but i know that people certainly do it.
  • I just encountered a very similar situation.  I agree with the consistent message that you are getting from the rest of the posters.  Your decision should be made independently of your current employer's counter-offer.  You really have to ask yourself why they waited this long to make improvements.  Is that really the type of employer that you want to continue to work for?  I negotiated a higher starting salary (than was originally stated in my offer letter) at my new employer based on experience, education, certification and fair market rate.  I have a feeling that they would have rescinded the offer if I mentioned a counter offer from my current employer.  My previous employer doesn't determine my worth with my new employer; that's my job.  Good luck to you!
  • Thanks everyone.  I truly appreciate the advice.  Ultimately, I do want to leave my current job so it doesn't make sense to seek a counter-offer, that will only make me look bad in the eyes of both parties. As for giving my two weeks notice, I will wait until my boss returns from vacation.

    Thanks again. Your opinions have truly been a great help.



  • I think that you need to analyze your reason for leaving and determine if any future offer from your current company would make the negatives go away. It is usually not a good practice to go around your supervisor as others may assume that you would do the same to them in the future, so you must weigh your next steps very very carefully. As for negotiating a better salary with your prospective employer you need to remember, just because someone in your current company seems ready to go to bat for you (and his motivation is not entirely clear), that does not necessarily translate to being a hot commodity everwhere. There is definite risk in playing that card. Is salary the only factor in your decision to change jobs? If not, then you need to consider all that the new employer has to offer and determine if it is worth the risk to attempt to renegotiate the salary offer.


Sign In or Register to comment.