While negotiating is almost always a good idea, there are a few, rare companies where it is not only pointless, but wholly unnecessary. They are some of the large tech companies, like Cisco, Square, Uber and others that implemented equal pay.
Equal pay means the same salary is paid regardless of gender or ethnicity. How does this work? For example, men are usually far better negotiators than women, and these companies have recognised this. So candidates are given the same - quite generous - offer based on the level they are hired for. There is no room for negotiation. Why? Remember, how that would lead to men making more, from day one?
Being a hiring manager, I can tell you that it works. We don’t ask for salary information as it’s irrelevant for the offer. There is no lowballing, if people had far lower salary before. I see men try to negotiate almost without fail: but as a hiring manager, my hands are (luckily) tied. If we give a larger offer, we need to adjust and give the same offer to every offer going forward.
Look out for companies with equal pay and ask about this, during the interview process. Equal pay is not only fairer for everyone in the recruitment process, it takes the stress out of negotiation from both sides.
Gergely, thanks for bringing up such a good point. Companies that have equal pay -- or what I would call "transparent pay" since that builds more trust than blind reassurance -- are awesome!
As a manager, I'm a huge advocate for transparent pay, which is the best way to remove negotiation from employment contracts, and subsequently inequality (not to mention removing the inevitable management headaches that come later because secrets never remain secrets for long). It's a real godsend to managers, and it speaks highly of how an organization considers everyone's wellbeing.
However, as a candidate, we often want to work somewhere that does reward negotiation, and so it's helpful to be ready in those cases. I would be careful of believing that an organization has a "no negotiation" or "no exceptions" policy -- or even set pay ranges -- unless you have more information than what the recruiter says alone.
Like you said, Gergely, it depends on the company's size and HR maturity, and whether you're working with an internal or external recruiter, but sadly it is not a rare occurrence that one of the candidates I'm working with asks for something, is told that "we don't make exceptions," and then the next day the exception happens. This includes some well known tech companies. It makes me sad and motivates me to keep sharing these tips with more people.
This reminds me: transparent compensation calculators are helpful tools when you're trying to figure out what compensation to ask for. Even if the raw numbers don't apply, the impact of seniority, geography and other factors can help your specific calculations. They're also useful for career planning: not that money is a single-minded motivator, but it's nice to know the lay of the land.
Buffer and Gitlab both have transparent compensation calculators:
This also reminds me that a great phrase to use when you want to gently test the waters after receiving an offer, especially if there is some uncertainty on the matter, is to ask "Are you open to negotiation?"
You'll want to be prepared ahead of time with a number or ask in case they respond with "What were you thinking?"
Also don't forget to ask questions and politely state expectations. That might not seem like negotiation but it is when compared to silence; for example:
Gergely, thanks again for sharing such a hopeful and kind thought. You're the first person to put a comment on one of my dev.to posts and it really makes me smile :-)
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