With tools like Glassdoor and Salary.com at our disposal, today it’s easier than ever to use salary information to negotiate your wage at a new job.
But according to Bob See, a principal recruiter for Google Engineering between 2005 and 2014, Google is the exception to this rule.
“Google doesn’t actually ‘negotiate’ compensation packages with candidates,” he writes on Quora.
According to See, once an offer is extended, Google won’t change its offer. So negotiation tactics like “That’s not good enough, I want more,” “Glassdoor and my friend who works at Google both say I should be getting more,” “The market rate is higher and I should be earning more,” or “I’d like more base salary in exchange for a reduced bonus/equity” are irrelevant to Google’s compensation philosophy and won’t be considered.
See says that Google will, however, consider revising their existing offer if new data like a competing offer or current compensation is provided.
Here’s how candidates’ offers are determined according to See:
1. A recruiter gathers current and competing offer information from a candidate.
See says Google’s computer analysts will sometimes ask for documentation if the numbers a candidate provides aren’t in line with what they have seen in the past from other candidates at the same companies.
2. A compensation analyst puts together a standard offer package for the candidate based on established ranges for the role, location, and level of the position.
Standard offer packages include three components, See says — base salary, bonus, and restricted stock units — and they are what Google has determined to be the appropriate market rate for that role, location, and level.
Google focuses on the overall compensation package, not just the base salary.
3. If the overall value of the standard offer is more than the candidate’s current and competing compensation, then the standard offer is approved.
Even if the candidate’s current compensation is way below the standard offer, See says it’s still extended anyway. “Google doesn’t make offers below their established ranges.”
4. If, however, the overall value of the standard offer is below a candidate’s current and competing compensation, a compensation analyst will work to provide a competitive offer.
“How competitive depends on how badly they want you,” See says. This is determined by the grade the hiring committee has given you, which is somewhat linked to your interview scores. If this competitive offer is well above the standard offer, approval by the business unit’s senior vice president, who would have approved the candidate for hire in the final executive review stage, will be required.
While negotiate isn’t typically a word you’ll hear if you receive an offer from Google, the silver lining according to See is that usually the overall compensation Google offers new hires is significantly higher than their current compensation.
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