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Alexander Nguyen

Alexander Nguyen

Alexander Nguyen

Alexander Nguyen

26 days ago

How can you bargain for $300,000 at Google?

Don’t give a number

Photo by Vitaly Taranov on Unsplash

Google pays its software engineers generously. While many of their employees are competent, they disregard a critical skill to maximize their pay.

Negotiation.

If Google employees have never negotiated, they're as helpless as anyone else.

In this piece, I'll reveal a compensation negotiation tip that will set you apart.

The Fallacy of Negotiating

How do you negotiate your salary? “Just give them a number twice the amount you really want”. - Someplace on the internet

Above is typical negotiation advice. If you ask for more than you want, the recruiter may meet you halfway.

It seems logical and great, but here's why you shouldn't follow that advice.

Haitian hostage rescue

In 1977, an official's aunt was kidnapped in Haiti. The kidnappers demanded $150,000 for the aunt's life. It seems reasonable until you realize why kidnappers want $150,000.

FBI detective and negotiator Chris Voss researched why they demanded so much.

“So they could party through the weekend”

When he realized their ransom was for partying, he offered $4,751 and a CD stereo. Criminals freed the aunt.

These thieves gave 31.57x their estimated amount and got a fraction. You shouldn't trust these thieves to negotiate your compensation.

What happened?

Negotiating your offer and Haiti

This narrative teaches you how to negotiate with a large number.

You can and will be talked down.

If a recruiter asks your wage expectation and you offer double, be ready to explain why.

If you can't justify your request, you may be offered less. The recruiter will notice and talk you down.

Reasonably,

  • a tiny bit more than the present amount you earn

  • a small premium over an alternative offer

  • a little less than the role's allotted amount

Real-World Illustration

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Recruiter: What’s your expected salary? Candidate: (I know the role is usually $100,000) $200,000 Recruiter: How much are you compensated in your current role? Candidate: $90,000 Recruiter: We’d be excited to offer you $95,000 for your experiences for the role.

So Why Do They Even Ask?

Recruiters ask for a number to negotiate a lower one. Asking yourself limits you.

You'll rarely get more than you asked for, and your request can be lowered.

The takeaway from all of this is to never give an expected compensation.

Tell them you haven't thought about it when you applied.