Dear Evil HR Lady,

While I felt like I was extremely prepared to go up to bat for the salary negotiation (even if it could be just for an extra dollar or two per hour), I was taken off guard a little bit when the HR Business Partner immediately went into how my salary would be paid some percentile or another (I don’t remember what percentile it was exactly-I want to say that it was in the 90th percentile). She didn’t even miss a beat to get that in there.

At the time, I didn’t even really know what that meant that their offering was in such and such percentile. The HR Business Partner didn’t say it in so many words, but I remember she worded it in a way that made it sound like they wouldn’t negotiate because I was getting paid in X percentile. I accepted their initial offer because they matched my salary from the company that I used to work for as a contractor, so I was happy with it, plus all the other per that came with the job.

So I guess my reason for writing you is to find out what your advice might be for a situation like that? Obviously, I could have just opened my mouth and asked, but at the same time I never really went up to bat for the salary negotiation before either, so I feel like I may have rolled over too soon. Maybe this could be a good learning opportunity for some of your other readers that may not know what it means to be paid in a certain “percentile”. Do you have any general salary negotiation tips you think are good to share?

To read the answer, click here: The Secret Language of Salaries

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One thought on “The Secret Language of Salaries

  1. Hang on – you are normally right on the mark but this time I think you are jumping to conclusions.

    I'm happy with your explanation of compa-ratios and I don't think this is really a secret. But if they said 90th percentile I would not assume they meant a compa-ratio of 90% – that would be plain lying IMO.

    In fact I think the evidence supports them being at 90th percentile. Matching a contractor rate at previous company shouts busted the budget to me. And it also makes more sense of why they explained they couldn't review the salary.

    Now you could be right and they just tried to fob off OP by blinding with science but I don't see the evidence supporting that.

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