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Negotiating  

 

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Colleague 45211
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Joined: 7 years ago
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January 14, 2021 1:58 am  

At different levels within a company you have more, or less, negotiating power. For example an Associate Scientist is probably going to be able to negotiate less than an incoming VP, who will have more negotiating power than a Director. So my question for the forum is:  what is negotiable in the 2020's at different corporate levels? 

Just a few things to get started: salary, bonus, are signing bonuses still a thing in biotech/pharma, relocation package, down payment on a house, long term (say 1 year) housing while you look for a house. Other ideas?

And what level do you think these are each realistically up for negotiation?

Thanks in advance!


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DX
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 637
January 18, 2021 10:13 am  
Posted by: Colleague 45211

At different levels within a company you have more, or less, negotiating power. For example an Associate Scientist is probably going to be able to negotiate less than an incoming VP, who will have more negotiating power than a Director. So my question for the forum is:  what is negotiable in the 2020's at different corporate levels? 

Just a few things to get started: salary, bonus, are signing bonuses still a thing in biotech/pharma, relocation package, down payment on a house, long term (say 1 year) housing while you look for a house. Other ideas?

And what level do you think these are each realistically up for negotiation?

Thanks in advance!

Hi, 

It's not so much a function of level, more this is more situational and a variety of factors come into place when discussion a compensation package, and I think you're getting to the non-salary part of the compensation package?

The biggest part of compensation package for negotiation is salary.  Target bonus is usually non-negotiable and snapped to job level.  This will be the case for very very higher level folks as well and part of their bonuses will include probably stocks/shares where they have negotiating room which is not the audience here.   Some companies will offer restricted stock units/stock grants/shares as part or on-top of the bonus and some may offer employee stock purchase programs etc.   Until one is much higher up, much of this is structured and not really negotable, the company has generally designed those benefits apriori to be competitive. 

As for them sign-on bonuses, usually linked to a burden or barrier to job acceptance/ that you may face, i.e. loss of pre-vested stock from prior company, or some other need.  Those are rarer these days.  

As for relocation, situational,  can depends on where the company is located and can depend on how much they want you.  Alot of these discussion regarding relocation happen very early in the interview process and the company has already made a decision if the role is one where relocation will be offered or not for the right talent.  So not really a negotiation point until it is.  

Same with those other benefits, I think the days for mortgage support are gone - maybe you have 'em but once in a blue moon - but again this would be for a very very very specially talent and they usually come in the form of a structured loan that may or may not vest over time.  Again, it's rare.  Relocation packages can be, and often are, structured with vesting times. I've had a few relocation packages - they're not free per se, you need to spend your time to "pay back". Until then you're handcuffed. 

In summary - all of that stuff is a many a function of how much the company wants you and that's across levels. And again situational. So what's up for negotiation is individual. 

The trend for moving folk has gone down a bit, least where I am, and many companies are hiring folks that can work from their home countries or regions, included senior execs.  And I think remote working is the hugest benefit one can negotiate vs. relocation (if relocation was previously an issue).

We fly in for important meetings, some may come in busy times for  a few days every a week and fly out for the weekend. Of course, Covid changed what was an important meeting so I would see more and more virtual at home working.  So now at least for me, a big geographic barrier has been unlocked, and at least for me, I'm rethinking where i live. I don't have to be in a hub anymore, just somewhat near a well connected airport.  But that is specific for my role - others may not be as fortunate, so those who work in a laboratory for example may not have such flexiblity.   

But I do think working from home/region is a key item that is now negotiable, to the extent that the company has not already decided the remote nature of the job - then you don't negotiate it, its just on the table to take.  As was my case, my job was remote from the home office (HQ).  Nothing to negotiate. 

DX


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