Wonderful experience with a Recruiter
Phase I: Interview - I applied online for a senior data scientist role at a large healthcare company in Minneapolis. An internal recruiter directly set me up for a phone interview with the hiring manager. I did well and they scheduled an onsite within 4-5 days. I eventually got the offer within a couple of days after the on-site.
Phase II: Negotiation - This phase was tough for me initially because I’ve never negotiated and was scared. I was offered TC around $130K (120K base, 10% bonus). The recruiter mentioned they offer stocks & RSUs to executives only and also relocation/sign-on was only offered to non-local candidates. This offer was already pretty strong given my current depressing TC. I was almost ready to accept the offer but wanted to try my luck at negotiating for the first time ever and so I asked if I could get back in a couple of days. I read posts from Blind, Reddit, and Quora to get some confidence and I finally negotiated during my next phone call with the recruiter. I mentioned that “the offer was great but given my experience in ML and the skills that I bring to the table, I am looking at an overall TC around $160K”. He paused for a bit and then said they have a tight salary band for this title and so he could possibly move the base to 130K. I paused for a bit and mentioned it still doesn’t get me to where I would like to be. I asked if they could do anything on the sign-on bonus to get to my target TC. He paused again and was like “Okay. I will talk to the hiring manager and see what we can do here”. A week passed, I didn't hear back and I started panicking. I was having sleepless nights with all sorts of random thoughts running in my mind. The nervous part was that he never once asked my current salary and that was freaking me out because this offer was already 60% more than my current base and was wondering if I should have accepted it right away. After 1.5 weeks, I got an email from him at around 10:30 pm “I have some news for you. Are you available to chat tomorrow?”. I was like “Whaat? He lives in Connecticut and so it would be around 11:30 pm and he emails me now?”. He called the next day and gave me the news that still gives me goosebumps. He mentioned that he flew to Minneapolis yesterday to meet the manager directly to discuss my counter offer. He was like “The team has a revised offer for you. They were a bit skeptical mainly because of your lack of healthcare experience, but we felt that we could get you up to speed with that. The team strongly feels that your ML & leadership skills would be a great addition and they had no problem in offering you a slightly higher base. In order to match with the salary band, they decided to offer you a level increase to Principal Data Scientist with 150K base, 20% bonus, $5K sign-on ($185K TC!!!!). Let me know what you think and if this would get you close to accepting the offer?” I was lost for words and was hiding my emotions to act professionally. I was like “The offer is pretty strong and I am very comfortable with it and would like to accept it”. He once again congratulated me and welcomed me to join the team. I was ecstatic after the call.
Phase III: H1B transfer - They mentioned a contingent start date (Jan 22) on my offer letter based on my H1B transfer approval. They applied for the H1B transfer and I got my receipt within 10 days. The recruiter called and asked if I would be willing to join on receipt since the team and the lawyers feel that my application was strong. I expressed my concerns over joining on receipt and requested if they could wait for a bit since the decision on premium processing is around the corner. A few days later, he put me on a conference call with the 3 of us (including the manager). We had a really nice conversation and the recruiter once again defended my situation and helped in convincing the manager. The team finally agreed to wait for the premium processing news from USCIS and were fine with me joining after approval if it were to resume on Feb 19.
The past few months seem like a dream to me and I cannot wait to join the company. I am not sure if I deserve the Principal Data Scientist title but I am going to strive hard to live up to their expectations and take the responsibility to move forward in my career. I appreciate you guys for reading through this long post and also helping me with some great posts on negotiation.
Current TC: $90K, YOE: 5 years, Location: Minneapolis