Recruiter won't give comp range; wants me to throw out first number

Oct 21, 2019 401 Comments

I'm heading to an on-site. The recruiter really wants me to name my target comp. I told her "market rates" and asked for the position's range, but she wouldn't get specific (just "high hundreds" plus bonus and equity). She said they don't pay like Facebook or Netflix, which I know are top of market, but it sounded like she was setting me up to expect a low figure.

How would you handle this? I don't see a point in doing an on-site if they don't know what market rates are. But I don't want to throw out the first number. She said she wasn't familiar with Amazon/Twitch comp ranges, so she's really putting it on me to anchor the convo.

Should I name a range, or move on?

This is in the SF Bay Area.


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TOP 401 Comments
  • Take what you want and increase by 50%. That’s your number
    Oct 21, 2019 1
    • Flagged by the community.

  • Google ×|×
    Myself being in HR, definitely don't name an expectation unless you know you're going somewhat over the range.

    But if they're not giving you the comp band and you're in CA, they sound shady and I wouldn't trust them.
    Oct 21, 2019 9
    • Intel aFsc05
      @×|×, then what to do with internal jobs? I am trying to GTFO but I do have an internal offer the hiring manager wants me to accepts without disclosing any comp details to me lol. He would like to not give me promo and only pay geo differential lol. I asked him to put together an official job offer but the guy came back to me asking for my current salary (I am employed under a different job code, so my salary is not comparable to the range in his team). I guess he wants to throw as few peanuts as possible at me. My estimate is with geo differential only my top Q4 salary will plummet bellow the range in his group. Is Intel that weird with internal jobs or are other companies similar? Is there a good way to deal with internal low-balling? I want to practice my skills :-)
      Oct 25, 2019
    • Intel


      Elmo is my roll dawg
      Intel is that weird (dumb). They dont care. They run it all off spreadsheets. I was in that position before. Boss couldn't get me a better deal because beancounter hr person was in costa Rica and ran numbers thru excel. Wouldn't budge. Only way he made it up to me was with a big focal. I suggest you either fight hard for what you believe you're owed, or dont take the new role, or simply gtfo. Intel truly doesn't care which one you choose.
      Oct 27, 2019
  • Facebook Johny Cage
    Typical low balling tactics. Stick to your stand
    Oct 21, 2019 8
    • Netflix vsudgd
      Good point
      Oct 22, 2019
    • Airbnb jair
      Why was it bound to happen?
      Oct 24, 2019
  • Flagged by the community.

    • Basic negotiation tactics are at play here. If you are forced into a first move, understand that this provides a window into decision making at the company. This pattern is likely repeated throughout their structure.

      Part of the information bolus when considering whether or not you want to work for the company. See how they respond to uncertainty.

      If the hr people are like this recruiter, this should tell you enough to wave off. You dont want to work for a company with a toxic culture. You'll see that reflected in hr and their interview process.
      Oct 23, 2019
    • PagerDuty QhwD03
      Toxic recruiter confirmed :)
      Oct 23, 2019
  • Samsung tipsycode
    If you already have a job, shoot a high number out there. Once they say it's too high, raise it by 10k. You have nothing to lose if you already have a job
    Oct 21, 2019 1
    • Twitch yikesman
      Yes I'm currently employed. That's a good strategy, thanks.
      Oct 21, 2019
  • Coupang / Eng

    Coupang Eng

    Pretty sure there’s a law in California that requires an employer to disclose pay ranges for a role.
    Oct 21, 2019 12
    • Microsoft poeticcode
      @hakehale I meant once you have an offer. In other words once the recruiters gets back saying they are willing to extend an offer. Thanks for correcting
      Oct 25, 2019
    • Airbnb HakeHaIe
      That makes much more sense. Thanks for clarifying.
      Oct 25, 2019
  • Cruise Automation hqudy651
    "While compensation is definitely a factor I take into consideration when reviewing an offer, it is not the only one. I think market rate is a good place to start the discussion, and I'd be happy to circle back to comp with you later on in the process, when I have a better understanding of the different factors that are important to me when considering a role at a new company."

    Roughly verbatim what I say when financial compensation is being asked before I've even been onsite (which is rarely the final step for me, I like to talk with the HM, team leads, and executive branch too). It's honest, pleasant, and firmly closes the door on the conversation until later on. YMMV based on how pleasant you are to converse with.
    Oct 21, 2019 6
    • Cruise Automation hqudy651
      Haha exactly! You all know each other and all the HMs, right? I heard back today...

      Unfortunately the HC didn't want to move forward right now. I'll be back next year :D
      Oct 22, 2019
    • Google ×|×
      @hqudy651 haha exactly. Best buds, really.

      And I'm glad you heard back. Sorry to not make it through HC, but good attitude :)

      I also say sorry quite lightly because Google is not the only employer out there (nor the be all, end all) - I hope you find your awesome fit soon!
      Oct 22, 2019
  • Apple / Mgmt ocke20
    CA law requires them to disclose the range when asked.
    Oct 21, 2019 2
    • Amazon


      Let s sue his future employer.
      Oct 22, 2019
    • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative qymI15
      She has to actually tell you. It's the law
      Oct 22, 2019
  • Apple hsagh
    Don't fall for it. Just stand for your number. I fell for it once and learned my lesson.
    Oct 21, 2019 3
    • Spotify dogfoodr
      Seems like lots of ppl in appl got low balled
      Oct 22, 2019
    • Amazon jupe
      thankfully, sites like can inform us and give us datapoints to throw at these recruiters
      Oct 22, 2019
  • Square YungStamos
    She has to give you a comp range for a specific role by CA A.B. 2282.
    Oct 22, 2019 10
    • DataStax pYCS61
      @Henry365, fair enough, you have your view, others (me included) have another view. Keep applying your policy, but don't be surprised if you get worse results than your colleagues that are aligning better with this regulation and the prospective employees' preference.

      No matter what you're trying to say, it's an employee's market. Capital has been cheaper than talent for a bunch of years running now, so "a lot of people to choose from" doesn't represent the status quo correctly, even if generally true (why do you think everyone has a competitive offer now). Of course individuals are not important (with the very rare exception), but this truism (as far as big business processes go) doesn't capture the detail that 2282 changes the employee's leverage.

      You are free to do your hiring by setting things in stone and trying to wring hands. If I can cite 2282 before Google's onsite, and get an accurate response (the offer I eventually was given was within that range), then companies that don't have droves of candidates coming to them should think about doing the same (or hire outside of CA).
      Oct 22, 2019
    • Go ahead and cite 2283 and please report back how it goes. Lmao. You don’t get far by trying to tell people how to run processes. Some may have comp on the front end, but a lowly in-house recruiter isn’t trying to fuck you if they don’t have the comp range yet... or if their process dictates that they only share once candidates are viable subsequent to screening or on-campus interview.

      Lastly it’s far from an employee’s market. Labor is expendable. It’s why it’s labor. It will get even worse soon.

      So just a word of advice on your attitude.....learn a bit more and have some deference to not assume it’s self-interested negotiation and not simply just process. A lowly recruiter isn’t trying to fuck you and you will jot open doors by citing technicalities. See how quickly that raises red flags . Lol
      Oct 22, 2019


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