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  • Dear Justy

    I need your help. I just started the hiring process with a company I really like and I already have the final interview scheduled for next week. Things are really moving quickly and I really want this job. I admit part of the reason is that the current situation at company I am working for is bad. I won’t go into it but I need out asap.

    I’m told the budget for the new role is JPY 15-18m. I’m currently earning JPY 12m total so this looks like an increase already and I’d be very happy at JPY14m.

    So, here’s my question: should I tell the company’s HR Director or the hiring manger that I would be happy with JPY 13-14m base? My recruiter is advising against it but I think she’s just trying to protect her fee.

    Thank you in advance,

    Gotta get outta here


    Dear Gotta,

    As a lawyer I think you understand that you are negotiating against yourself if you do this. There are a number of dangers inherent in this tactic: (1) you don’t look like a good negotiator – possibly not the best thing for an attorney; (2) You look desperate and the company might start to view you with skepticism; (3) I don’t know the company you are going for but it’s likely not the hiring manager or HR Director’s money you are proposing to save. It belongs to the company and they have a budget. A ¥1,000,000 difference or so isn’t going to change anything, you would hope; and (4) I could go on and on…but here’s the main point:

    The biggest danger here is that you say less is ok today but how are you going to feel 6 months from now when you are pulling all-nighters and outshining your peers but being paid less than them? I understand that you want to leave your current company and you see this as a great opportunity, but you haven’t worked there yet and you have no idea what you are in for once you start. Also, once you are in an organization it’s tough to raise your compensation and (assuming they like you) now is when you have the best leverage.

    My advice is to do your best in the interview by valuing yourself fully and let things play out naturally. If you are not a fit at JPY 15m then it probably wasn’t going to be good for you anyway – at whatever salary. Hopefully they also value you and your skills and pay you accordingly.

    As for your recruiter advising against your tactic to protect her fee, the difference in the fee the recruitment company will receive from a JPY 14m fee and a JPY 15m is negligible. Draw down what the recruiter gets and tax thereafter and I can’t imagine that the recruiter is thinking about protecting the fee but rather she’s probably just trying to protect you from yourself. It seems your interests are aligned here.

    Good Luck with your final interview!

    Posted by 

    Justy

    The Legal Beagle

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