I have listened to the podcast on how it's a bad idea to counter a salary offer. I guess I am asking if this applies to my situation as well. The recruiter initially presented a range that the base salary would be in (which I was pleased with). After several interviews, they asked that I fill out an application, which, of course, included a question on what I was currently making. I did list it (it showed I was making $15k lower base than the lowest point of their range). I did put my salary + bonus + commission.

I now have the offer and the base is less than the range it was supposed to be in. And, I suspect this is because my current base was lower. While the new company did present a higher base salary (by $10k) than what I am currently making, it is lower than the range they initially listed and I feel a little insulted.

So, my question is, is it acceptable in this case to counter because they told me it would be higher?



peterddw's picture

Hi Amy

The answer to your question Amy can be found by asking yourself a few more questions. The answers will guide you to a solution that you can live with. I am assuming you are currently employed otherwise your initial question is really moot anyway.

The first being economically time sensitive - what is your read on the financial health of your current employer/group/dept?

How badly do you want this new role? The new role may be a critical stepping stone in your career path and thus worth forgoing the initial increment if there are considerable benefits to accrue to you down the road.

Are there other alternatives available in your sector or geographic area that you can pursue if you turn down this offer? If the answer is no then again you might want to choose to accept the offer.

Unfortunately, I find the character of the people making the offer suspect, especially given that they have altered the terms after having discussed the range. To try and pull this off without any explanation is an opportunistic stunt and likely indicative of future management behavior. To me this is a red flag. I would feel perfectly fine declining their offer citing the fact that you were given an acceptable range at the outset but they have come up short.

You will be happier working for a professional manager when the next opportunity comes up.





TomW's picture
Training Badge

Just remember that it's not a negotiation really. Anything you say or so could diminish their perception of your value or take the goodwill off the table.

I think in this case, it depends on how badly you want this. If you are not 100% sure you want the position, then there's no harm in asking about why the disparity between the stated range and their offer. If you REALLY want it, then I'm not so sure that I would ask. It's risky since they could withdraw the offer.

I'm with Peter. I would expect a professional hiring manager, who was maybe suddenly facing a budget cut, would include an explanation for that difference and not just leave it out there for you to deal with,

ken_wills's picture

 I think it's entirely fair to ask why the offer isn't in the range that was originally communicated to you.


"Thank you for the offer.  The recruiter originally presented the position to me with a range of XXX.  I'm curious: why is the offer below that range?"


You're not threatening, you're not saying you're going to accept or not accept.  You're not negotiating.  You're just asking a logical and fair question.


* They may tell you the recruiter was wrong (which may of may not be true).

* They may tell you they'd like to keep salary for future raises (and if they say that, make sure you ask for a 6 month review with salary implications!).


Who knows what they're going to say?  But you should ask.  How they answer the question may give you some more data for making your decision.


And CONGRATULATIONS on getting the offer!




Ooops - I just noticed the original post is more than a month old.  So tell us, AMYDUNBAR - how did it all turn out???