Research Scientist Salary Negotiation Story: Alex

Alex first decided to do his salary negotiation on his own, but after attempting on his own he engaged with Ralph and had this result. Learn how to negotiate a research scientist salary from Alex's story.

Initial Job Offer: $218,000 Total Compensation

Accepted Job Offer: $336,000 Total Compensation

Value Added by Ralph: $72,000 Extra Annual Compensation + $50,000 Additional Signing Bonus

With a new PhD in STEM from a top 10 university, Alex didn’t think he needed any help negotiating a good employment offer. When Ralph first spoke to him, he declined using the service.

On his own Alex was able to negotiate, but only to a point. In recruiting he received offers from two FAANG category companies Company A ($218K), Company B ($289K), and a startup ($180K).

He was even successful in getting Company A to increase their offer by 21% after he shared Company B’s offer. He really wanted to work for Company A, but their new offer still came in below Company B’s. Company A’s recruiter responds with this:

"The compensation package we discussed is our max offer for your position. It’s not offered to most candidates. I wish I had more flexibility, but I cannot negotiate beyond the permitted terms”

Alex was unsure of how to proceed.

At this point, Alex reached out to Ralph. Using our compensation database, we knew that Company A had offered better offers to candidates similar to Alex. We provided three services to help him negotiate a better offer:

  • a custom script justifying his ask based on his qualifications and leverage
  • specific requests that we knew Company A could meet
  • mock negotiations so Alex had confidence going into the conversation

Company A responded with an additional 27% increase. Weary of the process and sensing push back from the recruiter, Alex wanted to accept. But Ralph advised him to hold off. Our experience negotiating similar offers told us he still didn’t know Company A’s final offer. He agreed to negotiate one more round with both Company A and Company B. Ralph showed Alex how to make this final request without damaging his relationship with the companies.

Company A increased its signing bonus by $50K; Company B increased its equity by $50K.

Alex confirms with Ralph he’s negotiated the best he could and happily accepts the Company A offer.

Note: Alex's identity has been anonymized to protect his privacy. Stay tuned for many more negotiating stories like Alex’s.

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