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Human Resources/Just accepted job offer but wantin to ask for more money?

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Question
Hello,

I have a dilemma that I am hoping you could help with!  I just recently moved (few months ago) and I work in the health field, hourly rate.  I interviewed and was just offered a position at a local hospital and I felt the pay they offered was fair since it was very close to what I made before I moved.  I found out after accepting, without going into too much detail, but talk from another person who works in the very same department that they recently pushed the pay up for everyone in the department, and it's almost $10 more an hour than what I was offered!  Now I'm having mixed feelings because I don't understand what I would be offered much lower.  And I really wish I was made aware of this before getting that phone call and accepting it because at least it could have given me more leverage.  I have not started orientation yet, but would it be in bad taste to call HR and ask them for more money?  My husband even said he felt I should have asked for more on my initial offer because of my 10 years of experience and credentials.  I don't want to annoy or start on a bad accord with them either.  Have you seen re-negotiating pay rate and what was the general strategy and outcome?  

Thank you for your time,
Amanda

Answer
Hello Amanda!
Thanks for your question.  Here is my opinion.  We are going to assume your friend’s information correct.

The basis of most compensation systems is compensating employees within the range of competitive practices in the labor market area.  That applies to benefits and pay.  So the offer you received should have been competitive based on the labor market in which the business competes.  So what could have happened is the business looked at competitive rates, found itself below average, and bumped everyone up from their current pay level.  If that action was not based on competitive data, I have no idea why the business would take such an action.  And, if that was the case (a competitive adjustment), that should have applied to you as well. Although your starting rate should be appropriately situated in the pay range for what your experience and credentials.

The question you need answered is what is the hourly pay range for the job. Pay ranges are usually established based on labor market competitive data. Let’s say the average employee with similar experience and credentials earns $30 / hr. and the pay range for the job is $20 - $30 / hr. It is possible that you were hired at the minimum of the pay range which is OK for inexperienced candidates but not the usual business practice for a candidate like yourself.  Many businesses do not share pay ranges with employees.  That is an “old school” practice, but it is still around.

So without more data and understanding the compensation system, I can’t add much to this explanation. There are exceptions.  In labor markets where a shortage of certain skills is prominent, it does sometimes happen that companies put aside typical compensation practices to attract/retain those skills.  That does create a bit of a mess in the competition system.
Here is my recommendation.  If you can do some research (internet, local employment office), it would be good to find out what people like you earn at similar facilities in the area.  In other words, try to find out what the competitive pay rate is for your job.  It is important that you compare similar jobs, similar experience, and similar credentials.  That info would be a good to have in your hand when you stop in to see HR.

Pay a visit to HR. Be polite and professional.  If you have competitive data discuss it.  If not, just let them know what you “heard”, ask if that is accurate (don’t assume it is), and if so, why the differential of $10/hr. between you and similar employees in that department.  And I would ask what the established pay range is for the job.  And if the conversation is going well, ask how the compensation system works.  Depart on a positive note despite how the conversation goes.  It keeps you in the “driver’s seat”.

I would honor your offer acceptance commitment to the employer; doing otherwise would probably not benefit you.

You always have the option of working a few months, inquiring around to validate that you are, or are not paid competitively, and jump ship if you find the right opportunity.  Hey, if you decide to change employers, you will be well versed in competitive pay practice and certainly have a sound reason for making the change.

If you have time, let me know how it goes.

I hope that helps Amanda!  Good luck to you!

Mark

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Mark Eichinger

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Any type of question related to domestic and international Human Resources work. My H.R. passions include Compensation design and systems in competitive markets, Health and Safety in Industrial Environments, Performance Management, Talent Management (Hiring, Selection, Employee Development, Compensation, Creating Space, etc.), Communications, Coaching, Counseling, Leadership, and Management. Questions I cannot answer: I am sure there are questions within these categories that I may not be able to answer but my experience below would suggest those would be few.

Experience

I own International Human Resources Coaching and Consulting, LLC. www.IHRCConline.com. Previously, I successfully held corporate executive and management leadership positions from 1979 to 2007 in two $9B+ multi-national corporations. Positions included: Vice President, Human Resources for the Asia Pacific Region, Eaton Corporation; I was based in Shanghai, China. Prior to that assignment, Vice President, Human Resources International and Operations, Eaton World Headquarters, Cleveland, Ohio with global responsibility for Eaton’s Human Resources practices, international assignee management, and Regional Human Resources Directors in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Central and South America. Specifically, my experience spans work at domestic and international locations at the operating plant, division, business unit, and corporate levels and most business scenarios to include startups, closedowns, restructurings, integrations, and ongoing operations. I am an Eaton Business Excellence Assessment Examiner (Malcolm Baldrige based system). I introduced processes and process mapping into the Human Resources environment. I have extensive experience with and working in domestic and international organization matrix structures. In the Asia Pacific region, my responsibilities included, leading the regions H.R. team and processes, managing the H.R. relationship with the corporation, creating and leading the professional and general manager development programs, China’s university relations program and managing the Asia Pacific key leader’s process. I have coached managers and leaders. I am a professional listener, my style open, direct, and focused on leader accountability and employee engagement. In Summary, my career responsibility included more than 60,000 employees, 60 union and union free operations, and 45 countries. I also lived in Korea for two years while in service with the USA’s armed forces.

Organizations
SCORE – Counselors to Americas Small Business; at various locations I have also belonged to Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and the Chamber of Commerce. I have served on Boards of medical, community and institutional organizations.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Youngstown State University. MBA work Youngstown State University, and University of Bridgeport. University of Tennessee, Lean Manufacturing Certified. Thunderbird School of Global Management, Management Certified.

Awards and Honors
Corporate level awards for compensation systems, communications campaigns.

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