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Salary negotiating question here - need advice. Had a final meeting with a CEO and when talking about salary I gave my figure and it was stated that the budget for the role is only x but he will provide the remainder in 2 separate "bonus" installments after the first and second 6 months.
The VP, who is my primary contact and is new (so is the CEO), stated that they will not put this "bonus" in writing (offer letter) because of creative accounting they will simply pull the money from a separate budget. I know a few people who work there who have said that other people, from the old regime, were offered a similar deal and were denied their bonus when it came time.
I'm thinking that with this new regime they will honor this gentleman's hand shake agreement but I'm still a bit uncertain thinking that in 6 months I will get the ol' "oh we're sorry but we just don't have the budget for this"
Thoughts on how to handle as this is a fantastic opportunity but I don't want to get duped.
Try to assume they are not assholes, but may be depending on circumstances beyond what they know now...
Keep looking around for other gigs, and/or be ready to ask yourself if this gig is so cool, you don't care about the bonus, just in case.
The surest way to demotivate somebody is to promise a bonus that never arrives, hopefully they know this....
you're far enough in that you're discussing salary - it seems they want you - ask for half in salary and half as bonus (that you might not get) you're being flexible and they're being flexible - if they won't budge . . .
The response has been that any attempt to secure a salary over the "x" amount will result in a ton of bureaucratic approvals, meetings, and time with the company owner. This is a "big" company and they've stated that it's easier to just go with the "bonus" structure because they want to fill the role. I was brought in by the VP so there's the whole "former co-worker/friend" thing that typically makes these negotiations a bit awkward compared to if I just walked in off the street like a typical applicant.
Get it in writing. Or it won't happen.
Sounds like bullshit, if he is unwilling to put into writing they are not trustworthy and fuck you in the ass!
BTW - Is the CEO's name Mitt Romney @ Bain Capital?
Getting something in writing is for the purpose of 1) clarifying the specifics 2) affirming the commitment. There is no connection whatsoever to accounting.
The bigger question, why are they offering the bonus? Performance? Then you earned it. Retention? Then they might concerned about loosing you. Did you ask for it? Previously promised? Then I'd suspect they are just placating you to buy some time.
Sounds like bullshit. If they value you then the bureaucratic process shouldn't be a concern. But then again i've never negotiated for a bonus.
Heck. I didn't even know bonuses existed in the design industry. I'm suspicious.
Nothing in writing = no deal.
In business, there's absolutely no such thing as a 'gentleman's agreement'. They don't operate like this with their clients: there's _always_ a contract involved. So, then, should be the same with employees.
Walk away. Now. You're about to get arse-fucked.
One thing to be aware of is that bonus money is taxed at a different rate (higher than salary) so you will see less of it.
how bad do you need the job?
Just be definitive with them - you're building a relationship with them, and them with you. If they don't give the bonus - as promised - leave. Let them know you're considering the bonus as part of your salary - and creative accounting aside - you trust them to follow through on their promise; noting that you will follow through on yours.
Get it in writing or walk away.
if they're that upfront with you about how shady they are with their own accounting... i'd not be very willing to trust them with a verbal agreement...
Legally it would be a verbal contract but this would probably only help you if you got screwed then took it to court.
So I will tell you my shitty bonus story but it wasn't in a real professional context and before I ever had a real job or considered things like written agreements... but anyway I was working at this plaace that told I was to be laidoff in about 5-6 months but was told if I stayed until the end I would get a bonus based on a bunch of numbers and metrix and stuff and things like my attendance. I didn't have anything to lose so I agreed and stayed working there until the end of the term.
On my LAST day I artamged to me with the supervisor to basically confirm and verify what my bonus amount was going to be and he had all worked out in a spread sheet for me showing me the qualifying numbers and my pay out. So I leave the place for good thinking I'd get another 2k on my last paycheck. Wasn't on the check so I call in asking what is happening with the bonuses and I'm told I didn't qualify anymore because they "audited" the numbers and I was cut from the list by .02 PERCENT OF ATTENDENCE!!!!!! My attendance was fine but they started dinging me on like fucking everything, bathroom breaks, talking when I should be working... So I lost the bonus after they told me I was getting it by about .02 attendance points. I never felt so screwed in my life and I freaked on them on the phone, I couldn't do shit about it either unless I wanted to waste time and money on a law suit that I probably wouldn't win. They were a BIG company and I was naive and inexperienced, they knew i too.
Pulling monies from a separate budget is not uncommon in corporate environments. For instance you can negotiate for a "spot bonus" that would be pulled from separate coffers after a department's salary budget has already been finalized. I don't believe this to be shady but certainly creative accounting.
uuuuuuu - verbal contracts do stand up in court, you are right, but not a great feeling talking about court while considering making a move.. not a great sign but unfortunately it's a reality nowadays.
thanks all for your thoughts - shit is tricky
verbal contracts stand up in court as long as there's a witness...
and i understand that there are different accounts for separate spendings... but the way you present the story delivers as shady - especially since they wont put it in writing.
Without going into details this company has one owner who is TOUGH. Know as a very wealthy individual who is responsible for MANY companies and it's known that if a CEO or VP needs to speak/negotiate with this person it better be VERY WORTH IT. So much so that many company decisions are made in a way that doesn't involve the owner (who owns like 75 other companies) because the owner has to approve/see everything... that's an added element that makes me think they'd rather just cut a check from another budget without getting into all that. Especially since this is a new team starting - hell, I don't know anymore.
Above all when negotiating: don't be a pussy.