Salary Negotiation
April 10, 2023
Brian Liou
Founder & CEO of Rora; 500+ negotiations completed

Facebook and Google Research Scientist Salary Negotiation

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Disclaimer: We’ve anonymized the names to protect our clients confidentiality.

Cathy first gets an offer from Facebook for a research scientist role. The annual compensation was between $250K to $275K and included a $75K signing bonus. Cathy is also interviewing at Google for a role she prefers. Without negotiating the Facebook offer, the Facebook recruiter increases the offer and says the maximum Facebook can do is $279K for her situation. She also says she got a $25K increase on the signing bonus approved but to get the maximum annual compensation she will need a verbal commitment from Chieh to get it approved.

Here we see a common negotiating tactic that companies use. By requiring a candidate to give a verbal commitment to get an offer approved, companies are attempting to force you to make a final decision before you know the final value of your offer. They do this to protect themselves from using their offer as leverage for another offer or to prevent you from negotiating more by saying you already accepted. This is verbal jujitsu because you can’t accept an offer if you don’t know what it is. We have seen companies use this tactic to give an initial offer. We have also seen recruiters retract verbal commitments. 

Cathy requests more time and the recruiter gives her an additional 4 days but says the offer cannot be extended after that. Outside of Facebook, Cathy is waiting to hear back from her Google interview. The day before the Facebook deadline Cathy receives an offer from Google that is between $180K to $195K in annual compensation and no signing bonus. She prefers Google but with such a large gap she is more likely to go to Facebook. She is anxious because she doesn’t know if Google will match Facebook’s offer and doesn’t want to lose the Facebook offer to negotiate with Google. She is thinking that she will likely accept Facebook because of compensation and attempt a transition after a couple years. At this point, unsure of what to do Cathy starts working with Rora.

How Rora Increased Her Research Scientist Salary

  • Cathy was extremely anxious and we helped her think more objectively
  • We helped Cathy extend the Facebook offer by an additional 1 week
  • We increased her Google offer twice

Using a custom script that Rora helps write, Cathy is now able to extend the Facebook offer deadline by a week. We share the higher Facebook offer to Google and Google responds with an increase of 27% and an additional signing bonus. Google says this is the max compensation and adjusted for cost of living differences, is equal to Facebooks. 

Rora then shows Cathy how to negotiate with her hiring manager. Negotiations with your hiring manager are the most difficult but most important conversations to have. Your hiring manager is the individual in the company that has the most aligned interests with yours.

Cathy’s hiring manager advises her to speak to the recruiter about compensation and Cathy begins to get nervous but we advise Cathy to remain firm and communicate that she cannot accept unless further changes to compensation are made. After a couple of days and with the hiring managers support, Google does make a final change to the offer increasing the annual compensation to a total increase of 37% and a $100K signing bonus.

From using Rora, Cathy increases her offer by 31% in annual compensation and $100K in cash.

To Learn More About Rora

If you want to learn more about our negotiation tactics and market data, go to www.teamrora.com/learn.

Disclaimer: We’ve anonymized the names to protect our clients confidentiality.
Brian Liou
Founder & CEO of Rora; 500+ negotiations completed

Brian is the founder and CEO of Rora. He's spent his career in education - first building Leada, a Y-Combinator backed ed-tech startup that was Codecademy for Data Science.

Brian founded Rora in 2018 with a mission to shift power to candidates and employees and has helped hundreds of people negotiate for fairer pay, better roles, and more power at work.

Brian is a graduate of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

Over 1000 individuals have used Rora to negotiate more than $10M in pay increases at companies like Amazon, Google, Meta, hundreds of startups, as well as consulting firms such as Vanguard, Cornerstone, BCG, Bain, and McKinsey. Their work has been featured in Forbes, ABC News, The TODAY Show, and theSkimm.

1:1 Salary Negotiation Support

Negotiation strategy

Step 1 is defining the strategy, which often starts by helping you create leverage for your negotiation (e.g. setting up conversations with FAANG recruiters).

Negotiation anchor number

Step 2 we decide on anchor numbers and target numbers with the goal of securing a top of band offer, based on our internal verified data sets.

Negotiation execution plan

Step 3 we create custom scripts for each of your calls, practice multiple 1:1 mock negotiations, and join your recruiter calls to guide you via chat.

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