April 7, 2023
Brian Liou
Founder & CEO of Rora; 500+ negotiations completed

Walmart Labs Senior Data Scientist Salary Negotiation

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

Having worked in the industry for many years before doing her Ph.D., Alexandra is well aware of the importance of negotiating effectively. 

I learned from my previous work experience that your starting salary matters a lot, it puts you either on the fast track or slow track at the company and it's difficult to recover unless you leave.”

She retains Rora from the beginning of her interview process because she's aware of the salary negotiation questions that occur during the interview process. After a phone screen with Disney+, the recruiter says "We lock the base pay at $150K and total compensation at $170K, if you would like to proceed we need to know by tomorrow". Rora advises her to walk away from the company and they retract the compensation constraints. 

Alexandra receives an offer from Walmart Labs. In her offer negotiations, Rora provided three services that had an impact on her offer outside of what she would have done on her own:

  • Advised Alexandra with questions to understand her leverage to negotiate a higher level
  • Extended an offer by an additional week to have time to receive a counteroffer
  • Helped Alexandra remain assertive when she became fearful to negotiate her market value

How negotiable your offer depends on a variety of factors bespoke to the situation: the company’s hiring needs, your interview performance, how urgently the company needs you, and other pieces of information. This information is not available online, it must be gleaned by asking the right questions to the company. 

Alexandra’s intuition was to jump directly into negotiating with her recruiter. She was not aware of the research that should be done before you begin negotiating. The information you collect can be critical to justify your ask.

The first issue with Alexandra's offer wasn’t the compensation, it was the level she is assigned. Alexandra's initially assigned role is a level below what she should have been based on her experience. This was determined by negotiating her role in more depth. Rora then helps craft the justifications for the increased level and prepares Alexandra to respond to the company's objections. Walmart pushes back on this ask, causing Alexandra to waver, but Rora advises her to remain firm. Alexandra gets the increased level and her compensation increases by $40K annually.

Based on our market data for candidates of similar backgrounds, the signing bonus is below market, so Rora advises Alexandra to ask for a $50K additional signing bonus but Walmart Labs says no. The recruiter also now tells Alexandra that she has 1 week to decide on the offer. Alexandra tries on her own to get more time but fails. Rora provides Alexandra with a script to get Walmart to extend the offer by another week. At this stage, Alexandra becomes worried about damaging the relationship with her manager if she continues to negotiate. Having heard the responses of many hiring managers, Rora helps Alexandra see that she hasn’t received serious pushback from the hiring manager and her hesitation comes mainly from her own anxieties.

With the additional extension, Alexandra receives a new counter offer and we use it to negotiate with Walmart in a way that doesn't risk damaging the relationship with her manager to achieve the $50K signing bonus and Alexandra accepts.

Using Rora Alexandra increased her annual compensation by $40K and a $50K signing bonus.

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If you want to learn more about our negotiation tactics and market data, go to

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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