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Negotiating job offers

(26 Posts)
ocelot41 Sun 29-May-16 09:32:54

I am currently job hunting and it looks like I may have a couple of job offers about to hit the table.

Its normal in the US to negotiate a bit and women are often reminded not to accept the first offer, as men never do and its one of the things that perpetuates the gender gap in salaries/working conditions.

What is normal here please? I would genuinely be delighted if I get an offer from my preferred institution. Also, what would be a normal time line for making a decision?

MedSchoolRat Sun 29-May-16 09:46:09

It is very normal to negotiate in UK, too!
Don't sign anything until you have assurance in writing about the most important details.
Negotiating for salary is unlikely unless you're a high-publishing flyer, though (or offered at Oxbridge, I suspect they have their own conventions).
But hours, days, desk details (shared office?), your own PA, teaching load, admin load, may all get on the table.

What level position is it, what kind of dept?

MedSchoolRat Sun 29-May-16 09:46:54

.. and what kind of terms do you want to negotiate?
That has bearing on how fast they will reply, too.

ocelot41 Sun 29-May-16 09:52:57

Thanks for replying MedSchool. I am in hums/social sciences and am at a senior level (although not a professor). I had better not say more than that as otherwise I risk outing myself. Salary could be important for one of the jobs as it would involve a relocation for my family and I would be the sole wage earner for a bit.

esornep Sun 29-May-16 10:39:36

Negotiating for salary is unlikely unless you're a high-publishing flyer.

No, I don't think this is true. In many cases you can nudge the offer up by at least a point or two on the pay scale. As OP said, females are less likely to do this and suffer accordingly.

But hours, days, desk details (shared office?), your own PA, teaching load, admin load.

This sounds quite specific to own area of research. Hours and days are usually flexible, except for teaching constraints. It would be quite astonishing to be asked to share an office at lecturer/reader level or higher in most fields. A PA? Seriously? Only the head of department gets one in my field.

The amount of negotiation on teaching and admin load depends on departmental circumstances. I'm in a department where we have barely enough people to do the teaching, so reduced teaching is not on the table unless you bring a major grant which provides a teaching replacement. Ditto for admin.

ocelot41 Sun 29-May-16 11:26:25

Thanks for all your advice.I would not expect a PA either and am coming with a research grant so don't anticipate teaching/admin load will be too much of an issue. I was more concerned in case the older institution make me a cheeky low offer on the grounds that they are an RG institution. I have heard of this happening a lot before! But then this is all a bit preemptive as nothing final is on the table yet..

ocelot41 Sun 29-May-16 11:31:24

I have a friend who was offered 15k less than he was on at a new uni to move to an RG!!! I was really shock

MedSchoolRat Sun 29-May-16 13:35:03

Not just field specific, but institution specific. If you want a job in my MedSchool, below Professor level then you will share an office. You might be able to negotiate sharing to being with only 1-3 other people (some argue that the PT Professors should share, too).

ocelot41 Sun 29-May-16 14:01:42

Sharing offices isn't my favourite thing, but Bose sound cancelling headphones help A LOTsmile

MarasmeAbsolu Sun 29-May-16 22:38:45

Things you can negotiate here (RG)
- office space (everyone shares, except profs)
- salary
- lab starting grant (~£30k not unusual for profs, less for S/L, L)
- PhD studentships
- part-time tech support, or named tech to assist (rarely FT)
- number of years with reduced admin / teaching load

we get working from home de facto and athena swan friendly hours too

FoggyBottom Mon 30-May-16 13:40:09

I have a friend who was offered 15k less than he was on at a new uni to move to an RG

Well, I can see the reasoning - the move up from a post-92 to an RG may well be worth a fair bit in salary. In the Humanities, it's standard that the teaching load will be about two-thirds to half of a post-92, and student numbers lower; better support for research - usually guaranteed sabbatical, rather than the hodge-podge of post-92 arrangements. Teaching better prepared & higher achieving undergrads, actually having PhD students ...

I the humanities (in my field anyway) these are all pretty usual differences between a research-led university & a post-92.

For anyone coming to us from a post-92 it would be seen as quite a step up, although I doubt they'd have to take a drop in salary, but they may not get the usual 10% uplift.

ocelot41 Mon 30-May-16 17:42:11

All very useful and helpful posts folks. But no formal response yet from either of them. Gah!

esornep Mon 30-May-16 19:07:22

I have a friend who was offered 15k less than he was on at a new uni to move to an RG.

In my experience much lower ranked universities may pay considerably more and promote faster than top ranked universities would do. I have seen applicants on 50-55k at low ranked universities who wouldn't be appointable above lecturer level at my university. So this means their salaries would be 10k or more lower at my university. (And the applications are usually for professorial level posts i.e. one grade above their current positions. Such applicants would not get shortlisted, as they are below the level we would require.) This is in a very hierarchical subject, though, in which the gap between top and bottom ranked universities is considered to be pretty big.

ocelot41 Mon 30-May-16 19:13:37

So a low offer is a real possibility. Hum. That would make relocating my family (and being the lone wage earner for a bit) seriously tough...Well, we shall see...

ocelot41 Thu 02-Jun-16 21:42:05

The happy news is I now have offers from both institutions! Got some thinking to do now. Does anyone have experience of their DH being an accompanying spouse?

esornep Fri 03-Jun-16 09:44:15

Do you mean an academic DH, i.e. a dual academic career?

FoggyBottom Fri 03-Jun-16 13:56:36

The UK rarely does spousal hires. And a good thing too - highly discriminatory to get a job just because you 're married.

esornep Fri 03-Jun-16 14:59:21

The UK rarely does spousal hires. And a good thing too - highly discriminatory to get a job just because you 're married.

I think it's more complicated than the latter, particularly in STEM fields in which there are very, very few women and many women are lost from the pipeline because of dual career issues.

The UK does sometimes do dual career hires from strategic research funds, where both parties are "high flyers" and would be valuable to the university. Such dual career hires are important in retaining women and more generally improving diversity in maths, computer science, physics, engineering. (Which is presumably not the case in OP's field.) In every dual career hire I have seen, both parties were significantly above the typical level of the places which hired them.

FoggyBottom Fri 03-Jun-16 16:35:55

In every dual career hire I have seen, both parties were significantly above the typical level of the places which hired them.

Yes, that's true. But it's still highly discriminatory - it means that there are jobs available only to married people. The job that a 'trailing spouse' might be offered is not available to any other person, and is only available by virtue of someone's domestic/sexual relationship. If applied mainly to women (as the accompanying spouse) it means that opportunities for other women, not hooked up to a 'star,' miss out on opportunties.

It runs counter to any bit of EEO training I've ever had.

ocelot41 Fri 03-Jun-16 16:43:10

Sorry that post was really unclear - no, DH isn't an academic and I didn't mean to sound as if I was asking about spousal hire! He would be leaving his job and coming with me, in part to support me and in part in the hope of a better quality of life for our family. I love him so much for that - not many guys would do it. Has anyone else experience of that and of anything I could do to make it easier for him?

esornep Fri 03-Jun-16 17:31:40

If applied mainly to women (as the accompanying spouse) it means that opportunities for other women, not hooked up to a 'star,' miss out on opportunties.

I don't think this is true in practice - the number of women who have been helped by dual career hiring in STEM is far, far higher than the number of women who would have gotten opportunities otherwise. Actually all women who work in my field in the UK have dual academic career issues. If some allowance hadn't been made for these issues, we'd have even less women than the current 5% as most of the women would have quit academia at some point, despite being "high fliers". (And in most of these cases either the man was hired as the spouse, not the woman, or both parties got their jobs independently.)

Anyhow, we agree that the number of dual career hirings is small in the UK.

ocelot41 Fri 03-Jun-16 17:49:32

Sorry just to stress again - DH is not an academic. He is in a totally different field.

impostersyndrome Sun 05-Jun-16 08:25:50

Congratulations OP. Salary negotiations will tend to be firmly within the advertised band. So if they deem you only due at the bottom end of the band, due to your experience, you might counter this with something that shows they've not taken account of your full publication record or whatever is relevant. One thing you might also enquire about are one-off relocation expenses.

ocelot41 Sun 05-Jun-16 09:54:15

Thanks everyone - we have now made our decision and it looks like we will be relocating as a family to a place I love, to do a job I am so excited about, and which we think will offer DC a much better quality of life. In the end, it turned out that I was just getting anxious about negotiations over nothing, because the first offer was enough for us to live on until DH gets a job. So squeeeeeee! Here's to a new start. Thank you allflowers

FoggyBottom Sun 05-Jun-16 09:59:46

Wonderful! flowers

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