What HR People Won’t Tell You About Salaries and Raises

If you’re negotiating for more money—either with a potential employer or your current boss—keep these expert tips in mind.

If you’re negotiating for more money—either with a potential employer or your current boss—keep these expert tips in mind.

1. “There’s one website that drives all HR people crazy: salary.com. It supposedly lists average salaries for different industries, but if you look up any job, the salary it gives you always seems to be $10,000 to $20,000 higher than it actually is. That just makes people mad.” –HR director at a public relations agency

2. “On salary, some companies try to lock you in early. At the first interview, they’ll tell me to say, ‘The budget for this position is 40K to 45K. Is that acceptable to you?’ If the candidate accepts, they’ll know they’ve got him or her stuck in that little area.” –Ben Eubanks, HR professional in Alabama

3. “You think you’re all wonderful and deserve a higher salary, but here in HR, we know the truth. And the truth is, a lot of you aren’t very good at your jobs, and you’re definitely not as good as you think you are.” –HR professional at a midsize firm in North Carolina

4. “Be careful if a headhunter is negotiating for you. You may want extra time off and be willing to sacrifice salary, but he is negotiating hardest for what hits his commission.” –HR professional in New York City

5. “I once hired someone, and her mother didn’t think the salary we were offering was high enough, so she called me to negotiate. There are two problems with that: 1) I can’t negotiate with someone who’s not you. 2) It’s your mother. Seriously, I was like, ‘Did that woman’s mother just call me, or was that my imagination?’ I immediately withdrew the offer.” –HR professional in New York City

See also: What HR People Won’t Tell You About the Job Interview, What Your HR Person Won’t Tell You About Being Fired

What HR People Won’t Tell You About the Job Interview

  • Your Comments

    • Worship Dancer

      LOL at #5 – seriously why would you want your MOMMY to call? do you lack that much confidence in your own abilities? yea i would have withdrawn the job offer as well.

    • Dirty Doggg

      I love when human resources people make termination decisions without investigating first.  At my last job, as a programmer, I was expected to work with code where the programmer failed to adhere to basic programming standards.  They were wondering why it was taking me so long to understand the code and make changes and expansions to it.  I couldn’t tell them that the programmer was completely inept because he still worked in my department (but remotely) and was training me on the processes, and if something went wrong I had to ask him for help.  So I just did the best I could and ended up getting fired after 6 weeks.  In the termination meeting I told them all that was wrong with the code.

    • Shepony

      This article and it’s links should be titled,  “How to Discriminate and Not Get Caught”.  How disgusting!

      • bm124

        this is not nice stuff. but i saw nothing about discrimination, only equal-opportunity jerkishness.

    • Necromantix67

      LMAO off at HR ”professional” #6 when they say “Seriously, I was like, totally, like…noooo waaay…did your mom just call me…? That’s like, um…totally unprofesional’. Yes I’m paraphrasing…but you can’ call anyone a professional when they are saying ”I was like…”

      • Miller2900

         …..I think maybe you were laughing a little too hard….it was #5 and you missed the point of #5′s comment. But then there are always your type that misses the point or feels the need to correct someone’s spelling……really missing the point.

    • Revrend23

      in the RD Print version one HR person said (paraphrasing) “most employees they think they are better than they are.” … wow,
      to you Mr or Ms. HR person
      – is the function of HR to simply minimize the amount of money spent on salaries? if so, please contribute by cutting your own salary to zero.
      – do you view employees as cogs in a wheel or actual humans?
      – have you considered basic changes, like management by objectives, to get better performance?
      – have you considered attempting to get people into jobs they are good at ?
      – have you considered letting incompetent, sour people go? middle management, not the entry folks?
      – have you considered YOU might ‘think you are better at your job than you really are?’
      please be sure to let use know what company that HR person works at, and I’ll be sure to steer clear of that place.

      • 03-GHJ

        - is the function of HR to simply minimize the amount of money spent on salaries?

        No, the function of Human Resources is to maximize the return on those resources. Partly through compensation, but there are other ways as well.

        - do you view employees as cogs in a wheel or actual humans?

        A mix of both – as the department indicates, Human Resources looks at humans… as resources.

        - have you considered basic changes, like management by objectives, to get better performance?

        HR is not Management and if you honestly think that HR is in 100% agreement with everything Management decides to do, I’ve got a bridge in France to sell you. The problem is that if an Executive decides to changes the policies for his business unit, that’s his decision and he gets to own the consequences of that. Provided there are no legal or policy issues, it’s his department.

        - have you considered attempting to get people into jobs they are good at ?

        Have you considered be good at your current job before attempting to move into another one? Or, more accurately, have you considered attempting to get into a position that you are better at? HR is not your personal headhunter/recruiter/secretary.

        - have you considered letting incompetent, sour people go? middle management, not the entry folks?

        Yes, many times. One of the interesting things about people who are successful enough to get into “middle management” is that they usually are smart enough to surround themselves with subordinates who can easily be blamed for things that go wrong. If a manager screws up bad enough and doesn’t have any “fall guys” around, guess he wasn’t that good to begin with?

        - have you considered YOU might ‘think you are better at your job than you really are?’

        Yes, often. Just remember, if all employees actually read the policies, procedures and knew to follow them, there wouldn’t be nearly as high a need for HR. So, as bad as we may be at our jobs, trust us – you’re way worse.

        • Happy Entrepreneur

          Wow. This proves HR really is filled with douche bags; Accountability passed off to everyone else. I.E. “have you considered attempting to get into a position that you are better at”. You need to have experience at a job, yet rarely will a manager or HR ever promote or hire someone that is capable but inexperienced. Good grief.