I'm hoping to get some feedback from some of the EC's here. I'm sure you've been down this road before.
I responded to a classified ad today. The ad was "experienced electrician needed for new residential work." So I called and told them I'm ready to start as soon as possible. We discussed my background and experience in the trade. Then he asked me how much I was looking for per hour. I gave him a number which was a little bit more than what I was making last year. I offered to take less than what I originally asked for so I could prove to them over a period of 4-6 weeks that I A) knew what I was doing, and B) was worth what I was being paid for. Then they said someone would call me back soon to come in for a sit down for an interview.
To make a long story short, they called me back in less than 30 minutes and made me an offer and want me to start Thursday. The offer was $6.00 less p/ hour than what I was looking for, and $3.00 less p/ hour than what I was previously earning. That's a difference of $12,480 and $6,240 respectively.
The job is close to home and they're a reputable company that's been around for at least a dozen years. They also told me I'd be wiring up apartments, condos, and some new custom homes. I would like to take this job, and know that I can do the work, but not at the rate that was offered. Any suggestions on how I should proceed to get the numbers to where we can both be happy?
I think with only a 30 minute turnaround time they are trying to see how hungry you are. After all who wouldn't want to hire a qualified person and pay less than they knew they had to pay?
I would examine why I wanted to leave where I was working and compare that to where you see yourself with the new company. Does the new company offer enough to make the pay cut worth it? Are there benefits involved to offset the pay cut? Maybe healthcare or a take home truck. What kind of review schedule does the new firm offer and how quickly can you make up the pay cut?
Make a counter offer of some sort that you are comfortable with and see how badly they need you.
Good help is very hard to find, and I a pay a premium for it when I do, but the catch is how do you know it is good help until you work the guy?
These guys are probably in the same boat, you can talk a good game but they really don't know who you really are, until they see how you perform.
If I had a dollar for every electrician that ever walked into my office and talked a great game, then later turned out to be a dud, then I could retire.
My suggestion, tell them you are willing to make a lateral move, with the opportunities to move up once they see how you perform, but you will not settle for less than you are making now. That is reasonable, and if they are still trying to low-ball just walk away.
It never looks good to take a pay cut to go work for someone else doing the same work, and as an employer I would wonder what was wrong with you if you did.
Employers in certain areas often have agreements with each other that they will not steal each others help. In areas where the amount of work or the number of employers is limited, this helps the companies hold down the cost of labor, especially if there are a limited number of workers available. Sometimes they will also "loan" other contractors their workers to keep their employees working. Obviously union contractors for the most part cannot use these tricks.
Thanks for all your insight. I probably should have mentioned that I've been unemployed since just before Christmas so I won't be jumping from one job to the next. I did that last time and I wound up being unemployed 8 months later. IT was a bad idea and a terrible career decision. I just can't accept what they're willing to pay because I'm certainly worth more than what they offered. The rate they offered is what I was earning in 1999. No way.
I tried calling the company back yesterday and wound up leaving a message on the machine. This morning I stopped by their shop and no one was there. They expect me to be there tomorrow morning to start. I'll go if I cannot get in touch with them first to explain my concerns but I don't think I'll be working there.
I finally got in touch with the guy who made me the offer (the bosses step-son). I told him how I felt about the pay and he basically told me that $18.00 dollars p/ hour was the top pay he had budgeted for the position. I'm still looking.