Why wouldn't leadership negotiate?

I’m unemployed until Monday, because i’m starting my new job and wanted a break.

During the interview process, i gave my manager a heads up i was interviewing, because i wasn’t quite a contractor, but i was working for my previous employer more or less through a staffing agency because they can handle all the tax things in the state i live in.

So i gave my manager a heads up i was expecting an offer, and a few days later, i received a verbal offer from hr outlining the job title, salary, bonus and some basics for the total compensation package. I told my manager, and he responded well. First, i got a congratulations, second, i got a “is there a counter offer you would accept, and what is it?”

For context, a month ago that same manager had received authorization from the head of the dept that i could extend my relationship another year, and my relationship wasn’t ending in a couple months. So i had reason to believe, they wanted me.

So my counter offer was some ways i wanted to grow professionally, and a bump in comp to essentially match the verbal offer’s salary + full bonus + CAS dues + 401k matching. that’s about how i came up with the number as the base for an annual salary ask.

My manager relayed my request to the department head. This person was happy to provide the professional growth opportunities, but would not budge on compensation. Why would they do that? My recruiter and family members found it odd, that they would tell me they want me to stay another year, but not increase my salary, at all.

What’s the logic or thought process behind not moving at all on compensation? It’s still fresh, and i haven’t been able to let it go.


It is possible that your compensation demands put you ahead of other people in the department (money-wise).

Thats always a factor in these things.

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they have a number. you asked for more than that number.

they want you to stay another year, but not unconditionally. don’t sweat that or take it personally. maybe you worked at a place that didn’t want to pay scale or thought they could get away with not doing so. maybe they have a budget freeze or other constraints. tons of reasons.


Yeah, that was my thought.

If you’re currently making X and the new job is 1.2X and you asked for 1.2X to stay… maybe they were willing to go to 1.1X but not 1.2X.

Or something along those lines.

That said, it might have been easier if they’d said “would you stay for 1.1X”. Perhaps they were hoping you’d ask for 1.05X and they wouldn’t have to go all the way to 1.1X.

Perhaps they hadn’t figured out precisely how high they were willing to go but definitely not to 1.2X. No idea, but it doesn’t sound especially crazy on anyone’s part.

Congratulations on the new job though!

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