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Big4 Lowball

#1 Big4 Lowball
17/11/2014 15:41


Hi all. I am a manager in the consulting arm of a tech firm. I have been interviewing for manager roles at big 4 firms and have been made an offer from one of them one level below my current position. Assuming the compensation component is competitive (and my earnings are already above M level), would it make any sense to challenge the offer on the level only? I have another offer possibly incoming on manager level, albeit non Big 4 but a very reputable smaller firm employing lots of ex MBBs.

**Edit** assume staying in current role not an option**Edit**

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#2 RE: Big4 Lowball
17/11/2014 16:00

TheHeadHunter to powernap (#1)

You should challenge them yes. It's classic big-4 type recruitment to try and bring you in at a level below where you actually are as they can sell you at at a higher rate but pay you less. You'll be more profitable to them that way!

If you aren't desperate to leave your current business negotiate hard, they'll argue that you don't have consulting experience or some other bull but don't back down. I've seen so many people get shafted like this in the past and then you end up doing powerpoints all day trying to pitch for business to clients!

Just my humble opinion of course!

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#3 RE: Big4 Lowball
17/11/2014 16:01

tom1 to powernap (#1)

My views...

1) A Manager level in one firm doesn't always equate to a Manager level in another. Don't be too hung up on title.. Plus make sure you understand the difference in expectation between your current level and the level being offered.

2) If the levels are the same based on your understanding/expectations of you. Try to get a deeper understanding of why you are coming in at a different level. Is it because you are too "technical" now and the Big 4 firm are suggesting one-step back to get your grounding in a "business" role for two steps forward in the future.

3) The whole thing depends on the integrity of the Partner (try to understand development/progression of individuals in the practice area you have an offer from). They could be trying to get you in as lower level as possible and charge you out for more and maximise the margin, or they could genuinely think it's best for your career/to set you up for success.

In any case, whilst finding out the answers to the above, until you have the other offer in your hand, you don't have one, so try to speed this along as quick as possible. This will put you in a better bargaining position. Don't deal in hypothetical situations.

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#4 RE: Big4 Lowball
17/11/2014 16:37

powernap to tom1 (#3)

Thank you both for the comments. I can't really understand why it would be a case of gross margin maximisation - my package is already at the upper limits of what is sensible for a manager, so it would surely make sense to bill me as one? To address the technical point above - it probably has some relevance, though probably in terms of industry SME - being positioned in a specific vertical, which isn't 100% my forte and I accept that.

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#5 RE: Big4 Lowball
18/11/2014 12:18

powernap to powernap (#4)

Any other perspectives on the above?

I have given it some thought and frankly don't see much sense in challenging the grade. Lower grade at a higher salary than my current market benchmark compensation, with a Big4 doesn't sound too bad. The have given me some vague assurances about being fast tracked into my current level but I know its total dung and unlikely to happen year 1.

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#6 RE: Big4 Lowball
18/11/2014 13:14

tom1 to powernap (#5)

So this role is paying you more than your current one!? You need to get out of the mind-set that all 'Manager' titled roles have the same level of responsibility.

If they're paying you more, you're moving away from a more "techy" role and your (potential) career progression within the firm has been discussed with you, albeit with no assurances (understandably). I'm not sure what else you need to make a decision..

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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#7 RE: Big4 Lowball
18/11/2014 17:24

powernap to tom1 (#6)

So this role is paying you more than your current one!?

Yes. It's also more than the benchmark rate for my current level, which is why I find this doesn't make a lot of economic sense. Anyhow - got my question answered, but I think I may wait for the other one to (hopefully) come and compare the Big4 sausage factory proposition vs that of a smaller prestigious sweatshop and see where I net out.

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