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Salary & Relocation Package Negotiation Tips

executive relocation package negotiation tipsI currently live in the northwest and my wife and I are being flown down to Texas for what I believe to be the final round for a Controller position. I also believe I am the only candidate that has survived to this point. When speaking to the Human Resources person in the very first preliminary phone interview I was asked of course the dreaded what was my expected salary in order to relocate? I tried to avoid it given how early in the process it was but she pushed. Based on what I now know I believe I may have low balled myself. They have yet to mention any number. How does one research what is an acceptable amount for a privately held diversified retail company? Do I go by their volume $400 million, number of employees 800, or my direct reports of 20? There is a CFO so I would be the second in command as far as Accounting / Finance. My background is 37 years of combined Retail Operations Management and Accounting / Finance. I have been a CFO, Controller, Finance Manager, Finance Director, VP Finance in smaller companies. Anybody have any ideas for a starting figure, as who knows they may just make an offer on the spot while we are down there? Also what should I ask / expect for a relocation package? All they have stated so far is they provide corporate housing for up to six months. I thank you in advance for any help you are able to provide.

Answers

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

I would check out Robert Half's guide. I have used it in the past. It bases the information on sales, not employee count. http://www.roberthalf.com/salary-guides

Based on the information in the salary guide the national average is $135,500 to $ 183,750 for a company with $250M to $500M in revenue. Then take the area of TX where you will be locating and multiply the range by that amount. If the company is in Dallas you should be able to expect 142,950 - $193,850. Whereas if it is in El Paso you could only expect $94,850 to $128,625.

Wayne Spivak has some retail industry experience, maybe he can weigh in a little better for you.

Topic Expert
Malak Kazan
Title: VP, Special Projects
Company: ERI Economic Research Institute
(VP, Special Projects, ERI Economic Research Institute) |

At ERI we get requests like this. Most corporate HR and mobility department of companies use our benchmarking tools and we get senior level candidates who request 1-time reports to aid in job offer negotiations. There are several criteria like you mention to generate the report. Call the 800 number on the www.erieri.com website and request a sample "Quick Call" Salary Assessor and Relocation Assessor report. You'll be well informed of cost of labor (direct compensation package) and cost of living (will you be paying more or less for living same lifestyle) being offered. Hope this helps.

Jim Schwartz
Title: Corporate financial advisor
Company: Wabash Financial Strategies
(Corporate financial advisor, Wabash Financial Strategies) |

Congratulations on the potential opportunity. See this Forbes article for a quick primer on comp negotiation: http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/02/14/how-to-negotiate-your-salary-3/ . Use glassdoor to compare with salary information Chris has provided from the Robert Half tool. If you are a member of FENG, look at several recent newsletters to glean compensation information about comparable positions.

Don't feel bound by the initial number you put on the table and don't be defensive about changing it. Simply say that you've done a more thorough investigation as details about location, responsibilities, cost of living differentials, etc. have become clearer. Remember, base comp is only one element. Understand where your compensation fits in the new firm's overall scheme, the frequency of and process for salary and performance reviews, etc. Focus on why you're a valuable candidate who can make strong, value-added contributions to the new company.

You should clearly understand and be prepared to negotiate and decide on the whole package. That includes benefits like vacation, profit sharing or 401K matching, bonus, health coverage, support for professional/continuing education and training, stock options, deferred compensation plan eligibility, spousal job support and relocation package details and policy. This last item includes things like buying your current house, the procedure for determining that buy price, providing tax gross up on relo benefits to keep you whole financially, storage time (it gets expensive) for household goods if there's a gap between old and new houses, and who packs and unpacks all your goods. Do you have special moving considerations (extra cars, pets, antiques) and, if so, how will those be handled? Is the relo process outsourced to a firm that handles such tasks routinely or will you be dealing with someone internally who may do this infrequently and without clear policy guidelines (which can make everything a potential negotiation).

Good luck.

Anonymous
(VP of Finance & Administration) |

I've found the Robert Half report to be very unhelpful - the comp ranges in their guide are consistently lower than what I see in the market; my guess is that it's biased on the low end, if for no other reason than to protect their relationship with customers and prospects that might be upset with them publishing pay ranges above where they want to hire at. Also, I've noticed that Robert Half is often doing senior searches at small companies and so their data may skewed in that way. The best senior finance comp studies out there are done by AFP and FEI annually. I will tell you that for that size company and direct reports, you can probably expect $160k-$190k base pay.

V Miller
Title: Consultant
Company: MyCFO
(Consultant, MyCFO) |

Info is very good. Be careful not lose an Offer that may be the best thing for you. An opportunity in Texas (one of the fastest growth states) may add value to your future financial worth.

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