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It is always wise to have a secure financial foundation. Here is a place to ask questions, exchange ideas and share information on how to make the most of your money.


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reggie01se  
#1 Posted : Monday, January 28, 2019 9:57:34 PM(UTC)
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Hello, I’ve perused this forum for a while for tips on how to negotiate a higher step, so I thought I’d share that I was able to successfully do that on my recent offer, and how long that took.

I was able to negotiate a gs13 step 6, up from the initial offer of gs13 step 3. I did what many did on this forum. When the tentative offer came in, I responded with a detailed email asking for my desired salary (step 10) along with justification as to why I thought I deserved more pay under superior qualifications, and also provided my current pay stubs. After a month, they responded with just a one step increase (step 4) at which point I again responded with another email further providing more justification. I requested a step 8 at this point. The next day HR called me and said step 8 wouldn’t be possible, and that the highest they could go was step 6. I asked if management was willing to approve that, and if so, I would accept the offer. HR said yes, so I verbally agreed to that salary. 2 months later the new offer came in! This was over the holidays so that’s why the new offer was so delayed.

I’m sure some are wondering how my initial offer came in as a step 3. Well I had been a civilian for 8.5 years and just separated early last year for a contractor position making significantly more. I left as a gs12 step 7, and that information was part of my application. So when they offered me the position a few months ago, it was based on the typical 2-step rule. But by that time, I had been separated from civilian service for about 8 months, therefore allowing me to negotiate instead of being subjected to the fed employee pay rules. My current pay is significantly higher than a gs13 step 10, but hey it’s well known that contractors get paid more than govt counterparts, at least in my area.

thanks 3 users thanked reggie01se for this useful post.
LovesTheSoup on 1/29/2019(UTC), AVee on 1/29/2019(UTC), S D Analyst on 2/25/2019(UTC)
reggie01se  
#2 Posted : Monday, January 28, 2019 10:00:25 PM(UTC)
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Also, I was happy to know that even though I rejected their initial counter offer, they did not just move on to the next candidate. So it never hurts to ask!
dodsan  
#3 Posted : Monday, February 11, 2019 10:47:01 AM(UTC)
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Thanks for the info

I have used the interview to get a feel for the hiring manager(s), if it seemed like they really like me, they sound reasonable, and how badly they needed someone of my skillset. Then it will be the HR specialist coordinating the hire.

I've run into situations where the HR specialist just would not be helpful when I asked for a step-increase and presented my case.
reggie01se  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 27, 2019 8:52:58 AM(UTC)
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Yes it’s unfortunate if they’re not willing to help, but also they may not be able to because maybe they were instructed that there would be no pay negotiation for that particular position. Not saying that is the case but i could see that happening.

I’ve tried negotiating my salary with the govt twice, with the second time being successful as described in my original post. The first time i tried, I was still a fed employee with an offer to go to a different agency. I was GS while the new agency was NH (acq demo). At the time I had received the offer from the new agency, in had also received an offer from a defense contractor. HR said they could possibly use my new offer from the contractor to help with negotiations. They tried but unfortunately the hiring manager wasn’t willing to negotiate and wanted it to just be a lateral transfer.

At any rate, the thing I learned from both experiences is that they do not automatically move on to the next candidate if you ask to negotiate. You either have to officially decline the offer or not respond in the allotted time frame. So for those afraid to try because they think the offer will be rescinded, I don’t feel that is the case. Never hurts to ask!
Weebie2636  
#5 Posted : Friday, March 15, 2019 9:25:15 AM(UTC)
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Wow. This is so helpful!

I have been a nervous wreck. I received an TO last week (GS-14-Step 1) and accepted but requested a step increase to match my current private sector pay. There was about a 15k difference. I’ve already submitted my earning statements and it has been forwarded on. I have not yet received my background check or fingerprinting requests - which is strange to me. Would they hold up the rest of the process until the step increase was approved?

My nerves are getting the best of me and I am worried that they will move on to the next candidate.

Thanks.
reggie01se  
#6 Posted : Friday, March 15, 2019 9:53:15 AM(UTC)
reggie01se

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Originally Posted by: Weebie2636 Go to Quoted Post
Wow. This is so helpful!

I have been a nervous wreck. I received an TO last week (GS-14-Step 1) and accepted but requested a step increase to match my current private sector pay. There was about a 15k difference. I’ve already submitted my earning statements and it has been forwarded on. I have not yet received my background check or fingerprinting requests - which is strange to me. Would they hold up the rest of the process until the step increase was approved?

My nerves are getting the best of me and I am worried that they will move on to the next candidate.

Thanks.


That is a good question about holding up the process while going through salary negotiations. For me, since I alreayd have a active security clearance and valid background investigation completed due to my previous federal employment, they did not hold up the rest of the process. I still signed/submitted all of the other requested paper work so that everything would be done by the time they came back with their salary figure. Sounds like you are new to federal employment, so it might make sense that both parties come to an agreement on salary before they spend any more time on the background investigation, etc. But that's just what I think, I have no evidence to back that up! Good luck to you!
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