If you negotiate they pull your offer

Beware. Venture Backed High Profile Company lowballed me after a very strange, hurried rushed job process where I was told the position paid 20k more–and was more senior.  I wouldn’t have entered the process otherwise.   Hiring manager showed up to my phone interview confusing me with another candidate.  Hadn’t looked at my resume, had no idea who I was, asked general and superficial questions. Then they call me in for an in-person interview.  I am skeptical but I figure I need to follow it through, so I go.

Then they come back with a more junior offer.  I thanked them, and said that while the offer was low, I would seriously consider it if they put it in writing. I was asked “how long would you need to decide?” and I said “24-48 hours.”   They said, we’ll send you a written offer tomorrow.  Three days later, no word.

Then they write to me to tell me they decided to hire two very junior people instead who were “cheaper.”  And they want to call me in six months.  Very glad I didn’t verbally accept a lowball offer because it likely wasn’t a real one anyway.

Let’s just say I am not holding my breath.  I’m not burning any bridges, but I have to say this kind of behavior doesn’t make me want to work for them very much at any price.

  • Without the name of the company you’re just ranting. Venture backed companies sometimes go through growth spurts where everything is chaotic. I’m assuming this is the case. It’s not personal.

  • Maybe they just were hoping you’d jump on the lowball offer because they have tens of millions in VC. And since you didn’t jump – they looked for someone who did.

  • Btw it also doesn’t sound like you actually negotiated – contrary to your title. It sounds like you got an offer you didn’t like and you said it was below your expectations. That’s not a negotiation.

    Also, since when have unaccepted offers become binding? It’s one thing for you to accept and then they pull the carpet from under you but quite another for them to interview multiple people simultaneously and go a different direction.

    The thing they should have done a better job of is not jump the gun in the process. They should have gotten a bit further with the other candidates and had a candid conversation with you about comp expectations.

    Anyhow. It’s a great market. You’ll find another home. Plenty of funded startups to go around.

    • +1 exactly. No, discussing & interviewing for a specific position is not an offer. Until you sign the paperwork its not binding. They probably interviewed 10 candidates that day under the same pretenses. This is the startup world. Maybe you should look for jobs in more stable, slow moving traditional fields.

      • If you’re willing to accept low integrity as part of a conpany you are part of the problem. Plenty of vc backed startups don’t act this way. Why don’t you go to wall street?

  • Welcome to the madness of startup world…where non pros rule and love to mess around. Dude, at least you ve got an email reply.

    I was once rushed into signing a job offer among the other contractors who worked there. I demanded more info and never got reply. People who didn’t ask anything (juniors) got job overnight.

    Afterwards they admitted, they just needed to show VCs how serious they are and how many employees they have.

    First thing CEO did after getting massive funding was to employ his girlfriend of no business background and her best friend.

    Comedy at its best!

  • “Then they write to me to tell me they decided to hire two very junior people instead who were “cheaper.” And they want to call me in six months. ”

    Do NOT pick up that phone call in 6 months!

    Whoever wrote you back to tell you that they took cheaper candidates is not worth working for.

  • Sounds like they already hired for that senior position & were pretty much set to hire other newbie candidates in the junior roles just before your interview. Likely they had to follow through with your interview, on the off chance you said yes to an open junior position. They would have then been paying someone experienced, a junior salary and one newbie. Versus two newbie true entry level. Probably why they will call you back in six months, long enough to see how these candidates pan out.

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