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  #21  
Old 07.04.2018, 08:45
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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Hi all, just posting an update on this.

I got the offer and, as I previously anticipated, they massively lowballed me with a CHF 65k offer. I am very disappointed as the role sounds amazing and I would really enjoy working in that position, but I am afraid Ill have to turn the offer down as CHF 65k is wildly away from the minimum salary Id move for (which is CHF 80k).

Incidentally, the role requires 5+ years of work experience, a degree and some very specific skills, so it is even more surprising that they think CHF 65k is a realistic salary for such role.

Shame
If they know the job market here then they don't think it's a realistic salary for the role, but I'm guessing they think that you might (45,000 in London x 1.35 exchange rate = 60,000 CHF so an extra 5,000 as a pay rise to sweeten you). I think you should go back and tell them they really are taking the pee.
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Old 07.04.2018, 08:48
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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If they know the job market here then they don't think it's a realistic salary for the role, but I'm guessing they think that you might (45,000 in London x 1.35 exchange rate = 60,000 CHF so an extra 5,000 as a pay rise to sweeten you). I think you should go back and tell them they really are taking the pee.
Problem is, it's the media business where people often work for nothing, everyone wants the job so the salary drops like a stone. Loads of people are earning 4k/5k/6k a month in Geneva & Zurich in the media business.

I know someone getting an interview at the BBC was asked how much Private income they got as they would not be able to Live on the salary offered.
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Old 07.04.2018, 09:08
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

The position sounds like quite a bit of responsibility, and I'd hazard a guess at it will involve overtime (unpaid).

There are obviously many factors to consider, both personal and professional, but quite frankly you're better off in London.
Rough costs for comparion
Pint of beer = 8
Loaf of sliced bread = 3.50
Tin of beans = 1.50
Pizza in restaurant = 22
Curry, rice and naan = 36

You said 'your colleagues who have worked in Switzerland'.
Is this a job rotation or a permanent position?

In any case, 65 is an insult, and 85 should be the bare minimum, and it sounds like a 100k job anyway.
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Old 07.04.2018, 10:28
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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In any case, 65 is an insult, and 85 should be the bare minimum, and it sounds like a 100k job anyway.
The 65 is such a low anchor, I wouldn’t even reveal my hand in a negotiation by saying the minimum is 85, because they will just offer 85!

Look elsewhere, the only way companies realise their employees’ value is when they resign and have to replace them by 2 or 3 people and spend the next 6 months to a year training them!
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  #25  
Old 07.04.2018, 10:28
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

65k is a joke. Basically a PhD stipend... but you are not a student and will be responsible for people.

I'd make a counteroffer reasoning that
a)it is a managerial position and what they offered is close to an entry job level
b) living costs in ZH are higher and that should be reflected. Right now they are offering you to work in CH for London salary!

If they say no, it wasnt worth it anyway!
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Old 07.04.2018, 11:34
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

Hi all, thank you so much for your helpful comments. You confirmed that I am not crazy for feeling insulted about the offer. To answer a few questions:

- The role is not a rotation, it is a permanent move. I talked to some colleagues who either currently work in our Swiss office or used to work there and then got transfered to London. It is a company where moving for jobs between office is quite common.

- The role is a step up from my current job, it requires more responsibility and it is definitely more stressful. They essentially offered me a bigger job, for the salary I have now barely adjusted to the cost of living in Zurich. I assume they think I am totally clueless about salaries in Zurich and they are taking advantage of the fact that I am a foreigner with no experience of working in Switzerland.

- Yes I will try to negotiate, but their starting offer is so low that i doubt well be able to reach CHF 80k which is the minimum salary Id move for. Wed likely settle on CHF 72/75k, which sounds too low for the position and to justify a move from London. I am very disappointed this happened as I was very excited about the job but this clearly this is not doable.
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Old 07.04.2018, 12:00
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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- Yes I will try to negotiate, but their starting offer is so low that i doubt we’ll be able to reach CHF 80k which is the minimum salary I’d move for. We’d likely settle on CHF 72/75k, which sounds too low for the position and to justify a move from London. I am very disappointed this happened as I was very excited about the job but this clearly this is not doable.
You may be realistic to think this way about the probable outcome, which has the advantage of avoiding feeling disappointment. This is totally understandable and you are correct that this is the probable outcome. But putting those feelings aside for a minute, I've also seen too many people pre-negotiate the outcome in their head and then never do anything about it, figuring it is a foregone conclusion. It's not. Sometimes it works out and the only way to know is to play the hand you are dealt. You are actually in a strong position here, because you are willing to walk away from what is presumably a business need for you to be in Zurich.

If you are still excited about the job, boss, colleagues and location, just not about the pay, then negotiate. Don't share your 80K target with them, ask for the 100K or whatever the job is actually worth on the open market. Do your research at Salarium and look at job boards/ Glassdoor. Find out what this job *should* pay and cite that evidence in the negotiation. Make a reasoned and reasonable request and then sit back, be quiet and see what they come back to you with. Allow them time to regroup and discuss. See if they take you seriously enough to come back to you with a better offer. If not, that may also speak volumes to you about whether or not you are ready to search for external opportunities as well.

Good Luck!
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  #28  
Old 07.04.2018, 14:48
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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- Yes I will try to negotiate, but their starting offer is so low that i doubt we’ll be able to reach CHF 80k which is the minimum salary I’d move for. We’d likely settle on CHF 72/75k, which sounds too low for the position and to justify a move from London. I am very disappointed this happened as I was very excited about the job but this clearly this is not doable.
Try to negotiate though, you dont lose anything... as mentioned above, start from ca. 100k, then you might meet at 80k. If you start at 80, then obviously you will meet at unacceptable 72k...

Of course prepare your arguments. And don't disclose them all in one go.

And on top of what you negotiated, in the very end remember to negotiate a 10% raise in 6 months or so, justifying that you will be already settled in your new role and bring even more value. And that should be fixed in written form somewhere.

P.s. I am pretty certain that other people in their CH office earn more, otherwise nobody would stay long at that company. Do you know what is the average tenure in your company? This can tell you a lot...
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  #29  
Old 07.04.2018, 14:59
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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- Yes I will try to negotiate, but their starting offer is so low that i doubt we’ll be able to reach CHF 80k which is the minimum salary I’d move for. We’d likely settle on CHF 72/75k, which sounds too low for the position and to justify a move from London. I am very disappointed this happened as I was very excited about the job but this clearly this is not doable.
You're not required to make a counter-offer, let alone a reasonable one. By doing so you agree to play the game by their rules. As you anticipate, doing so automatically places you in a losing position.

Perhaps instead (try to) force them to make a realistic starting offer. Like, mention a few comparison tools such as salarium.ch or any of those mentioned on here (page in German only, some links in Italian) and mention that their offer simply doesn't compare.

With that said, you don't mention German so you probably know little to none. That may reduce your market value, it certainly will reduce job opportunities in Zrich should you accept the offer and want to change the employer later on.

So far you "argue" from your personal point of view, how much you like it. Their offer reflects how attractive they think the job is for you. Do likewise, take their position and think about what they get from you, that determines how much it may be worth to them. Market value is just one measure, your talks however also involves what each expects to gain.
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  #30  
Old 07.04.2018, 15:11
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

I can only endorse what others have said. 65K is ridiculous for this role. I wouldn't even regard 80K as acceptable, given your experience and skills. Sure, you can live on 80K as a single person, and you won't starve. But it won't be easy to save much or do any regular travelling, for instance. As someone said, it sounds like they may have just taken your 45K London salary and run it through XE.com.

Cost of living here is substantially higher. I haven't tried doing any proper calculations but my gut instinct says that cost of living is around 50% higher. So just to match your spending power, I'd reckon on about 90K CHFs. And of course, you should expect some premium for making such a dramatic change to your life. So 100K does sound about right.

Mind you, a shame if you were to miss out on a spell in Switzerland. It doesn't suit everyone but for me, life here is hugely more pleasant than in London. But that's another discussion.
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  #31  
Old 07.04.2018, 15:38
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

You say you speak multiple languages.... just checking: is German one of them?
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  #32  
Old 07.04.2018, 15:44
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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You say you speak multiple languages.... just checking: is German one of them?
No unfortunately I dont speak German, I am fluent in English, Italian and Mandarin Chinese. This company is not Swiss though, and the official working language in all our offices is English. 90% of the employees in our Swiss offices are not Swiss and, having worked there multiple times, you really never hear German in the office.
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Old 07.04.2018, 15:47
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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The role we are discussing is a project manager role within a big creative department of 30+ people. I’d be responsible for project mamaging all the creative projects (print, digital, photo and video shoots) from brief to delivery, including managing budgets and some very complex logistics.
Would that not involve contact with people outside of your office?
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  #34  
Old 07.04.2018, 15:50
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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Would that not involve contact with people outside of your office?
Yes but not in Switzerland. It would involve contact with our regional and global offices in the US, Europe, Asia and South America. So no contact with local Swiss companies. The headquarters are located in Zurich just for tax-relief reasons I believe.
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  #35  
Old 07.04.2018, 23:26
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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Hi all, just posting an update on this.

I got the offer and, as I previously anticipated, they massively lowballed me with a CHF 65k offer. I am very disappointed as the role sounds amazing and I would really enjoy working in that position, but I am afraid Ill have to turn the offer down as CHF 65k is wildly away from the minimum salary Id move for (which is CHF 80k).

Incidentally, the role requires 5+ years of work experience, a degree and some very specific skills, so it is even more surprising that they think CHF 65k is a realistic salary for such role.

Shame
Sincerely? That sounds very fishy to me. As previously mentioned, supermarket workers get around 50k per year, the general average salary in Switzerland is around 75k...Salaries in CH are holding strong because unemployment is low.

Can you give more details of this company, without citing the name?
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  #36  
Old 08.04.2018, 08:58
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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Hi all, thank you so much for your helpful comments. You confirmed that I am not crazy for feeling insulted about the offer. To answer a few questions:

- The role is not a rotation, it is a permanent move. I talked to some colleagues who either currently work in our Swiss office or used to work there and then got transfered to London. It is a company where moving for jobs between office is quite common.

- The role is a step up from my current job, it requires more responsibility and it is definitely more stressful. They essentially offered me a bigger job, for the salary I have now barely adjusted to the cost of living in Zurich. I assume they think I am totally clueless about salaries in Zurich and they are taking advantage of the fact that I am a foreigner with no experience of working in Switzerland.

- Yes I will try to negotiate, but their starting offer is so low that i doubt we’ll be able to reach CHF 80k which is the minimum salary I’d move for. We’d likely settle on CHF 72/75k, which sounds too low for the position and to justify a move from London. I am very disappointed this happened as I was very excited about the job but this clearly this is not doable.
Too low. I would refuse and stay in London and if they refuse to negotiate further hope that they later have trouble hiring the right person, realise their mistake, and up their offer. Otherwise, with patience I am sure you will have another chance with another company in future. In the meantime, learn German.
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Old 08.04.2018, 09:31
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

Stick to the 80k minimum, even this is very low for Switzerland and you don't want to get here and have to deal with a thin wallet on top of the new job duties.
Just a hint on the negotiations: If they get fixed on a set "salary" number you could work some other terms like
- health insurance + private coverage, most pay their own here but if the company picks it up it's worth up to 400/month
- train ticket, they are expensive here so ask for "general ABO" which lets you travel anywhere on any train/bus in CH, worth 3860/year
- health club memberships, etc.
Good luck!
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  #38  
Old 08.04.2018, 11:12
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

I wonder what is going on with companies paying so little for new employees, Is this the new era of slavery in Switzerland.?
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  #39  
Old 08.04.2018, 11:24
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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I wonder what is going on with companies paying so little for new employees, Is this the new era of slavery in Switzerland.?


But they're not paying so little, they just offered it and it looks like the OP won't accept the offer (of course)
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Old 08.04.2018, 12:01
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Re: Salary for international internal transfer - how to avoid being lowballed?

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I wonder what is going on with companies paying so little for new employees, Is this the new era of slavery in Switzerland.?
I suspect that salaries will fall due to the strengthening of the CHF, otherwise known as deflation. Salaries & day rates in the media are 30-50% lower than in 2000, it's the same in IT. Welcome to the global economy & free movement of labour throughout the EU & Switzerland, it's a race to the bottom salaries wise.

In 2000 salaries were higher in London than ZH using the then FX rate of 2.6, same v USD @ 1.8.
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