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Ethics and Negotiating Job Offers. BBA Junior Seminar Kim Molee BBA Career Management Center Associate Director . Agenda. General Discussion on Ethics Examples Negotiating a Job Offer Q&A. What Exactly is Ethics?.

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ethics and negotiating job offers

Ethics and NegotiatingJob Offers

BBA Junior Seminar

Kim Molee

BBA Career Management Center

Associate Director

  • General Discussion on Ethics
  • Examples
  • Negotiating a Job Offer
  • Q&A
what exactly is ethics
What Exactly is Ethics?

Dictionary: accepted principles of right and wrong; a system of moral principles or values

Etymology: “ethos”. the character, customs and habits which distinguish a people or community from another

Simple Behavioral Terms: doing what’s right, fair, honest, and of course legal


There’s intense workplace and career pressures to,

  • Stretch the truth
  • Trade quality for expediency
  • Manage by exploiting “loopholes”
  • Chase short-term, end-justifies-the-means, quick advantage/profit
  • Rationalize
common rationalizations
Common Rationalizations
  • “Everyone else does it”
  • “Nobody will care”
  • “No one will ever know”
  • “Some rules were meant to be broken”
  • “That’s close enough”
  • “They’ll never miss it”
  • “It’s not my responsibility”

Rationalization ≠ Correct

little things mean a lot
Little Things Mean A Lot
  • Business ethics involve a lot more than laws and financial matters
  • It’s the day-in-day-out, seemingly insignificant actions and behaviors that represent the largest arena for integrity erosion - and the greatest opportunity for ethics improvement

It’s not OK to pick and choose when to apply your ethics. They should always be “ON.”

how do you determine what s right
How do you determine what’s right?
  • Make the decision on the basis of what the law says (the legality of the matter)
  • Make the decision on the basis of the values of your organization
  • Make the decision on the basis of your own personal convictions (let your conscience be your guide)
ethical behavior let s discuss
Ethical behavior? Let’s discuss…
  • During your first week on the job you receive a salary compensation confirmation which is significantly higher than what was quoted in your offer letter. You realize they have submitted your salary as a associate level analyst vs. entry level. You decide to remain quiet since you did not create the mistake.
  • On your resume you indicate you are a Finance major but you have not yet officially declared an area depth yet.
  • You already plan to accept an offer with The Home Depot but decide to accept an offer to go on a second round interview with a firm in NYC.
  • You have a 2nd round interview in NYC and the firm has purchased a plane ticket and hotel room for you to stay in. Prior to your interview you accept another offer. Sunday night, prior to the Monday 2nd round you send them an e-mail saying you won’t be attending the session on Monday.
ethical behavior you be the judge
Ethical behavior? You be the judge…
  • During your interview the recruiter asks if you have any other offers of employment. You had two interviews last week that you feel went exceptionally well. Although you have not yet received an official offer of employment, you expect you will and decide to tell the employer that you have two offers which have been extended to you.
  • You have been given 2 weeks to decide whether or not you would like to accept an offer with Houlihan Lokey however you are waiting to hear back from Wachovia. At the end of the 2nd week you haven’t heard back from Wachovia and HLHZ is not willing to give you additional time to decide. You accept the offer from HLHZ. 5 days later you receive an offer from Wachovia. You decide to call HLHZ and turn down their offer to go with Wachovia.
  • YOUR reputation is at stake
  • YOUR job could be at stake
  • You represent Emory
  • When it comes to ethics, EVERYTHING




How to Evaluate and Negotiate a Job Offer

you have the offer now what
You Have the Offer – Now What?
  • Do not immediately agree to the first offer
  • Get the offer in writing
  • Be enthusiastic and gracious
  • Negotiate more time for exploring other options if necessary
  • Use a rational strategy for choosing among job offers (there’s nothing wrong with writing out pros and cons)
  • Determine if negotiations are needed
your opinion matters
Your opinion matters

Assess a potential offer based on what is important to YOU.

  • Some examples include:
    • Salary
    • Location
    • Opportunity for advancement
    • Flexibility of schedule
    • Culture/co-workers
    • Travel
    • Vacation
should you negotiate
Should YOU Negotiate?
  • Negotiating is not a requirement - not everyone should. Do not feel pressured to negotiate if a salary offer meets your expectations and you are pleased with the offer
  • You must have a businessreason to negotiate. Never negotiate based on personal reasons (student loans, personal purchases, etc.)
  • Remember you have value. They want you and do not have you! The interviewer (company) has made a commitment to you and wants you to sign on
  • Do not negotiate if you are not/could not be interested and would not be willing to accept if they meet your requests
should you negotiate15
Should YOU Negotiate?
  • Assess your bargaining power realistically - be confident but don’t overestimate. It could cause resentment.
  • Companies typically do not pull offers just because you are attempting to negotiate but they can.
  • It is always possible that a position you have taken will cause the company to say, “We will not be able to meet your needs. We certainly wish you good luck.”
  • Consider the company’s need to be equitable among current employees of similar backgrounds.
what s involved in a job negotiation
What’s Involved in a Job Negotiation”?
  • An acceptable, reasonable and often necessary step in the job search process.
  • Building a solid base of data through self-assessment and market research.
  • Convincing the prospective employer of your value.
  • Isn’t just about base salary - there are many financial and non-financial terms of employment you may want to negotiate depending on what is important to you.
  • Planning is Key - Start with the end in mind
    • Know your Deal Breakers
    • Do your research
    • Be prepared to listen and respond
    • Use your decision making and problem solving skills
    • Play out the potential results
    • Practice
  • Negotiations are business transactions!

It is notpersonal. Present your goals, rationales and alternatives in business terms (your value to the company), not in terms of your lifestyle goals.

what to research
What to research?
  • Self Assessment: Know how your skills and experience fit the job. Be confident of your value and your ability to communicate your value.
  • Market Factors: See your Placement Office/Career Management Center for salary survey data. Typically base salaries increase each year.
  • Factor in cost-of-living data: Available on several web-sites. (, Salary Calculator)
research the company and industry salary policies
Research the Company and Industry Salary Policies
  • Try to learn how flexible a company is with offers! Some firms have tight pay ranges to fit new BBA’s into, or value equity with all staff. Ask questions to learn as much as possible about the compensation policies of your company.
  • Investment banking and consulting industries are often unwilling to negotiate.
  • Consult with Career Management Staff! Have a range in mind before receiving the offer.

Are you prepared to Negotiate??? IF NOT…

  • “Compensation is important to me, but could we hold that discussion until I know more about the position and you know more about my skills and experience.”
  • I am more interested in finding the right opportunity. This job really interests me and I know I can do it. I am sure you will be fair and that the money will take care of itself.”
  • “I would expect a salary competitive with other entry level positions in this industry.”
  • “I know you have a history of hiring experienced BBA’s; what range has been authorized for someone like me?”
  • “Our discussions have indicated that I could bring a great deal to this company, but I would like my salary to be consistent with your company’s culture as well as my value. I am sure your compensation package will be fair. What salary do you have in mind?”
  • “I will consider any reasonable offer.”
word choice is important
Word Choice is important!
  • Be cautious about using words like O.K., Yup, or Yes.
  • Avoid absolutes, NEED, MUST, HAVE TO remember they’re the ones with the offer.
  • Don’t paint yourself into a corner or you will lose credibility.
  • Don’t commit to anything until you are certain that you are ready to accept.
  • A verbal accept isn’t final until the paper is signed…. BUT…. That doesn’t mean that you haven’t committed to that company.
things to ask for when negotiating a job offer
Higher base salary (if applicable)

Signing bonus

Stock options, or profit sharing

Flexible scheduling


Tuition reimbursement

Extra vacation days

Relocation allowance

Accelerated performance review

Membership dues for professional associations



Car, cell phone, PC, Blackberry

Low rate loans

Things To Ask For When Negotiating a Job Offer
final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • Negotiation is not mandatory but it is acceptable. Remember, negotiation is nota risk-free process.
  • Avoid being the first to mention a salary figure. Get the company to be the first to name a number. If it’s too low, tell them it’s too low but don’t say how much. If you must state a number, use a range.
  • Know your Deal Breakers.
  • Do research on salaries for your field.
  • Know your expected end point.
  • Never discuss salary until you have an offer you will seriously consider.
  • Rarely, if ever, accept a job on the spot.
  • REMEMBER! You have to live in the climate you create.
internet research resources
Internet Research Resources
  • (workplace channels, career areas, compensation)
  • National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Salary Survey – Available through Career Center
  • Click on Power Search, type careers in the Words in URL box, next type BBA and salary in the Search For box. You will get tons of articles - pick the best ones for your particular purpose
print research resources
Print Research Resources
  • American Salary and Wages Survey
  • How to Make $1000 a Minute Negotiating Your Salaries and Raises (J. Chapman)
  • Is That Your Best Offer? , Wet Feet Press
  • How to Negotiate a Raise You Deserve (M. Satterfield)