Using a New Offer To Negotiate Higher Wages at Your Current Job: Smart or Unethical?

The constant battle between workers and companies rages ever onward. Employees demand pay commiserate with experience that keeps up with the cost of living, while corporations seek to cut costs and get the lowest possible rate for labor. 

Each side uses every tactic at their disposal to get what they want. One man got a hefty pay raise after showing his boss an offer from another company, but his recruiter’s reaction has him second-guessing his behavior. 

He Needs More Money

The Original Poster (OP) shared that he really likes his job, but the pay wasn’t enough. He asked his boss for a raise to bridge the gap.

The boss went to bat for the employee, which is pretty rare in today’s world. It’s no wonder OP wants to stay at his current job!

Unfortunately, senior management denied the rise, and the boss had to share that he couldn’t pay OP more money. 

Looking for Other Jobs

OP  led honestly and told his boss that he simply needs more money, and if they weren’t going to offer it, he’d have to find work elsewhere. 

“He said he didn’t blame me,” shared OP.

It didn’t take OP long to score an interview. 

Gets a New Offer

OP interviewed well; the new position offered him a 15% pay raise. Although he didn’t want to leave his current job, he couldn’t afford not to. 

He notified his boss, explaining that he was leaving for a new position that pays more. 

Please Wait OP

The boss didn’t want to lose such a stellar employee, so he asked OP to wait before making a final decision. 

He returned to senior management with OP’s offer, telling them they’d lose a great employee if they refused to pay more. 

“3 days later, they came back to match the pay,” said OP. 

Deciding To Stay

As OP said, he loves his current job. The new job just wouldn’t be the same. 

“I figured the new job wasn’t exactly my dream gig, so I chose to stay with my current job at the new rate,” he explained. 

Recruiter Freaks Out

OP called his recruiter to decline the generous offer and was shocked by her reaction. 

“She basically accused me of applying for jobs just so I could negotiate a pay raise at my current job and that it’s unethical for me to apply when I’m not really going to take the job and that I wasted her time and the interviewers, etc.” shared OP. 

The recruiter’s outrageous reaction has OP second-guessing himself. Was he wrong to use the offer to negotiate a higher rate at his current job?

Look Out for Yourself

Absolutely not. Business is a game, and workers must look out for themselves above all else. 

OP did just that. Their current job wasn’t paying enough, so they started looking for a better rate. When they were about to leave, the company decided they were worth the higher price tag and enticed them to stay.

“We currently have a major issue with underpayment for regular workers; gaining information about how much you’re “worth” and raising your salary is an appropriate use of job searching,” said one user.  

OP chose the option that was best for him, as should everyone. 

Recruiter Mad About Bonus

Most users agreed that the recruiter was only mad that she lost a juicy commission. For some reason, she thought OP should look out for her, a random recruiter he doesn’t even know, over himself. 

“She’s acting like she wasn’t acting selfish throughout the transactional relationship between recruiter and candidate,” laughed one Redditor. 

And Unprofessional

We get that she’s upset over the lost sale. Her livelihood likely depends on matching people to positions. 

However, her behavior was highly unethical and unprofessional. She burned the bridge, all but guaranteeing OP would never work with her again. 

The recruiter could have returned to the company seeking a higher wage or let OP know she’s open to working with him again later should he become unhappy at his job. 

But no, she went the nuclear option and sabotaged the entire relationship. 

Enjoy Your Job OP

Op did the right thing. He used the tools available to get the best opportunity for himself. Maybe if businesses paid higher wages in the first place, he wouldn’t have had to do the whole song and dance, but it’s a necessity in this day and age. 

We hope OP enjoys many long years at his dream job and that his senior managers learned a valuable lesson about paying folks what they are worth. 


Source: Reddit