I had an interview for an administrative (IT) position at a very prestigious US university. I had a second phone interview with an HR representative who asked for my salary expectation. I gave my range, and the HR person gave me their range, whose maximum is 20% lower than my minimum. She asked me if I was interested in continuing the hiring process within their range, and I asked to give me a day to think over it.
This is an extremely interesting position for me, but the modest salary increase would make the move to another state hard.
I counted all, salary, benefits, relocation package, but still it seems a tight fit. The HR person said that they are kind of locked into that range, which I have a hard time believing.
I come from the nonprofit world but I am not used to negotiation tactics in academia. Is this just a negotiation trick? How should I respond to avoid down-selling me without stalling the process?
I found some salary grades from this institution from a couple of years ago, and indeed the range I was given was the midpoint of the published salary grade, which includes mostly positions lower than the one I am apply for.
Without sharing details with my HR interlocutor, I replied that from my research, given the responsibilities, I expected a different range, and she replied that the range is non-negotiable because it's a nonprofit. Which I know is not true, because I myself work at a nonprofit.
So I could just walk out of the deal and see if they come back, but it would be a bummer to let it fall through without even a chance to get to a real offer. Or I could suck it up and go with their rate, and work toward a raise within the following year or two, but it would be a tough start.