First year analyst offer - comp optics question

My firm offers first year analysts (targeting Ivys and other top schools) base salary of high 50s with perf. bonus of up to 20-25% for "top bucket". Not sure if we do a signon, but if we do it's gotta be 5k or less.

We've had some accepts and some declines, and we're trying internally to sort out why folks may have been declining.

I am personally trying to push our 1st yr base to 60k just on the basis that from an optics / psychological standpoint, no one from our target schools wants to see a number starting with a 5 when they're getting all their other offers at 60k, 65k, 70k+.

That being said, say you had an offer of 65k at a place you sorta liked (people, work, culture, office location, etc.) vs. an offer of 58k at place you liked more. Would you take the 65k based on comp alone? How would that differ, if at all, if it was 60k vs 65k with the same aforementioned conditions?

Another scenario: I know that some places like Deloitte will give you a nice base (70K+) but stiff you on bonus until you're manager or something crazy like that. Would you take a 70K with little/no bonus over an offer of high 50s + 20-25% bonus that would potentially match or exceed other offers if you were a hustler? What if you liked the 50s place "better" than the 70K?

Thanks for the insight, folks. Doing some "market research" here.


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Comments (16)

Dec 2, 2010 - 8:53am

Why don't you pay street? The better MMs pay $70K + 10K sign on.

Also, don't forget, a lot of kids coming from ivys have debt, 70K vs 55K is a big difference in that case. And to be quite honest, kids at state schools get offers for $50K, if you want ivy kids you're going to have to pay for them.

Your bonus also sucks. 25% of 55 is $14K so even with bonus they're making 69K.

Dec 2, 2010 - 8:53am

Hey man, I agree with you. I'm trying to get them up there but there is only so much a plebe like me can do. Btw, this is consulting, not banking. I think street for boutiques is anywhere from 60-70.

Also, I think the firm has had relative success in the high 50s so it doesn't perceive such an immediate need Yo budge. But I am afraid were losing the best people (ie with options)

Dec 2, 2010 - 8:56am

Where are you located? If you're in NY, you cannot live on 50k very easily. 60k min, but I don't think I'd be able to do that. Yes, there's something to be said for working at a place where you like the people, but if the place doesn't allow you to live how you'd like (decent apartment in decent area, dinner/drinks out occasionally), then what's the point of working in the city? Recent grads also talk to each other about what they're making. I was actually quite proud to be making $5k more in base than anyone else I knew.
I talked to a big 4 consulting, as an experienced hire. They couldn't/weren't willing to even match my current salary, so maybe that's just the reality of consulting.

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Dec 2, 2010 - 9:00am

Sorry didn't realize it's consulting! The lowest consulting offer that I know of anyone getting was $55K + 5K. So your offer sounds about right.

That said, in relation to your question. Certainly $60K looks nicer than $58K

Dec 2, 2010 - 10:32am

$60k is like a nice round number, while 55 seems low, 60 seems like an intangible hurdle.

That being said, depending on the structure of the bonus, I may chose the Better name with a lesser bonus (your Deloitte example) but it would all depend on WHY i like the "lesser" place.

Give me room to advance, great bosses, some perks and a 25% bonus and im sure that would sway alot of young minds. However, money talks. Always will.

"Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish"
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Dec 2, 2010 - 12:13pm

In terms of psychology, $60K-$58K > $58K-$54K.

That being said, depending on the structure of the bonus, I may chose the Better name with a lesser bonus (your Deloitte example) but it would all depend on WHY i like the "lesser" place.

Look, most of the Fortune 500 pays more than you guys, even after bonus. Starting salaries Microsoft are $90K/year, for instance,and bonus works out to being more, dollar for dollar. It's got a lot of brilliant managers and is in lower-cost Seattle to boot.

You guys have to be offering something really amazing for folks to take that offer over the F500.

Dec 2, 2010 - 1:39pm

The 6 does look a lot better than the 5. Really, if you want the talent you have to pay for it and from what I can garner, the better people going into consulting are looking at 60k, not 57-58

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
Dec 2, 2010 - 2:20pm

50s is horrible, all of my offers were 60 minimum Curating the best advice and making it actionable.

Dec 3, 2010 - 1:11pm


One of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.
Dec 3, 2010 - 1:28pm

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