When Should You Negotiate Your Biopharma Salary_


Biopharma and biotechnology companies are seeing unprecedented growth in the 21st century. With growth, comes many opportunities for candidates to advance in their careers.

In the bio space, just like any other industry, recruiters expect their candidates to negotiate their salaries. In fact, candidates who negotiate salaries are looked at more positively compared to those who don’t. If you won’t show your worth, who would?

Is it okay to negotiate your salary for an entry-level position or does that only apply for director and VP-level positions? And when is a good time to negotiate your biopharma salary?

Negotiating Your Biopharma Salary

1.   Do Your Research

Before you even get started on the negotiation process, you need to know the realistic range for your role. You cannot expect a 150k salary for a role that offers a maximum of 100k.

Many companies such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn list the average salary ranges for a variety of jobs. You can use those numbers as a ballpark when negotiating your salary.

2.   Look Beyond the Base

Sometimes people can get so fixated on the base salary that they forget the other negotiable benefits. Biopharma companies usually have strict budgets and they may not be as flexible with increasing the base salary.

However, if the company is public, you can get stocks (RSUs and stock options). If the company you are interviewing at has not yet gone public but plans to do so, you may get pre-IPO stock options. Some start-up or medium-sized biopharma companies may offer a generous amount of pre-IPO stocks compared to large-sized biopharma companies.

Stock options and RSUs increase your overall salary package. If the base is non-negotiable, try your best to get more stock options or RSUs.

3.   When the Verbal Offer Comes In

Negotiating after a verbal offer comes in can increase your chances of getting your desired salary. If you negotiate early in the process, and your expectation is above their budget, you may risk your chances early on in the process.

When the verbal offer comes in, it means, they want you on board. So strike when the iron is still hot!

4.   Impact On Your Current Situation

Before negotiating, look at your current situation. Have you worked in a large-sized biopharma industry for most of your career but are looking for a change in a startup or small-sized company? If you desire to learn and experience new things in your role, you may want to focus more on negotiating RSUs rather than the base.

If, however, your financial situation needs improvement e.g. you just started a family and are planning to buy a house, you may need to focus on getting the base as high as possible to help with your monthly mortgage payments.

Always look at your current situation before going into the negotiating process.

5.   When the Offer is Low

This goes without saying but if the company you are interviewing at is offering you a lower package for your skills and experience, you should definitely negotiate.

Whether you are getting started in the biopharma industry or have been serving it for decades, there’s always a new experience out there to explore. If you are looking for companies that offer competitive salary packages, Resource Groups in the Biopharma industry can help you find the right job.

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