7 Questions with Julie Greenberg, Co-Founder of Jobnob

March 19th, 2009 by lewis

Julie Greenberg has worked in the Internet and media sector for over ten years in a variety of finance, business development and leadership roles. Before co-founding Jobnob, she worked as a Business Development & Strategy consultant for ZING Systems which was sold to Dell Inc., and also headed Corporate Development for Napster, Inc. Previously Julie worked at NBCUniversal in Corporate Finance and was a lead on the merger team when Universal was acquired by GE/NBC.  Julie received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Northwestern University. I spoke with Juile about Jobnob; she also shared her salary negotiation tips for job seekers.

Julie, thanks for dropping by the blog.  So tell us, what is Jobnob, and why did you decide to start this business?
Jobnob has hundreds of thousands of individual salaries listed by company and by job. Now you can finally see real salaries being paid at specific companies and not just industry averages.  It’s an excellent resource for checking out if you’re getting paid fairly, and for researching salaries when you’re looking for a job.  For the first time consumers have unprecedented free access to specific salary information – see how much people are actually making at Google vs. Microsoft or Goldman Sachs vs. Morgan Stanley.  Jobnob also has millions of job postings listed on the site, making Jobnob the best place to look for a job.  Now if there’s no salary included in a job posting, you can quickly use Jobnob’s salary data to figure out what a company is probably paying.  And you can ace the interview when they ask you how much money you are looking to earn, because you will already know what they are paying others.
I started Jobnob to empower employees with real information about jobs and companies. The Internet  helps you find great bargains and the best restaurants, but offers nothing about the best place to work or where to earn the most money.  It’s crazy that we still can’t use the Internet to find information about how much people earn and what it’s like to do different jobs and work at different companies.
Who are your biggest competitors, and how is Jobnob different?
The unique thing about Jobnob is that in many ways we have no competitors.  Jobnob is the only place I know of where you can get specific salaries being paid to employees at real companies for free, with no fees and no sign-ups.  There are other salary sites on the web such as Salary.com or Payscale.com, but at those sites users only get to see average salary information, not information by company.  We all work at companies (not some average) so in many ways average data doesn’t help us know our real worth – how much should we be paid at a specific company for a specific job.  Also, on the other salary sites they require you to go through a long and invasive sign-up to give your personal salary information, and then they try to upsell you on a salary report for $20 or $30!  The information at Jobnob is totally free.
Jobnob is a very unique name.  What inspired the name?
Jobnob is a play on the word “job” and “hobnob” which according to The Free Dictionary means “to socialize or talk informally.”  So Jobnob is a place to hobnob about jobs!  Right now we just have salary info and job listings, but we have lots more cool features coming soon which will give you an opportunity to talk amongst yourselves (aka, to hobnob). 
How have candidates used the job salary data listed on Jobnob?  Any of them use it during their salary negotiations?
We’ve had great feedback from users on how they’ve used our data at Jobnob.  One example is that one candidate received an offer from a company that he knew was low.  But because he already knew what the company was paying for the position, he was able to negotiate a salary that was $12,000 higher than what they had initially offered.  Another example is someone who is in an MBA program and was considering dropping out.  But when she saw the salary information for post-MBA type jobs she decided to stay in the program.
Jobnob has thousands of actual salaries.  Combing through the data, what’s the most fascinating insight you’ve found?
The most fascinating thing we’ve found about the data is the wide range of salaries that people can be paid within a single company or region.  Sometimes this could be attributed to a difference in skill sets or experience, but often it can just be due to better negotiating.  Too often people forget to ask for more when they are negotiating a salary or a raise.  If you don’t ask, you won’t receive!
Here’s an obligatory question for all start-ups.  How do you plan on making money?
It’s our mission to keep information free for all consumers, so we plan on charging employers to pay us to post jobs at Jobnob.
For many job applicants, salary negotiation is intimidating.  What’s your best negotiation tip?
The best way to deal with salary negotiations for is to have a game plan, be prepared and ask! Too many people forget to ask: either ask for more after an initial offer or ask for a raise. 
For salary negotiations for a new job: Do your research before you go to an interview to learn what a company is already paying.  You can talk to your headhunter or recruiter or use online sites like Jobnob.  So find out what the company is actually paying for the position you’re interviewing for, decide how much you want the job and what you’re willing to accept as a salary, and maybe push the boundary a little with your initial salary request.  As long as it’s reasonable, even if it’s high for them, you can still be in the game and land the job you want at the right price.
For salary negotiations for a raise:  There is a right way and a wrong way to ask for a raise. First, make sure that you have good reasons for asking for a raise and a game plan.  Before you go talk to your boss, write out all of the reasons why you deserve a raise, and make sure that you have good examples to back them up.  For example, have you gone beyond the call of duty over the past year?  Have you gotten excellent reviews?  Has it been a while since your last raise? Remember to keep your tone pleasant and friendly.  You should be confident, not controversial. Also, use your common sense regarding the timing of your request.  If the company is currently going through layoffs, this might not be the best time to ask for a raise.  If you are unsuccessful in getting a raise this time around, see if you can schedule a review for some time in the future to revisit the idea (3-6 months maybe) and find out what you need to do in order to merit a raise.
Julie, thanks for telling us more about Jobnob and sharing the salary negotiation advice!

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